Blood Meridian Blood Meridian discussion


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Jonathan Hey everybody, we have a small book club up here in Seattle and are in need of some discussion topics for Blood Meridian. Having not read the book yet, I really don't know where to start. Anybody have any ideas?


Aaron France I would start with interpretations of the epilogue as well as the last encounter between Holden and the Kid... Are the events in the outhouse sexual violence or murder and why?

Premonitions and hints of impending tragedy contained within the text, specifically as delivered through purely visual and emotional details. A good example would be when the Glanton gang is crossing the volcanic playa and encounters the crucified apache... A similar point might be the bones of thousands of bison that the Kid encounters on his way to Fort Griffin.

That leads, in my mind anyway, to a question as to how McCarthy's elicits emotional response. Is the reader more affected by illustrations of the aftermath of violence or through actualy descriptions of acts of violence?

Finally, identify parallels with Iraq... Cultural identity as a justification for murder, etc.


Tedb0t I'd focus on Judge Holden's character -- what he is, what he is not. How is he an agent of chaos, destruction and violence and how that meshes with his otherworldly nature as philosopher, historian, ethnographer, even artist.

Check out the wikipedia entry for the book, lots of insightful stuff there. Also check out my review for some further thoughts on Nihilism.

I'd also go for an intense overview and analysis of the prose itself--McCarthy will sit next to Melville in the pantheon of lyric narrative prose with this novel.


message 4: by Dane (last edited Jan 23, 2008 02:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dane These are all great ideas here! It's really got me thinking about this spectacular novel.

Usually I'm at a loss for words when it comes to discussing these sorts of ideas, but you've got my brain juices flowing! Thanks!


message 5: by Rex (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rex McCulloch The outhouse scene is a popular, but pointless discussion topic. What happens in the outhouse is whatever you imagine happens (though I think it's at least obvious that the kid is destroyed).


Michael Henderson There are a couple of videos from Yale done a few years ago that might give you some insight into the novel and some ideas about a discussion. The link is below.

I have read a lot of comments that tend to talk about this book in a very intellectual way. Sometimes I think it's overdone. It is a great book, I reviewed it here. But the interesting thing is that it's based on real characters and real events. And McCarthy borrowed a lot from other works.

My favorite part is when they went out to get Apache scalps, for which they were to be paid per scalp, they decided that any dark-haired scalp would do, and raided innocent Mexican villages to get them. That shit's hard core. And probably true.

YouTube link: http://youtu.be/FgyZ4ia25gg

My blog: http://michaelhendersonstheliteraryma...


Nathan Henrion Michael-thanks for linking the videos!


Nick So...why does the judge lead the imbecile out to the desert? I've read the book four times now and this is one detail I can't seem to find much information on.


Extra Mustard Nick wrote: "So...why does the judge lead the imbecile out to the desert? I've read the book four times now and this is one detail I can't seem to find much information on."

The judge was a child murderer and a pedophile..I'm guessing you can take it from there.


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