Blood Meridian, Chapter I- “[I]n him broods already a taste for mindless violence”

Introduction
Back to the beginning…The year is 1847.  The Leonids refers to a prolific meteor shower, occurring in the month of November, the most famous in recent history having occurred in 1833.  This is the year the main character in the book, known only as “the kid,” was born.  He is 14 now.

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Blood Meridian, Epilogue- “[B]ones and the gatherers of bones and those who do not gather”

stone on fireDunces!  The epilogue is brief, just a single paragraph, but I think it merits its own analysis.  The first line provides: “In the dawn there is a man progressing over the plain by means of holes which he is making in the ground.” (p. 337).  The dawn?  Is this dawn of the next morning?  The dawn of time?  Who is this man? Continue reading

Blood Meridian Chapter XXIII, Part II- “This night thy soul may be required of thee.”

dancing bear blood meridian book review dunce academyIntroduction

So here it is, the second half of the last chapter in the book.  The kid, now 45, is in a riotous saloon in Griffin, Texas, known in the area for its whores and evil.  At the center of all of this, probably not surprising to any of our readers, is the judge.  “Watching him across the layered smoke in the yellow light was the judge.” (p. 325).  What will happen? Continue reading

Blood Meridian Chapter XXIII, Part I- “I knowed we’d bury him on this prairie.”

buffalo bones blood meridian book review chapter review cormac mccarthy dunce academyIntroduction

Time continues to pass.  This chapter begins in the later winter of 1878.  Born in 1833, the “kid” is 45.  He’s in the north Texas plains.  It’s cold and windy.  He goes to set up camp for the night, and as soon as gets his fire going, he notices another fire across the way.  Like his, it warmed one man alone. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter XXII- “Our animosities were formed and waiting before ever we two met”

angry wolf 1 dunce academy wolves blood meridianMore time passes in this chapter than in any other chapter in the book (save maybe the first, when we go from the kid’s birth to the present).  We learn some interesting things in this chapter.  For one, we learn the age of the kid.  Referred to only as “the kid” throughout the novel, we have no way of knowing how old he actually is.  Until now.  Though years and some historical events have been mentioned.  Recall the first page of the book: “Night of your birth.  Thirty-three.  The Leonids they were called.” (p. 3).  What does thirty-three mean?  1933?  1833?  Well, it’s the latter, as the “Leonids” reference would provide. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Nineteen- “You done been paid.”

blood meridian sky Huge developments!  HUGE!  THE HUGEST!!!

Okay, this was a great and exciting (but also bloody and disturbing) chapter.  Tempting to jump to the end, but that’s not how we do things here at the good ship Dunce Academy.  But hang in there; it will be worth the wait. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter 18: “Damn if you aint a sorry specimen.”

night riverThis has got to be the shortest chapter in the book, consisting of maybe just a line or two over three pages.  But there are some profound points to consider, particularly as pertaining to the view of zealous Christian religion and the behavior of the judge. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Seventeen: “[M]ore things exist without our knowledge than with it.”

National Geographic Picture- dunce academy blood meridian book review mccarthyINTRODUCTION

There are chapters where things happen and there are chapters where things are said.  I love them all, but especially love the chapters where the judge holds court.  And this one is a doozy. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Sixteen: “In the desert were drag marks.”

desert-background-with-cactusINTRODUCTION

Lost scouts, found scouts, wild bulls, and lots of drinking, this was another rowdy chapter.  It increasingly seems like all these men have a death wish, or at least a death indifference.  But the judge keeps smiling, and they keep on drinking and dancing.  One gets the distinct impression that things are about to get a lot uglier too.  We’ll see. Continue reading