Ever since finishing Blood Meridian, I can't shake the feeling that he's still out there somewhere. The Judge never sleeps. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die...
Well, that's sort of the main idea. Holden has always been there. Truly a Great Book.
At first glance you might think this is a cowboy book, but Holy Fuck. It's the bloodiest darkest thing you've read in quite sometime. Excellently written. And even scarier it's based on real events. Events at the Ferry Crossing are very well documented, but of course McCarthy adds a weird twist:
Think back to the old lady with the Traveling Show and the tarot card reading, where Holden makes a coin appear and disappear. The Reading foretells of the Ferry Massacre. They draw the Chariot, then at the Ferry they are using a wagon chassis as a boat. They draw the [Some#] of Wands. Then the guy that gets killed with arrows at the dock is standing there looking at the arrows marveling how long and odd the arrows are as they oddly float in the air at him, he gets killed by [Some#] of them. There's more to it, I read it in a book analyzing Blood Meridian. It's around here somewhere...
Well yeah. That's the scary thing about the book: people are capable of genuinely understanding the negative impact of their actions and still doing evil. The unthinking bullies and criminals shit things up for a bit but self-destruct. the people who are cognizant of their shittiness stick around forever to continue shitting. It isn't a fluke when someone's genuinely fucked, it's just an inescapable bit of humanity
made me think i'd subconciously browsed to /lit/ for a second there.
>people are capable of genuinely understanding the negative impact of their actions and still doing evil.
Holden gets them past that by explaining "The Blood Meridian" which one must take into account so A Man's Life is Glorious. ( It's sort of Valhalla The Cowboy Version )
Holden says a man's life get's better and better and then it reaches a perfection. You need to die right then or before then. After that zenith it's a slow decline to the red twilight, you keep getting weaker and less useful. War ennobles Man. The gangs endless slaughter is their way of dying correctly... it's a bit hard on damn near everyone they meet, but Oh Well.
[ I believe it's the very end of the chapter where they camp by the cliff dwelling ruins that Holden out and out states all this. The ruins put him in a reflective mood. ]
And they are dancing, the board floor slamming under the jackboots and the fiddlers grinning hideously over their canted pieces. Towering over them all is the judge and he is naked and dancing, his small feet lively and quick and now in doubletime and bowing to the ladies, huge and pale and hairless, like an enormous infant. He never sleeps, he says. He says he will never die. He bows to the fiddlers and sashays backwards and throws back his head and laughs deep in his throat and he is a great favorite, the judge. He wafts his hat and the lunar dome of his skull passes palely under the lamps and he swings about and takes possession of one of the fiddles and he pirouettes and makes a pass, two passes, dancing and fiddling at once. His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.