t h e e v e n i n g r e d n e s s i n t h e w e s t

“notions of chance and fate are the preoccupation of men engaged in rash undertakings.”

“the truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning.”

“and the answer, said the judge. if god meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? wolves cull themselves, man. what other creature could? and is the race of man not more predacious yet? the way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. his spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. his meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day. he loves games? let him play for stakes. this you see here, these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages, do you not think that this will be again? aye. and again. with other people, with other sons.”

“it makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. war endures. as well ask men what they think of stone. war was always here. before man was, war waited for him. the ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. that is the way it was and will be…. war is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. war is god.”

-from the blood meridian, by cormac mccarthy


(i’m re-reading this for the second time within a year. it’s just that good.)


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