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CORMAC MCCARTHY QUOTES

American author (1933- )

Cormac McCarthy quote

People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn't believe in that. Tomorrow wasn't getting ready for them. It didn't even know they were there.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Road

Even the damned in hell have the community of their suffering.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

The voice of the Almighty speaks most profoundly in such things as lives in silence themselves.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

It was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, All the Pretty Horses

I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2009

There's no such thing as life without bloodshed. I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The New York Times, Apr. 19, 1992

If people knew the story of their lives how many would then elect to live them? People speak about what is in store. But there is nothing in store. The day is made of what has come before. The world itself must be surprised at the shape of that which appears. Perhaps even God.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Crossing

I like what I do. Some writers have said in print that they hated writing and it was just a chore and a burden. I certainly don't feel that way about it. Sometimes it's difficult. You know, you always have this image of the perfect thing which you can never achieve, but which you never stop trying to achieve. But I think ... that's your signpost and your guide. You'll never get there, but without it you won't get anywhere.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Oprah Winfrey interview, Jun. 1, 2008

Each man is the bard of his own existence.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Cities of the Plain

If you think about some of the things that are being talked about by thoughtful, intelligent scientists, you realize that in 100 years the human race won't even be recognizable. We may indeed be part machine and we may have computers implanted. It's more than theoretically possible to implant a chip in the brain that would contain all the information in all the libraries in the world. As people who have talked about this say, it's just a matter of figuring out the wiring.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 20, 2009

When the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be their yet.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, No Country for Old Men

Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real. The events that cause them can never be forgotten.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, All the Pretty Horses

There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it. In the law courts, in business, in government. There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

Where men can't live gods fare no better.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Road

I guess you ought to be careful about cussin the dead. I would say at the least there probably ain't no luck in it.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, No Country for Old Men

It makes no difference what men think of war.... 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.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have the power to wake it.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

Notions of chance and fate are the preoccupations of men engaged in rash undertakings.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

What deity in the realms of dementia, what rabid god decocted out of the smoking lobes of hydrophobia could have devised a keeping place for souls so poor as is this flesh. This mawky wormbent tabernacle.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

Any time you're throwin dirt you're losin ground.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, No Country for Old Men

Fools beget their own kind and here was the proof of it and that as only foolish women would have aught to do with them their progeny were twice doomed.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Crossing

What family has no mariner in its tree? No fool, no felon. No fisherman.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

Hell ain't half full.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

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.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

They say death comes like a thief in the night, where is he? I'll hug his neck.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

Suppose two men at cards with nothing to wager save their lives. Who has not heard such a tale? A turn of the card. The whole universe for such a player has labored clanking to this moment which will tell if he is to die at that man's hand or that man at his. What more certain validation of a man's worth could there be? This enhancement of the game to its ultimate state admits no argument concerning the notion of fate. The selection of one man over another is a preference absolute and irrevocable and it is a dull man indeed who could reckon so profound a decision without agency or significance either one.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

To know what will come is the same as to make it so.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

Men's memories are uncertain and the past that was differs little from the past that was not.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

You go back home and everything you wished was different is still the same and everything you wished was the same is different.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Cities of the Plain

There are no absolutes in human misery and things can always get worse.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree

When God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

Do you know what happens with people who cannot govern themselves? That's right. Others come in to govern for them.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

The truth about the world ... 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.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

People have dreams all the time. It don't mean nothin.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Crossing

One could not know where it was that one had taken the path one was upon but only that one was upon it.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Cities of the Plain

What joins men together ... is not the sharing of bread but the sharing of enemies.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Blood Meridian

Ever step you take is forever.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, No Country for Old Men

Last words are only words.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Suttree


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