From the start of the novel, a few things become immediately clear about Kathy H. She’s thirty-one years old, and she’s been a carer for eleven of those years, a pretty impressive feat as fourteen is considered an especially long time. Her job is something she feels very strongly about and has a great deal of pride in. And she serves as an unreliable narrator. While the term is fairly new, the concept of an unreliable narrator is exactly what it sounds like, and can be found in works as old as The Canterbury Tales or as recent as Ishigo’s last novel, When We Were Orphans. Continue reading
This book reached me in a way I hadn’t expected it to when I first began reading, and I think it is a testament to how well Ishiguro crafts his alternate society that it rings of the truth of human nature and experience. I chose to discuss the notions of possession and ownership well before I had finished the book, largely because of an early scene where a younger Kathy frets that Tommy will ruin his favorite shirt with mud during one of his tantrums. That was the moment of the book that first resonated with me; it is a feeling I deeply understand. It was the spark of a truth I’ve known for a long time: when one has very little, it is the little things that become precious. It is apparently unique among Kathy’s circle—the others are concerned more with watching Tommy’s tantrums than what he would feel if he lost something precious to him. Kathy is deeply empathetic, as we see again and again as she faces her own loss and the loss of others. Indeed, up to and including the title, this book is very much concerned with having, owning, possessing, losing, and letting go of things as well as people.
I hope y’all HAD A fuckin sweet ass, TURKEY INTENSIVE Thanksgiving. I haven’t BEEN UPDATING THIS too much this MONTH, AND I’M sorry for that BUT SHIT HAS been busy. NO MATTER! WE HAVE a book to DISCUSS NEXT week. Our KICKASS readers for Never Let Me Go are gonna be:
Baby Friday: http://twitter.com/Babyfriday
GET pumped, y’all! ALSO, FEEL free to TALK ABOUT holiday shit BELOW. OR WHATEVER movies YOU SAW! OR whatever! Or go out and SUPPORT AMERICA by buying lots OF STUFF ON BLACK Friday!
WOW, WELL that happened! A week ago, I was MAKING THE BACKGROUND border for this site and wondering to myself EXACTLY HOW many people I THOUGHT actually were going TO MAKE it through the book LET ALONE wax poetically about IT ON A website THAT’S I’VE twittered a FEW TIMES. MORE SO, I was worried THAT I HAD bothered our four WRITERS with SEVERAL emails, and they’d PUT SO MUCH hard work INTO it only to HAVE no one show up and LISTEN (and then IT’D BE basically a Glee episode, what WITH THE continual “let’s PUT ON THIS really expensive show for only OUR CREEPY ASS teacher in the lone AUDITORIUM” and even Ryan MURPHY IS growing tired OF THAT shit). So you CAN ALL imagine my delight TO FIND quite a few MONSTERS coming to the SITE AND commenting. Great COMMENTS, TOO!
by Dr. Girlfriend
I cannot help but see a lot of parallels between Roberto Bolano’s 2666 and Blood Meridian: an abyssmal (couldn’t resist) desert chock-full of bodies, a detached detailing of violence, and a wholeheartedly negative view of humanity. For those of you who have not read 2666 (or did not vote for it, ehem), one interpretation I dug out of that graveyard of a book was that the purpose of the artist (or the author) is to present a mirror to the world and accurately reflect the atrocities occurring therein. I applied this notion to my reading of Blood Meridian after An American Patriot referred us to a review with Cormac McCarthy, where he considered good literature to be that which “deal[s] with issues of life and death”.
I. How to Tell A Joke:
“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”
George Bernard Shaw
A joke is a strange and delicate thing. For a joke to work, the punch-line must be both unexpected and inevitable. A punch-line is something true and undeniable, yet also something that you can’t see bearing down on you. Once it arrives, however, it seems as though there could never have been any other end but this. In this way, a punch-line is not that different from Death.
Hi you guys. I’ll cite page numbers along the way to prove I am not totally making stuff up. I have the 1992 Vintage edition. As far as I can tell the page numbers are the same in the Modern Library edition.
So! This is the second time I’ve read Blood Meridian. The first I was 18 and it blew me away. It did something I had no idea writing could still do—I mean, I’d read Shakespeare and Moby Dick, but this was from a year I was alive. The book was a dreamlike and unflinching and mysterious performance, it was hilarious and horrifying. I didn’t know exactly what was going on all the time but I was unbothered by that; it was just a crazy ride. And—being 18—I never finished it. Got distracted. No idea how it turned out.
Part of me was fine with that. The point of the book seemed to be the way it was written, not what happened. The point was the performance, the way it reordered things.