View Single Post
EmpyreanKnight's Avatar
EmpyreanKnight  EmpyreanKnight is offline
Join Date: 23 Oct 2015
Location: Manila, Philippines
Posts: 1,853

Originally Posted by Smiling View Post
Thanks for sharing this. About the 'Blood Meridien' are you referring to a psychic person, or character in the book? They both sound intriguing!
In the book, the gang allowed a band of gypsy (and I think Mexican - this is a Western after all) jugglers join them as they travelled. The leader asked one of them if they can predict the future. The juggler called a female psychic (his wife, I think). The woman faced away from the company, was blindfolded. As the man scampered across the gang, he would ask them to pick a card. He would shout the cards to the woman, who without looking at them, would immediately know who chose that card. She would then chant her prophecies in Spanish. It all ended in a commotion when the chief picked his card, and the heated warbling of the prophetess almost drove him to the edge.

Now, I don't particularly like Westerns, but for McCarthy I'd make an exception. His novels are always uber-masculine, savage, efficient, ruthlessly unsentimental, and gory. The Tarot scene rather caught me unawares, it was just so discordant with the theme and the setting. I know that the Tarot is not as deterministic as people think it is - but I think here it is meant to drive home the fact that whatever they do, the protagonists are rushing to a grave destiny that no amount of thrashing and gnashing and denial can escape.

That said, I was surprised at the sophistication in the use of the Tarot for this novel. The gypsy woman was presented as the High Priestess, although one that is a false prophetess, and the novel even mentioned the pillars of Boaz and Jachin! The drawn cards as far as I remember were the Fool and the Four of Cups. What set the chief of was his card - a reversed Chariot - the card of War. How the cards foreshadowed their fates was played beautifully.
Top   #36