Fight Club and the Disenchanted Middle Class

fight clubIn the “Afterword” to the book, which I can’t believe I am just now reading (I’ve read and enjoyed others of his, and this was one of my favorite movies of all time), Palahniuk talks about the making of the book and the environment leading up to its creation.  Specifically, he says in part: 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 XX: “Creatures surpassing all description “

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comWhen last we left our fearless heroes, the ferry crossing had become an extremely dangerous place to be a white man.  The natives are pissed and looking for blood.  This chapter kicks off with just two from the band of scalp hunters, the kid and Toadvine, trying to escape, and battling as they go.  At some point the kid took an arrow to the leg, and it is up against his leg, making it slow and painful going.  But as he himself points out, what choice does he have but to go on? 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 Fifteen: “You think I’m afraid of him?”

High Desert PlainsA new contract, a lottery, an escape, a sacrifice.  Oh, and the ogdoad (i.e. a group or set of eight) [shiver].  The chapter heading is rich with the promise of big, wild events to come (note: these chapter headings are increasingly becoming one of my favorite parts of Blood Meridian) .  Glanton’s group leaves Ures rather quietly, just three days after arriving. (p. 204).  They have a new contract for Apache scalps signed by the governor of Sonora.  Carroll and Sanford, the newest members of the gang, and never really a part of it, decide that they have had enough, and “defect.” (Id.).  But the group gains a new member, a boy named Sloat, left sick to die by a gold train passing through weeks earlier.  Apparently there is a commodore with the same last name, and there is a funny exchange between Glanton and the boy about whether they are related.  Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Eight: “He looked like some loutish knight beriddled by a troll.”

As I suspected, the Jackson thing comes to a…head (sorry, I couldn’t resist).  I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone that is not caught up yet, but I had my money on one of them, and I was right.  What a way to go.

In the beginning of the chapter, the boys are looking for a drink.  They find a real choice spot.  Wisdom comes from strange places in this novel, and this chapter is no exception.  The bartender has some choice nuggets. Continue reading