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Cormac McCarthy Quotes
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Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There ain’t no law in Mexico. It’s just a pack of rogues.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments. Those whom life does not cure death will. The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and reality, even where we will not. Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting. I’ve thought a great deal about my life and my country. I think there is little that can be truly known. My family has been fortunate. Others were less so. As they are often quick to point out.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He thought the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “What do you think death is, man? Of whom do we speak when we speak of a man who was and is not? Are these blind riddles or are they not some part of every man’s jurisdiction? What is death if not an agency? And whom does he intend toward?”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “It’s a life’s work to see yourself for what you really are and even then you might be wrong.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The razorous shoulder blades sawing under the pale skin.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “It had ceased raining in the night and he walked out on the road and called for the dog. He called and called. Standing in that inexplicable darkness. Where there was no sound anywhere save only the wind. After a while he sat in the road. He took off his hat and placed it on the tarmac before him and he bowed his head and held his face in his hands and wept. He sat there for a long time and after a while the east did gray and after a while the right and godmade sun did rise, once again, for all and without distinction.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I’ve been at some pains to tell you about myself because among other reasons I think we should know who our enemies are. I’ve known people to spend their lives nursing a hatred of phantoms and they were not happy people.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Maybe. Anyway, some men get what they want. No man. Or perhaps only briefly so as to lose it. Or perhaps only to prove to the dreamer that the world of his longing made real is no longer that world at all.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “A dead man’s dog ain’t got a name.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? 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 moon 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 Quote: “All through the long dusk.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The facade of the building bore an array of saints in their niches and they had been shot up by American troops trying their rifles, the figures shorn of ears and noses and darkly mottled with leadmarks oxidized upon the stone.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The kid looked at the man. His head was strangely narrow and his hair was plastered up with mud in a bizarre and primitive coiffure. On his forehead were burned the letters H T and lower and almost between the eyes the letter F and these markings were splayed and garish as if the iron had been left too long. When he turned to look at the kid the kid could see that he had no ears.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Forty minutes later he saw her and stopped and sat the horse and watched. She was riding along a red dirt ridge to the south sitting with her hands crossed on the pommel, looking toward the last of the sun, the horse slogging slowly through the loose sandy dirt, the red stain of it following them in the still air. That’s my heart yonder, he told the horse. It always was.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “I believe that we are arks of the covenant and our true nature is not rage or deceit or terror or logic or craft or even sorrow. It is longing.”
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: “He said that whether a man’s life was writ in a book someplace or whether it took its form day by day was one and the same for it had but one reality and that was the living of it.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Nor does God whisper through the trees. His voice is not to be mistaken. When men hear it they fall to their knees and their souls are riven and they cry out to Him and there is no fear in them but only that wildness of heart that springs from such longing and they cry out to stay his presence for they know at once that while godless men may live well enough in their exile those to whom He has spoken can contemplate no life without Him but only darkness and despair. Trees.”
