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5.0 von 5 Sternen Die blutige Geburtsstunde der USA - Dante in Texas
"Blood Meridian. Or the Evening Redness in the West" ist ein spektakulaerer Roman ueber eine Episode waehrend der Geburtsstunde der USA und gleichzeitig auch ihr Suendenfall. Der Roman erzaehlt die Erlebnisse des Kid (ohne Namen), der im Alter von 14 von zu Hause ausreisst und sich ueber Umwege einer Gruppe von Skalpjaegern - der Glanton Gang - auf ihrem Weg nach Westen...
Veröffentlicht am 14. April 2008 von Dr. Robert R.

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Blood Meridian
Mostly a riveting; spellbinding novel until the last few chapters. Like the other McCarthy titles "All the Pretty Horses", etc. he accomplishes a feel for the desert Southwest like no other author I have read. He does that by painting a graphicly accurate word picture of the area. In addition, through the eyes of the Kid, he makes the reader feel, not just...
Am 18. Dezember 1999 veröffentlicht


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Die blutige Geburtsstunde der USA - Dante in Texas, 14. April 2008
"Blood Meridian. Or the Evening Redness in the West" ist ein spektakulaerer Roman ueber eine Episode waehrend der Geburtsstunde der USA und gleichzeitig auch ihr Suendenfall. Der Roman erzaehlt die Erlebnisse des Kid (ohne Namen), der im Alter von 14 von zu Hause ausreisst und sich ueber Umwege einer Gruppe von Skalpjaegern - der Glanton Gang - auf ihrem Weg nach Westen anschliesst. Das Land dazwischen ist noch immer in mexikanischem Besitz und von Indianern und Mexikanern mehrheitlich bevoelkert. Wie schon oefter bei McCarthy, so auch hier, entwickelt sich der Roman entlang dieses 'Reiseszenarios'.

Auf ihrem beschwerlichen Weg begegnen die Maenner, in unterschiedlicher und sich oftmals wechselnder Besetzung, unglaublichen Grausamkeiten, begangen entweder von amerikanischen Truppen an verschiedenen Indianerstaemmen, oder auch umgekehrt von Indianern, begangen an den marodierenden Truppen. Bisweilen sind auch unbeteiligte Siedler oder Mexikaner davon betroffen. Aber auch die Gruppe der Skalpjaeger selbst, unter der Fuehrung des uebermaechtigen, gewaltigen und grausamen Judge Holden ("(...) when he came back ten minutes later (...) the child was dead and the judge had scalped it") und des nicht minder verbrecherischen John Glanton (beides historische Personen), begehen regelmaessig grausame Gewaltexzesse zur Aneignung von Skalps, oder nur aus Ueberdruss, Trunkenheit oder Leichtsinn. Und The Kid ist immer inmitten des Geschehens.

"Blood Meridian" erzaehlt mit geradezu biblischer Maechtigkeit vom Existenzkampf aller gegen alle, von Geburt und Reinigung durch Gewalt. McCarthy scheut sich dabei auch nicht vor der extremen Charakterisierung der Akteure zurueck: "... they saw one day a pack of viciousloooking humans mounted on unshod indian ponies riding half drunk through the streets, bearded, barbarous, clad in the skins of animals (...) with weapons of every description, revolvers of enormous weight and bowieknives the size of claymores and short twobarreled rifles with bores you could stick your thumbs in and the trappings of their horses fashioned out of human skin and their bridles woven up from human hair and decorated with human teeth and the riders wearing scapulars or necklaces of dried and blackened human ears and the horses rawlooking and wild in the eye and their teeth bared like feral dogs and riding also in the company a number of halfnaked savages reeling in the saddle, dangerous, filthy, brutal, the whole like a visitation from some heathen land where they and others like them fed on human flesh."

Nicht nur bewegen sich seine Aktuere (insbes. die Indianer) im 'Grenzbereich' zwischen Mensch und Ungeheuer, ihre bestialischen Taten nehmen die Zuweisung im Grunde selbst vor: "Some by their beards were men but yet wore strange menstrual wounds between their legs an no man's parts for these had been cut away and hung dark and strange from out their grinning mouths. In their wigs of dried blood they lay gazing up with ape's eyes at brother sun now rising in the east." Oder auch: "(...) and one of the Delawares emerged from the smoke with a naked infant dangling in each hand and squatted at a ring of midden stones and swung them by the heels each in turn and bashed their heads against the stones so that the brains burst forth through the fontanel (...)".

