Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joaquin Murieta

What I've noticed so far of Joaquin Murieta is the rapid pace and lack of chapters. Still, the reading is refreshing in a way. I know Murieta's past and encounters thereafter seem crude and inhumane: they are shockingly violent and simple--I like this. In Blithedale we're confined to perceiving a more withdrawn and upright reality where the tension lies in  developing character relationship. Here, the scope is much-much broader as we see men being cut down and shot--each who have their lives ended at the whim of Murieta. As a reader I'm glad to encounter this kind of writing. Where as we're often forced in perceiving the subtle and simple as novel ideas, there is equally as much to gain from novels of larger proportions because they force us to consider our mortality within the context of existence as a whole: thoughts of the sublime get stirred up, and there's a feeling of awe spurred on by the heavy contrast of circumstance. I'll have to say that characters like Murieta have always intruiged me. He's a Zorro type of ruffian who actually lived a life that most of us would deam foolish, inhumane, and terrible. Often, people like Murieta aren't born like this--fate leaves them no choice in the matter. I'm looking forward to seeing where this book ends up. The pace is a welcome change.

--Michael Molder


  1. The narrator says, in effect, that Murieta has no choice, Michael. I'm glad you're enjoying the pace of the book.

  2. I agree with you that the pace and writing style of this novel are a welcome change. I know a few of our classmates expressed some dismay with it, but I really like it. It feels much more like I'm sitting beside a storyteller and hearing an actual, true-life, tale retold. It has the feel of a spoken story more than a written one.

    I wonder if this was intentional by John Rollin Ridge since he was trying to make a mostly fictitious tale seem like real events.

  3. I agree I found the rapid pace of Joaquin Murieta to be a nice change from the standard form of books. I enjoyed the simple telling of the book and all of the action what was happening though out the story. The telling of Joaquin as a daredevil, who would rather have thrill of showing himself and telling them to get him then being bogged down with the mundane. Just showing his actions rather than developing his character in-depth was a very welcome change from Blithedale, which was a drab of a read.

    Charles Buescher