Books That Inspire 2009

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West
Cormac McCarthy

How can a novel overflowing with rape and murder be inspiring? I recall one professor who confessed that she couldn't see aesthetic value in "violent" literature. Still, such depravity frames any consistent representation of the "nature" of humanity. Hence McCarthy's unromanticized American West, its Manifest Destiny father to today's imperialism; the seed of an ever thriving weed bent on destruction. Like a whiskey bottle to the head, Blood Meridian reminds you of such realities. This perspective is inspiring, and McCarthy's grandiose, neo-Biblical prose works in dialectic with sobering themes, beckoning you to recall that, like Hemingway's bullfights, the gore is not the chief end; the struggle but a metaphor, ever a reflection of you. Your world.

James A. Williamson
Staff Assistant III
University Libraries