So zieht sich letztlich eine einzige, breite und tiefrote Blutspur von Verbrechen, durch die gesamte Westpassage der Maenner; Verbrechen einerseits veruebt von den Maennern selbst, oder auch andererseits begangen an den Maennern: "They found the lost scouts hanging head downward (...). They were skewered through the cords of their heels with sharpened shuttles of green wood and they hung gray and naked above the dead ashes of the coals where they'd been roasted until their heads had charred and their brains bubbled in the skulls and steam sang from their noseholes. Their tongues were drawn out and held with sharpened sticks thrust through them and they had been docked of their ears and their torsos were sliced open with flints until the entrails hung down on their chests".

Exzesse an unvorstellbar grausamer Gewalt sind dabei ein kontinuierliches Phaenomen seit der Entdeckung Amerikas (siehe z.B. Tzvetan Todorov: "Die Eroberung Amerikas. Das Problem des Anderen", oder auch - mit durchaus polemischem Unterton und fragwuerdigen Schlussfolgerungen - Rosa Amelia Plumelle-Uribe: "Weisse Barbarei"). So ist diese Episode der Eroberung Amerikas ebenfalls keineswegs nur das Produkt McCarthy'scher Imagination, da das Wueten der Glanton Gang offenbar historisch belegt ist.

McCarthys staendig wiederkehrendem Kernthema, dem schicksalshaften Ausgeliefertsein des Menschen, der Unausweichlichkeit und der toedlichen Konsequenz des menschlichen Handelns, sowie die kriegerische und grausame Natur des Menschen ganz allgemein, begegnen wir auch wieder hier und dabei in seiner Reinform: Der Suendenfall der Gewalt als Grundausstattung des Menschen, Krieg als Existenzberechtigung, Gewalt als immerwaehrende Konstante im menschlichen Dasein. Von der Entdeckung Amerikas, ueber die Eroberung, Unterwerfung und Besiedelung des Kontinentes, bis in das Amerika von heute zieht sich eine einzige gewaltige Blutspur. Die Gewalt von heute wurde zur Zeit der Eroberung und Staatsgruendung gesaet. Die US-Entwicklungsgeschichte ist seit den ersten Tagen bis heute blutdurchtraenkt. So scheint die gesamte Geschichte der spaeteren USA ebenfalls schon vorweggenommen, (man koennte ironischerweise sagen ebenfalls die Rolle der US-Kirche zum Thema Gewalt: "The priest had baptized the wounded Americans and then stood back while they were shot through the head").

McCarthy beweist mit diesem Roman wieder einmal seine unerreichte Meisterschaft und seine Groesse als Erzaehler. Nicht umsonst wird er in einem Atemzug genannt mit den Allergroessten der US-amerikanischen Schriftsteller, wie Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, und Philip Roth. Fuer einige ist er gar der bedeutendste US-Autor zusammen mit William Faulkner und Herman Melville. Und das scheint i.d.T. keine Uebertreibung zu sein. Es gibt kaum einen zeitgenoessischen Erzaehler dieses Formats. McCarthy ist einzigartig im authentischen, lebensechten und ueberwaeltigenden Erzaehlen von Landschaften, Situationen, Begebenheiten, Menschen etc. McCarthys Sprache hat dabei geradezu alttestamentarische Wucht. Die Darstellung der Gewalt ist dabei auch niemals Selbstzweck, sondern Ausdruck der puren menschlichen Natur. Dabei wird gleichzeitig die Handlung zwingend nach vorne getrieben, ohne sich zu verlieren oder banal zu werden. McCarthy ist ein begnadeter Erzaehler und grossartiger Schriftsteller. "Blood Meridian" gilt zu recht als einer der groessten US-amerikanischen Romane des 20. Jahrhunderts, neben Melvilles "Moby Dick".