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: “Ever’s a long time.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “All the trouble I ever was in, said Ballard, was caused by whiskey or women or both.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There aint no virtue in quittin what you aint able any longer to do in the first place.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The faint light all about, quivering and sourceless, refracted in the rain of drifting soot.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In the neuter austerity of that terrain all phenomena were bequeathed a strange equality and no one thing nor spider nor stone nor blade of grass could put forth claim to precedence. The very clarity of these articles belied their familiarity, for the eye predicates the whole on some feature or part and here was nothing more luminous than another and nothing more enshadowed and in the optical democracy of such landscapes all preference is made whimsical and a man and a rock become endowed with unguessed kinship.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “They stood among their horses in the squalid little alameda while the wind ransacked the trees and the birds nesting in the gray twilight cried out and clutched the limbs and the snow swirled and blew across the little square and shrouded the shapes of the mud buildings beyond and made mute the cries of the vendors who’d followed them.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That they could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There’s a way to train a horse where when you get done you’ve got the horse. On his own ground. A good horse will figure things out on his own. You can see what’s in his heart. He wont do one thing while you’re watching him and another when you aint. He’s all of a piece. When you’ve got a horse to that place you cant hardly get him to do somethin he knows is wrong. He’ll fight you over it. And if you mistreat him it just about kills him. A good horse has justice in his heart.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He told how he had seen the lies run down the lawyer’s tongue. Vague but of a substance, they came down like mice and looked about a moment before scuttling off.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “See the hand that nursed the serpent. The fine hasped pipes of her fingerbones. The skin bewenned and speckled. The veins are milkblue and bulby. A thin gold ring set with diamonds. That raised the once child’s heart of her to agonies of passion before I was. Here is the anguish of mortality. Hopes wrecked, love sundered. See the mother sorrowing. How everything that I was warned of’s come to pass.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “All patched up out of parts and lowslung and bumping over the ruts. Filled with old lanky country boys with long cocks and big feet.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “They filed out in descending order by altitudes, the father first, out through the sunlit doors in a sextet of calico isotropes and into the street, the elder smiling, along through the crowds and down the road toward the river still single file and with deadpan decorum leaving behind a congregation mute and astounded.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There’s a difference between quittin and knowin when you’re beat.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “The father dead has euchered the son out of his patrimony. For it is the death of the father to which the son is entitled and to which he is heir, more so than his goods. He will not hear of the small mean ways that tempered the man in life. He will not see him struggling in follies of his own devising. No. The world which he inherits bears him false witness.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Most people’ll run from their own mother to get to hug death by the neck. They cant wait to see him.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He rode out in the dark long before daylight and he rode the sun up and he rode it down again. In the oncoming years a terrible drought struck west Texas. He moved on. There was no work in that country anywhere. Pasture gates stood open and sand drifted in the roads and after a few years it was rare to see stock of any kind and he rode on. Days of the world. Years of the world. Till he was old.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.”
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. In my own life I saw these strings whose origins were endless enact the deaths of great men in violence and madness. Enact the ruin of a nation.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Algunas cosas las olvidas, no? Olvidas lo que quieres recordar y recuerdas lo que quieres olvidar.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He had divested himself of the little cloaked godlet and his other amulets in a place where they would not be found in his lifetime and he’d taken for talisman the simple human heart within him.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Well, I think the questioner wants the truth. The doubter wants to be told there aint no such thing.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “He understood what the priest could not. That what we seek is the worthy adversary. For we strike out to fall flailing through demons of wire and crepe and we long for something of substance to oppose us. Something to contain us or to stay our hand. Otherwise there were no boundaries to our own being and we too must extend our claims until we lose all definition. Until we must be swallowed up at last by the very void to which we wished to stand opposed.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “There is a moon shaped rictus in the streetlamp’s globe where a stone has gone and from this aperture there drifts down through the constant helix of aspiring insects a faint and steady rain of the same forms burnt and lifeless.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In my father’s last letter he said that the world is run by those willing to take the responsibility for the running of it. 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 Quote: “There’s a kind of man that when he cant have what he wants he wont take the next best thing but the worst he can find.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “She crouched in the bushes and watched it, a huge horse emerging seared and whole from the sun’s eye and passing like a wrecked caravel gaunt-ribbed and black and mad with tattered saddle and dangling stirrups and hoofs clopping softly in the dust and passing enormous and emaciate and inflamed and the sound of it dying down the road to a distant echo of applause in a hall forever empty.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “What do you say to a man that by his own admission has now soul? Why would you say anything?”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “It just bothered me that you might think I’m somethin special. I aint.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “Night fell upon them dark and starblown and the wagon grew swollen near mute with dew. On their chairs in such black immobility these travelers could have been stone figures quarried from the architecture of an older time.”
Cormac McCarthy Quote: “In history there are no control groups. There is no one to tell us what might have been. We weep over the might have been, but there is no might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I don’t believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God – who knows all that can be known – seems powerless to change.”
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