(urth) Blood Meridian - still utterly and completely off topic

Alexander, Bryan balexan at middlebury.edu
Wed Oct 4 09:29:12 PDT 2006

Why not horror... because it's a historical novel, an antiwestern, primarily.  The kid travels right from the old frontier through to California, and the novel touches on all sorts of western tropes along the way: naturalism, the imposition of law, the cult of the outlaw, Mexico, etc.  
It is horrific, I'll grant you that.  It felt like a very violent novel from the start.

"regeneration through violence" is Richard Slotkin's classic formula about American frontier lit.  Heroes head out, confront horror, are redeemed by their violent response.
What's weird is that _Blood Meridian_ isn't redemptive at all.  Had the blurber actually finished it?  No spoiler here, but cf the conclusion of Melville's _Confidence-Man_.

-----Original Message-----
From: urth-bounces at lists.urth.net on behalf of don doggett
Sent: Sun 10/1/2006 10:32 AM
To: The Urth Mailing List
Subject: Re: (urth) Blood Meridian - still utterly and completely off topic

Transentient <transentient at gmail.com> wrote: 
I also read this last month because it was mentioned on this list. I  
really thought it was excellent.

What I don't understand, though, is why this book is considered part  
of the "litchrature" genre and not "gorefest cowboy horror" genre. My  
copy of the book had a tagline or quote on the front cover that was  
like, "A classic American novel of regeneration through violence,"  
and my response to that is: wtf does that even mean?

It doesn't mean anything to me, but Michael Herr wrote it (he wrote Martin Sheen's monologues in Apocalypse Now, and the very excellent book Dispatches) so you're sposed to look at it and say, oh, Michael Herr digs it so I'll buy it too. I hate those things myself. They ruin a perfectly nice book cover. On a more Wolfe related but still OT note, Neil Gaiman has just published a new book of short stories called Fragile Things. I have it and haven't read it but I think he is far and away at his best in the short story medium so I'm pretty excited about it.


Stay in the know. Pulse on the new Yahoo.com.  Check it out. 

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 3955 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.urth.net/pipermail/urth-urth.net/attachments/20061004/3420f965/attachment-0004.bin>

More information about the Urth mailing list