"Blood Meridian. Or the Evening Redness in the West" ist ein wahrhaft gewaltiges, unglaubliches aber auch verstoerendes, vielleicht sogar irritierendes Buch. Ganz klare Leseempfehlung und 5 Sterne fuer Cormac McCarthys grossartige Erzaehlung.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Harrowing, exhilarating literature., 17. Dezember 1999
In Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy has singlehandedly destroyed all of our stereotypes of the Wild West. John Wayne and his jingoistic flag waving would have no place here. Neither would the ecologicaly friendly, noble natives of Dances With Wolves. Almost every character in this novel is a ruthless killer or a hapless victim. The setting of Blood Meridian is a violent purgatory where white man and red revel in monstrous acts of barbarism. Human life is worth only the price an Indian scalp will bring in Mexico, or the glory a white scalp will bring to a warrior.
What is most frightening of all is that it is based on true events. This is probably the most accurate fictional depiction of life in the west of the late 1840s that we have seen to date. Read John Sepich's Notes On Blood Meridian and see for yourself. Blood Meridian is not a book for all readers. It is certainly the most masculine novel I have ever read. Women and sensitive male readers will probably revile it, and it is a truly brutal story, but I have to admit reading this novel with great excitement. I could not put it down. I have read it 3 times in the last 5 years. I guess that this story forces each of us to look into their own "heart of darkness", and admit that there is something deep in the human soul that thrills to primal savagery. Peckinpah fans will love it. All in all, the beautiful language, the vivid descriptions, the vicarious violence and the colorful characters make Blood Meridian an unforgettable reading experience... If you've got the guts.
A couple of points of interest. I have seen an item on the internet saying Tommy Lee Jones is working on a movie adaption of Blood Meridian, in which he will star and direct. I do not know if this is just a rumor, or if anyone can do Blood Meridian justice now that Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone are dead, but I am still hoping it is true. (Mr. Jones, if you ever read this, may I suggest the band 16 Horsepower for the musical score.)
Also, for those of you who wonder about the character of Judge Holden, here is a quote from a Texas State Historical Association website on Samuel Chamberlain, the man whose memoir, My Confession, inspired McCarthy to write Blood Meridian: "In fact, many people who are skeptical of Sam's account believe that Judge Holden was a character that Sam inserted into his story as an afterthought because he needed a villain that would outweigh even the evil Glanton. Some people think that Judge Holden was modeled after one of the Harvard geologists named Nathaniel Southgate Chaler because Sam after the Mexican War lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was familiar with many Harvard professors."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Das Naturböse, 30. August 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Ein Freischärlertrupp, der mordend, raubend, vergewaltigend durch den amerikanischen Westen des 19ten Jahrhunderts zieht, bildet zwar das lebende Zentrum dieses Romanes, doch sein eigentlicher Protagonist ist jene Natur, durch die die Mordbrenner ziehen. Diese Natur ist mythisch-groß und allmächtig, ein einziger dunkler und opaker Block, vor dem Individuen kaum kenntlich werden - kaum einer der Freischärler tritt namentlich hervor, ihre Konturen verschwimmen immerfort vor dem Hintergrund einer übermächtigen Landmasse. Diese Natur widersteht jeder modernen Rationalisierung und damit auch dem Ansinnen der Menschen, aus ihr herauszutreten und so endlich den Homo Sapiens zum eigentlichen Hauptdarsteller des Weltentheaters zu machen. Nie entsteht Ordnung, in jedem nächsten Augenblick droht den Kreaturen die Annulierung, die Auslöschung durch eine Natur, die das völlige - namentlich böse und zerstörerische - Gegenstück zu jener domestizierten Idylle ist, zu der die moderne Welt (Rousseau, Henry David Thoreau) sie hat machen wollen. Offensichtlich greift McCarthy zurück auf antike Ideen etwa eines Heraklit von Ephesus, der für Individualität gar keinen Begriff besaß und an dessen Statt nur die unspaltbare, dabei ewig sich fortbewegende, in grausamen Schlägen sich gegen ihre eigenen Hervorbringungen wendende Natur selber als Subjekt allen Geschehens dachte. In der Moderne wurde dieses Denken aufgegriffen und fortgesetzt von Nietzsche oder Heidegger, die so einer zivilisatorisch scheints verschütteten Urkraft des "Seins" auf die Spur kommen wollten. Doch gelang es ihnen selten, diese Kraft so zu beschwören, wie es McCarthy vermag mit seiner tief schwarzen Moritat aus dem amerikanischen Westen des 19ten Jahrhunderts. Dieses Buch überwältigt seine Leser. (Dies ist eine Amazon.de an der Uni-Studentenrezension.)
