Monday, August 10, 2009

Evolution From "Reader" to "Character"

One of the things I found most interesting in Blood Meridian was how descriptive it was. Almost every scene in the novel is described so thoroughly that you get a clear picture of every character and every scene. The fact that I could “see” the scenes from McCarthy’s perspective instead of painting the pictures myself made it much more difficult for me to remain just a reader; I became a participant in the story as well. This made it difficult for me to read some of the more horrific scenes because I could see them unfold so clearly that it was almost as if I was observing these actions in reality, or at least watching as if there was a movie reel in my head. For me it was as if I had stepped into the middle of an alternate reality.

Because the characters were so fully written, I didn’t find myself feeling as if I was observing from their eyes. It almost seemed like I was a character that observed from WITHIN the novel; my reactions were both physical (I found myself actually gasping at one point) and emotional (sad in places, worried in others). The judge is a good example of this for me. His character is woven so well in the text that like the characters in the novel, I couldn't wait to see what he would do next. I found myself both intrigued by him and then repulsed- at both him for his actions (killing the puppies and the little Indian child) and myself for trying to see him in some redeeming light. I don’t remember any other book that incited this type of reaction. I can’t say that I loved this book, but I did like the feeling of being pulled into the story despite my best attempt at remaining a mere reader. Did anyone else feel this way?

1 comment:

  1. Yes. I felt the story sucking me in like a black hole from a hell bound inferno.

    I am very much into post-rock/ instrumental music and while reading I was listening to the instrumental band mogwai. I went on reading and the combination of the inner monologue and the instrumental music inside my head reminded me of the bands Slint or King Missile. These bands were one of the first post-rock/Avant Garde acts in the early 90's and the lead singers would occasionally sing but most of time they would endlessly ramble on about a description of a story or event. In saying this, Blood Meridian read read like a descriptive smorgasbord of violent events and ruthless characters.

    The music of mogwai, while reading, gave me a sure feeling of the impending carnage waiting in the shadows.