Cormac McCarthy seems to focus on evil, a very different form of evil than Nietzsche’s evil or even Spinoza’s evil. It is an evil that lives within their realms of philosophy but never mentioned at all. McCarthy’s evil is hardly metaphysical. In the movie Alien by Ridley Scott and Dan O’Bannon, the actual job the charctacters do is more akin to the evil of McCarthy then the actual alien. The closest thing is Death in The Seventh Seal. Although Judge Holden is quite a force and Anton Chigurh is almost unstoppable, the whole entirety of their novel (and movie) seems to welcome these characters in. The characters fit in the milieu of the world. John Joel Glanton, himself, might be worse than the Judge by the actions in the book. Essentially it is a material force of evil, not a strange idealistic or even a free acting agent of malevolence.
I am just pondering about a force that cannot be known from the opposite, or rather something that is entirely of itself. Though, I suppose, the evil in McCarthy is exactly the same as Death in The Seventh Seal. Not only is there death but actual also the unknowable chaos that lurks behind Death. It is not just death but ultimately the meaningless behind death in this aspect of evil. This is not fear as so much as it is dread. The 20th century existentialist wrote about this topic, but perhaps Cormac McCarthy was closer to this dread. It is the disruption that is disturbing, it is the realness that tears the medium of mimesis away. The evil, in this case, exist regardless and needs no mediation to exist.
I suppose it is not an uncommon theme but it is exceptionally riveting on its own regard. Instead of the myth of Sisyphus, think of the Minotaur and the labyrinth. The Minotaur belongs within the labyrinth, it exemplifies the labyrinth. I suppose Kafka explores this quite often. In the “Penal Colony,” the machine is the monster, in The Castle, Klamm exemplifies the bureaucracy.
If it seems as if I am lost, I am. I am quite uncertain how this functions through and through. I am not trying to single handedly revise our notions of good and evil. I am just sketching out something that is frightening. I am taking advantage of the complete lack of readers to ponder a bit, experiment, on a sketch.