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5.0 von 5 Sternen McCormack�s unique style once again captivates ..., 10. Juni 1999
Von Ein Kunde
McCormack's unique style of writing once again captivates in Blood Meridian, with sculpted landscapes, mesmerising dialogues, and portrayals of violence that are disturbingly perceptive. Spinning a web between two disparate characters, the youthful Kid and the diabolical Judge, one is swept away on a most disturbing journey of the deepest senses. As several of his books, the mythology of the wild west is given a twist, unravelling the spin that has formed our perception of this part of American history, exposing it as it really was. The savage events that dominated the growth of the new nation are bared in chilling detail, uncomfortably lyrical in a language as of song. But it strikes an even deeper core, timeless beyond the historical time frame of the western expansion in America, equally relevant today as in any other time, relevant far beyond the geography of America's west. The elements of human nature are exposed as the quest for power and its abomination into brutality culminates in the peaks of violence - the meridians of blood. McCormack's writing, singular and unique as no other, as full of emotion as it is sparse in punctuation, stimulating and illuminating in clarity of thought, effortlessly breaking the mould of conventional form and grammar, and ultimately striking a chord deep within, that normally is touched only through poetry. And what most would not dare admit, a chord as relevant today as it was in the days of the wild west. My admiration for McCormack's writing, driven both by emotion and intellect, is complete - the man is a true master, this book a masterpiece.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen blood meridian and red death, 1. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
McCarthy's prose traverses the edge of an alien and cruel frontier. It is populated by beings who are beasts in the image of men, traveling lands of baked dust, bleached bones and remorseless homicidal lust. It is a surreal dream scape, iridescent and nightmarishly beautiful, that might have been wrought on a planet without the verdancy and development of our own-- where the arid and primitive panorama reflects the condition of the soul. Blood here is avatar and seal. But we know this is our planet and this is our history.
The language, imagery and nihilistic architecture of Blood Meridian evoke Conrad and Camus. --But--. Is there the same level of allegory and metaphor in this book? Compare it to Camus's survival in a plague-ridden city, Conrad's mission to the dark heart of Kurtz's jungle, Melville's search for the nemesis of Ahab. All of these books are of profound manifestations of spiritual affliction and internal conflict. All richly evoke the ambiguity and contrast of moral dilemma and hubris. I'm not sure the same compass and standard exist here. There is a brilliant exposition of landscape and conflict, objectively presented-- but I remain unmoved by the blind bloodshed, overwhelmed and uninvolved. The characters are specters of banal and simple violence. This could be a book which will live well past our age. It might be a book of our age. It is certainly a book worth reading for its stunning and original use of language and imagery-- but its company with the classics of modern literature might also have been prematurely bestowed.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Tales of the Beast told with awesome beauty, 25. Mai 1999
Von Ein Kunde
While this book contains some of the most powerful writing of the 20th century, the book isn't for everyone. I've steered several of my 'frail' friends away from it, not everyone should be exposed to some of the scenes in here. But for those with the nerve to read it, this is as good as it gets. One of my 2 favorite books of all time (the other being 'Blood Sport' by Robert F. Jones). I won't try to add much to the details and descriptions other reviewers have listed here, but I will point you to the source material. Look for 'My Confession:Memoirs of a Rogue' by Samuel Chamberlain. Until I read 'My Confession', I didn't think there could be anything like 'Blood Meridian' anywhere in literature. There's no comparing the writing, McCarthy is simply the master in top form when he wrote Blood Meridian. On the other hand, Chamberlain lived thru the actual events described in both books, and adds some true to life details that fans of McCarthy's work may want to sift thru. I was shocked to find that The Judge is not a fictional character. In fact, McCarthy didn't take many liberties describing him. How could such a beast have escaped the scrutiny of history? Where did he go, what became of him? Is he still out there, drawing artifacts and then tossing both the drawing and artifact into the flames, dancing the fandango or playing the violin, roasting innocent passersby over a small fire?
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5.0 von 5 Sternen BRUTALITY IS MANKIND'S TRUEST GENIUS, 12. Mai 1998
