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R. Scott Bakker and Cormac McCarthy posted 13 October 2009 in The Judging EyeR. Scott Bakker and Cormac McCarthy by ThePrinceofNothing, Candidate

I know this has been mentioned in a few infrequent places throughout this board, but I've been looking back through The Judging Eye lately (along with the books of the previous trilogy) and have found myself becoming more interested in the influence of Cormac McCarthy on Bakker's work. I'm sure we all remember the great quote from Blood Meridian at the beginning of The Thousandfold Thought; but I also found a large Blood Meridian influence in The Judging Eye, specifically regarding the scalpers. The characters of Kosoter and Cleric greatly resemble Glanton and the judge, and even the whole idea of scalping was borrowed from McCarthy's novel.

My main question is: does this influence end with mere physical similarities, or is Bakker borrowing similar themes from McCarthy as well? view post


R. Scott Bakker and Cormac McCarthy posted 14 October 2009 in The Judging EyeR. Scott Bakker and Cormac McCarthy by anor277, Didact

I think Bakker was obviously impressed with the McCarthy novel, and the description of Achamian’s expedition is for mine the most absorbing part of The Judging Eye. The idea that a group of men would band together and hunt a (very dangerous!!!) prey, Apaches or Sranc, is almost beyond belief, and of course in the Apaches' case it was true; a few American and Mexican states paid a bounty on Apache scalps. And remember that scene in Blood Meridian in the Mexican town where the scalp-hunters have a drunken revel of alcohol and rapine, and there's a sign on the wall when they leave, "Mejor los Indios". That there would exist a type of man who would willingly take those appalling risks in an appalling activity points to a very brutal age. That the British authorities in North America in the 18th century paid a bounty of some £100 per Indian scalp (a fortune!) goes someway to explain why there were some scalpers.


I don't know if you've read any of George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman series of novels (which were comic but quite historical) in which Flashy, notorious bully and poltroon of Tom Brown's Schooldays, joins the army after expulsion from Rugby, and becomes undeservedly a great military hero of the Victorian age (all the while behaving as a coward, lecher, and toad-eater), and was a part-time scalper in Flashman and the Redskins. Flashy was part of Tom Gallantin’s gang (probably the same as Glanton’s in Blood Meridian). Glanton’s gang were especially notorious as well in that they drew no distinction between the scalps of braves or those of women or children, or those of unfortunate Mexicans who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (of course neither did the bounty authorities, how do you classify scalps?). view post


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