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‘To Some Third and Other Destiny’
Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
1985, Vintage, 337 pages
Part Two of Two: Metaphysics
The metaphysics of the American Experience are etched in the character of Judge Holden, mostly referred to as “the judge.” The judge is a man who speaks deep and profound truths, a veritable Moses among the murderers to whom he is a savior. Dichotomy is writ large in the words and deeds of the judge in that he lies openly and viciously, in the most glaring terms, terms so stark and delivered with such volatility, that it is difficult to imagine an aborigine or a Christian getting that this is the crux of the American character, its very disingenuity. The judge murders ministers, and innocents, reads the classics and rapes and murders children after befriending them. The judge is the American Heart—pure American in form, as savage as the barbarians whose lands he invades and yet possessed of the knowledge to invent machines of destruction that is the fruit of a deep European esoterica.
Below are some select quotes from the dark genus of Cormac McCarthy concerning the larger truths that frame the American Experience and doom it to dance like an epileptic marionette beneath tangled strings at the very end of its own time:
Page 4
“His origins are become remote as his destiny…”
-narration
Page 18
“They is four things that can destroy the earth, he said. Women, whiskey, money and niggers.”
-Toadvine
Page 85
“Words are things. The words he is in possession of he cannot be deprived of. Their authority transcends his ignorance and their meaning.”
-the judge
Page 106
“Here beyond men’s judgements all covenants were brittle.”
-narration
Page 145
“The world which he inherits bears him false witness. He is broken before a frozen god and he will never find his way.”
-the judge
Page 185
“…filthy with the blood of the citizenry for whose protection they had been contracted.”
-narration
Page 248
“War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him.”
-the judge
Page 307
“If war is not holy, man is nothing but antic clay.”
-the judge
The kid says nothing, almost nothing, is a direct though secondary actionist through most of his life. The kid is cool, brave to a fault and tenacious—a natural last man standing. The world falls into his hands by default. He is American to the core, the remnant, post-ethnic nation embodied as a survivor of a dead age.
In the end, in a scene of disgusting texture, Judge Holden, a giant, hairless, pontiff of gamesmanship, is revealed as the ultimate evolution of American identity, in all of his terrible fleshy embrace.
*****
I finished this impression while speaking with John, a man from Alaska, on the train westbound from Rugby, North Dakota, and gifted him the hard copy I had been working from. Thanks to Tom for the PDF.
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Add Comment
P.A. CrackerJanuary 13, 2020 7:24 PM UTC

Yeah when they get to the part on the seven to eight dead babies hanging on the Bush will probably finish them off .
P.A. CrackerJanuary 13, 2020 2:05 PM UTC

I received a brain inflammation after reading this book . The brain worms burrow so deep into your psych after reading this that no amount of therapy or medicine can relieve or repair the damage done to your soul awakening to the depravity of the human race . Pussy Ass Cracker was a name given me by an Ebon Warrior so I just shortened it to P.A. Cracker .
responds:January 13, 2020 6:22 PM UTC

Wow!

people on suicide watch should be given this book.