The story of a movable abattoir, a desert flower in fullest bloom wrought in bold, panoramic arcs of blood and dust. It is as though Huck Finn staggered southward without aim to coat himself in filth and toil at the grinding work of murder for pay, never blinking once to the possibility of a hell or burning in that sulphur through eternity.McCarthy's novel is an epic driven by minute, horrifying description. Though most of the characters are drawn in variant shades of sociopathic indifference, each depiction is crafted in expertly effected understatement (the exception is 'The Judge' who looms as large and strangely sympathetic as any Kurtz or Ahab). Still, one cannot help being fully taken under by McCarthy's portrayal of humanity. That this is so is testimony to the author's seemingly effortless command of razor-blade prose which cuts clean to an undeniable truth born of the animal within us all. To have that truth branded on one's heart is to feel the painful exhileration of evolution by way of thoughtless deceits and homicide. Seldom if ever again will the reader pass through a story wherein the savagery is so beautifully and unerringly sustained. Finally, once the tale has closed, despite the intricate detail of harrowing,feral ignorance and lusty violence, the end is sad only because there is no more. Such is life and the high-bore power of this novel.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen SCABS of HIS-STORY, 18. Mai 2000
Bruised, burned and scarred I flipped the final pages of McCarthy's bloody nightmare. Eyes still open because of blood-lust, the text held thick between my ears, opening a passage into imagination I'd never travelled before. Scenes based in a historical land and time that is rarely recorded or taught or imagined in such a vivid, coagulated tale. It is hard to believe that this story was written at all, as it drips through your mind with fantastic prose so acute, you will feel dehydrated and anxious, immersed in what seems a bad dream. McCarthy is a madman loosed amongst unsuspecting readers, twisting their preconceptions, severing their ties to conventional scripture and scalping the western genre of its grayed headtop.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The West Lost and One, 14. Februar 2000
Other reviewers admonish to adapt Blood Meridian to film. This simply could not, and should not be adapted because this book's characters drool blood , and the violence here could not be aptly and fairly depicted on screen. If readers are not satisfied with the imagery ,and therefore crave to actually see this brutality on a screen before them, then McCarthy's vision of man as beast indeed can be verified. Blood Meridian is a partly historical account of the 19th-century westward movement and destruction of America's native people in America and Mexico by the bloodthirsty and goldthirsty and nihilistic Glanton Gang. The depiction of killing has scarcely been so graphic, and yet so alluring: you find yourself reading the horrifying scenes over and over again for their sublime description and almost dreamlike imagery. You have never seen nor imagined true Comanche Indian garb, and here it is. You have never read of a more evil character, and here you may, in Judge Holden. You have never read a novel whose main protagonist you almost forget exists, because of the book's other enticing components. And you have never imagined a sky this blood red, but remember: it was. Blood Meridian is McCarthy's masterpiece, and truly sets him apart as the late 20th Century's master of apocalyptic prose.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Blood Meridian, 18. Dezember 1999
Mostly a riveting; spellbinding novel until the last few chapters. Like the other McCarthy titles "All the Pretty Horses", etc. he accomplishes a feel for the desert Southwest like no other author I have read. He does that by painting a graphicly accurate word picture of the area. In addition, through the eyes of the Kid, he makes the reader feel, not just read, the era in which the story is set. I came away drained from the intensity. However, I feel that the philosophical journeys into which the judge wanders are too lengthy and too esoteric. If you want a philosophical discussion, go to a text book. Not only would some, if not most, disagree with the Judge's view of life, it in no way enhanced the story. If you are looking for another "Ox Bow Incident" you will be extremely disappointed. While the philosophical mindset of Ox Bow was more visceral and real, Blood Meridian was much more off the chart and contrived. In addition, McCarthy's use of the Spanish language, was over used. This book is written in English for English speaking readers. An occasional use of a foreign language should be used in moderation and never to convey critical aspects of the story. McCarthy has not accomplished that knack yet, in any of his novels that I have read.
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Blood Meridian: or The Evening Redness in the West
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