Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, the Evening Redness in the West

wisdom and beauty

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash

Speaking of writing his books, McCarthy said, “I don’t write short stories. Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.”

If we want to have the terrible skill he has, we must be willing to devote our lives to writing as he has done.

McCarthy tells us that: “If it doesn’t concern life and death, it’s not interesting.”

McCarthy’s characters speak with great wisdom at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. His characters’ words will hang in the air between you and the book until you take them in and make them a part of you.

“Men of God and men of war have strange affinities.”

Regardless of the religion, the “men of God” often are quick to pass judgment on those they deem sinners. Like the men of war, men of God often believe it is their duty to damn, even kill those who do not believe as they do.

“A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it.”

We are afraid to look at our own hearts, and we are satisfied to call out evil in others rather than in ourselves. Yet a kind of meanness is in our hearts.

“If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creatures could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet?”

He also warns the reader against what will happen when men go to war.

“The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have the power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman’s making onto a foreign land. Ye’ll wake more than the dogs.”

He also reminds us of who and what we are.

“People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don’t deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things.”

We are quick to say we don’t deserve the bad things that happen to us, but do we deserve the good things that happen to us?

Reader, Writer, Critical Thinker. lalemoh04@gmail.com

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