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Subject: Cormac McCarthy on games rss

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CW Lumm
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"The judge smiled. Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselevs sufficient stake because they inhere in the worth of the principals and define them. But trial of chance or trial of worth all games aspire to the condition of war for here that which is wagered swallows up game, player, all.

"Suppose two men at cards with nothing to wager save their lives. Who has not heard such a tale? A turn of the card. The whole universe for such a player has labored clanking to this moment which will tell if he is to die at that man's hand or that man at his. What more certain validation of a man's worth could there be? This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits no argument concerning the notion of fate. The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one. In such games as have for their stake the annihilation of the defeated the decisions are quite clear. This man holding this particular arrangement of cards in his hand is thereby removed from existence. This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one's will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at least a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god."

-From Blood Meridian

Discuss.

[edited for spelling]
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Paul DeStefano
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This should be in the General forums.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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Blood Meridian is fucked up.

I'd never seen the use of "thrapple" anywhere else.

and the mule train/cliff scene...
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CW Lumm
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The quick escape via cliff didn't bug me that much, but the, um, creative use of tree branches, and all the old-lady scalpings... Maybe my sense of what should bug me was so warped by then that I'd forgotten to be grossed out.

I can't decide to what extent I agree with McCarthy's worldview, supposedly informed by Gnostic Christianity. Whenever I start to think he's wrong and everything is really care bears and Miranda July, something happens on the news...
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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kamchatka wrote:
The quick escape via cliff didn't bug me that much, but the, um, creative use of tree branches, and all the old-lady scalpings... Maybe my sense of what should bug me was so warped by then that I'd forgotten to be grossed out.

I can't decide to what extent I agree with McCarthy's worldview, supposedly informed by Gnostic Christianity. Whenever I start to think he's wrong and everything is really care bears and Miranda July, something happens on the news...


Yeah, the charred baby tree is a little extreme.
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