Top 100

Top 500 Cormac McCarthy Quotes (2023 Update)
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Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Ten thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “From daydreams on the road there was no waking. He plodded on. He could remember everything of her save her scent. Seated in a theatre with her beside him leaning forward listening to the music. Gold scrollwork and sconces and the tall columnar folds of the drapes at either side of the stage. She held his hand in her lap and he could feel the tops of her stockings through the thin stuff of her summer dress. Freeze this frame. Now call down your dark and your cold and be damned.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The passing of armies and the passing of sands in the desert are one.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “One of the things you realize about gettin older is that not everybody is goin to get older with you.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and in shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “This was the perfect day of his childhood. This the day to shape the days upon.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There was nothin to set a man’s mind at ease like wakin up in the morning and not havin to decide who you were.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He looked at her. After a while he said: It’s not about knowin where you are. It’s about thinkin you got there without takin anything with you. Your notions about startin over. Or anybody’s. You don’t start over. That’s what it’s about. Ever step you take is forever. You can’t make it go away. None of it. You understand what I’m sayin?”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I don’t think goodness is something that you learn. If you’re left adrift in the world to learn goodness from it, you would be in trouble.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There is no description of a fool that you fail to satisfy.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold, and anything else is just a waste of time.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He walked to the top of a rise and crouched and watched the day accrue. The chary dawn, the cold illucid world.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He nodded toward the specimens he’d collected. These anonymous creatures, he said, may seem little or nothing in the world. Yet the smallest crumb can devour us. Any smallest thing beneath yon rock out of men’s knowing.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “She said that the breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all of time.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He said that war had destroyed the country and that men believe the cure for war is war as the curandero prescribes the serpent’s flesh for its bite. He spoke of his campaigns in the deserts of Mexico and he told them of horses killed under him and he said that the souls of horses mirror the souls of men more closely than men suppose and that horses also love war. Men say they only learn this but he said that no creature can learn that which his heart has no shape to hold.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “When we’re all gone at last then there’ll be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He’ll be out in the road there with nothing to do and nobody to do it to. He’ll say: where did everybody go? And that’s how it will be. What’s wrong with that?”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In the draws the smoke coming off the ground like mist and the thin black trees burning on the slopes like heathen candles.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the words and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The spotlight kept rowing back and forth across the face of the ridge. Methodically. Bright shuttle, dark loom.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Because the question for me was always whether that shape we see in our lives was there from the beginning or whether these random events are only called a pattern after the fact. Because otherwise we are nothing.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He built no fire. He lay listening to the horse crop the grass at his stakerope and he listened to the wind in the emptiness and watched stars trace the arc of the hemisphere and die in the darkness at the edge of the world and as he lay there the agony in his heart was like a stake.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I’d rather to make a good run as a bad stand.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “His dreams brightened. The vanished world returned.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “They’d put an awning up over the gravesite but the weather was all sideways and it did no good. The canvas rattled and flapped and the preacher’s words were lost in the wind.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He could see the truck in the moonlight at the top of the rise. He looked off to one side of it to see it the better. There was someone standing beside it. Then they were gone. There is no description of a fool, he said, that you fail to satisfy. Now you’re goin to die.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The carrion birds sat about the topmost corners of the houses with their wings outstretched in attitudes of exhortation like dark little bishops.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Acts have their being in the witness. Without him who can speak of it? In the end one could even say that the act is nothing, the witness all.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Spectre horsemen, pale with dust, anonymous in the crenellated heat. Above all else they appeared wholly at venture, primal, provisional, devoid of order. Like beings provoked out of the absolute rock and set nameless and at no remove from their own loomings to wander ravenous and doomed and mute as gorgons shambling the brutal wastes of Gondwanaland in a time before nomenclature was and each was all.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Look around you, he said. There is no prophet in the earth’s long chronicle who’s not honored here today. Whatever form you spoke of you were right.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Ah me, thou Destiny, Giver of evil gifts.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The societies to which I have been exposed seemed to me largely machines for the suppression of women.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In the spring or warmer weather when the snow thaws in the woods the tracks of winter reappear on slender pedestals and the snow reveals in palimpsest old buried wanderings, struggles, scenes of death. Tales of winter brought to light again like time turned back upon itself.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Men believe death’s elections to be a thing inscrutable yet every act invites the act which follows and to the extent that men put one foot before the other they are accomplices in their own deaths as in all such facts of destiny.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Where the bodies are buried in the desert is a certain world, Counselor. Where they are simply left in the street is another. That is a country heretofore unknown to me. But it must have always been there, must it not?”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Chigurh shot him through the forehead and then stood watching. Watching the capillaries break up in his eyes. The light receding. Watching his own image degrade in that squandered world.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I yearn for the darkness. I pray for death. Real death. If I thought that in death I would meet the people I’ve known in life I don’t know what I’d do. That would be the ultimate horror. The ultimate despair. If I had to meet my mother again and start all of that all over, only this time without the prospect of death to look forward to? Well. That would be the final nightmare. Kafka on wheels.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “When the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be their yet.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Yet the captain inhabited another space and it was a space of his own election and outside the common world of men.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Do you have any notion of how goddamned crazy you are?”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “What have you got that a man could drink with just a minimum risk of blindness and death.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “For me the world has always been more of a puppet show. But when one looks behind the curtain and traces the strings upward he finds they terminate in the hands of yet other puppets, themselves with their own strings which trace upward in turn, and so on.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In their images they had thought to find some small immortality but oblivion cannot be appeased.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Hard people make hard times. I’ve seen the meanness of humans till I don’t know why god ain’t put out the sun and gone away.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Where all was burnt to ash before them no fires were to be had and the nights were long and dark and cold beyond anything they’d yet encountered. Cold to crack the stones. To take your life.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “What he could bear in the waking world he could not by night and he sat awake for fear the dream would return.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “It took two days to cross that ashen scabland. The road beyond ran along the crest of a ridge where the barren woodland fell away on every side. It’s snowing, the boy said. He looked at the sky. A single gray flake sifting down. He caught it in his hand and watched it expire there like the last host of christendom.”
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