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McCarthy's Neo-Bohemianism

Posted to WritersAndGenres

When one thinks of the distant souls that haunt 21st-century America, one must shine light in the long shadows of 19th century Europe. Lurking in the back alleys of Paris, where philosophy kings once roamed, the cool liquid of thought rolls down the gutter through the sewers past the post modernistic drain gates into the neo bohemian angst of present day dreamers. No longer can we accept the genetic shackles that have been left in the dust of our kick me down roles. No longer can believe in the new religion of scietific method and commercialized democracy. We must seize the day; take Monarchy and its remants by the balls until its sperm drips like puss through our white knuckled hands. This is not a call to arms nor a call to action, but an enlightenment that will forever change the pace of mankind.

"Blood Meridian" is a Nietchean romp, which reads like a lyric analysis of mankind's twisted fate. Set in the plains of sun drenched Texas, once 19th century Mexico, it follows the tale of a waundering bohemian boy from Tennessee who meets his maker in Judge Holden, the supreme embodiment of evil on earth. Moving to the drum of the Apache dance of death, our young protagonist, the Kid, struggles in desert sands until exiting this world through the doors of a California outhouse.

The idea of McCarthy as the leader in the evolving genre of neo-bohemianism, can be seen developing in his earlier works, particularly, "Child of God." Lester Ballard, this tragic alienated character who was produced in the bowels and shit out the ass of 20th century American culture, waunders the Tennessee country side searching for bodies, whose souls have long vacated, to breathe the foul breath of life into them through copulation. A desparate salvation bred in his own private hell.

Both novels set the framework of the traveling modern day saint whose spirit is so putrified by the rotting corpses of the once philosopher kings that he finds his only path is to fight evil with evil, to the point of going up in an existential blaze of faceless glory.

McCarthy presents his salvation, hidden deep in the beautiful prose that parades into the night, like the slow sun setting into the Texas plains, burning evil to hell until the white smoke of peace rises from the smoldering embers of the past.