Stoner, by John Williams

John-Williams-StonerIn a recent blog post, I talked about some of the praise this book has received.  I know the dangers of the oversell, I do, and I would hate to have someone not read this book for fear that it could not possibly live up to the hype I am heaping upon it, but this book was, seriously, front to back, page by page, sentence by sentence, one of the best novels I can remember reading.  And you know how much I read.  More than a book a week, all year every year.  And this one belongs near the top.  A star is born.  A new favorite. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter Fourteen: “Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.”

quicksilver burrosINTRODUCTION

There are three major events in this chapter: (1) the group’s visit to the small stone town of Jesús María; (2) the group’s visit to Ures, the capital of the state of Sonora (curious, I looked on a map, and Jesús María is about 1570 kilometers, or (by my rough guesstimation) approximately 981 miles away, through hard, mountainous territory); and (3) a really, really bad day to be a mule or a muleteer in between.  At the end of Chapter 13, Glanton’s gang has killed and scalped Mexican soldiers, burned their uniforms, buried their bodies, and turned the scalps in for bounty.  There is a very vivid image of the group re-entering the city “haggard and filthy and reeking with the blood of the citizenry for whose protection they had contracted.” (p. 185).  Perhaps not surprisingly, they leave the City of Chihuahua in somewhat of a hurry, going north as if headed for El Paso.  But before they are even out of sight, they turn west “toward the red demise of that day.” (Id.).  There are repeated inferences that the group is “cursed.”  Cursed or no, they are certainly a curse to everyone they encounter.

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