Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

Blood Meridian

-Book Cover

A difficult book that took me forever to read. Powerful scenes and moments, extraordinary language. This book exists. It doesn’t communicate. I have to enter it’s world, live there on it’s terms. (That sounds like it should be the case for all strong novels, but the strength of this book’s solitude makes other difficult books seem positively inviting.) I had trouble with it because there was nothing to pull me through, no private passion that drove me to watch or pursue any particular line of the narrative. Having finished, I think that on the rereading I’d pull myself through on the allegorical patterns that blur everything but become distinct in the naked judge dancing to a fiddle (a devil, a horseman, god and devil in one) in the final two pages.

Genre note: As in The Road, McCarthy is reworking the western as a southern novel. It’s as if the moral and mythical resonances of the two genres are being exchanged and the west is being made a historical guilt.

I need to read more of his books to makes sense of this one.

Posted September 12, 2011