Cormac McCarthy Quotes

61 of the best book quotes from Cormac McCarthy
“When the lambs is lost in the mountain, he said. They is cry. Sometime come the mother. Sometime the wolf.”
“It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures.”
“Your heart’s desire is to be told some mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery.”
“You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but 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.”
“A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he don’t want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there.”
“They were watching, out there past men’s knowing, where stars are drowning and whales ferry their vast souls through the black and seamless sea.”
“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.”
“Men of God and men of war have strange affinities.”
“Ninety percent of the time. It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.”
“You think ... yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. ”
“And then later in the darkness: [The Boy:] Can I ask you something? [The Man:] Yes. Of course you can. [The Boy:] What would you do if I died? [The Man:] If you died I would want to die too. [The Boy:] So you could be with me? [The Man:] Yes. So I could be with you. [The Boy:] Okay. ”
“They pretend to themselves they are in control of events where perhaps they are not. ”
“Moss walked out onto the prairie behind the motel with one of the motel pillows under his arm and he wrapped the pillow about the muzzle of the gun and fired off three rounds and then stood there in the cold sunlight watching the feathers drift across the gray chaparral, thinking about his life.”
“People think they know what they want but they generally don’t. Sometimes if they’re lucky they’ll get it anyways. Me I was always lucky. My whole life. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
“I think it is more like what you are willin to become. And I think a man would have to put his soul at hazard. And I wont do that. I think now that maybe I never would.”
“Well let’s just take it one day at a time”
“Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this.”
“If you knew there was somebody out here afoot that had two million dollars of your money, at what point would you quit lookin for em? That’s right. There ain’t no such a point. ”
“He said I was bein hard on myself. Said it was a sign of old age.”
“What do you say to a man that by his own admission has no soul? Why would you say anything? I’ve thought about it a good deal. But he wasn’t nothin’ compared to what was comin’ down the pike.”
“Everything I ever thought has turned out different.”
“The papers said it was a crime of passion and he told me there wasnt no passion to it. ”
“I believe that whatever you do in your life it will get back to you. If you live long enough it will. ”
“By the time you figured it out it would be too late”
“One of the things you realize about gettin older is that not ever’body is goin to get older with you.”
“My daddy always told me to just do the best you knew how and tell the truth. He said 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. And if you done somethin wrong just stand up and say you don’t it and say you’re sorry and get on with it. Dont haul stuff around with you.”
“I always thought when I got older that God would sort of come into my life in some way. He didn’t. I don’t blame him. If I was him I’d have the same opinion about me that he does.”
“You dont start over. That’s what it’s about. Ever step you take is forever. You cant make it go away.”
“People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don’t deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things”
“He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought that 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.”
“She looked up at him and her face was pale and austere in the uplight and her eyes lost in their darkly shadowed hollows save only for the glint of them and he could see her throat move in the light and he saw in her face and in her figure something he’d not seen before and the name of that thing was sorrow.”
I don’t know what sort of world she will live in and I have no fixed opinions concerning how she should live in it. I only know that if she does not come to value what is true above what is useful, it will make little difference whether she lives at all.”
“Long before morning I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I’d always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it is always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals come easily.”
“The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.”
“There is no forgiveness. For women. A man may lose his honor and regain it again. But a woman cannot. She cannot.”
“My daddy used to tell me not to chew on something that was eatin you.”
“Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.”
“He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activities in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they’d have no heart to start at all.”
“I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I’d always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.”
“The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not.”
“They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.”
“What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them. All his reverence and all his fondness and all the leanings of his life were for the hearted and they would always be so and never be otherwise.”
“In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments.”
“He’d half meant to speak but those eyes had altered the world forever in the space of a heartbeat.”
“Scared money can’t win and a worried man can’t love.”
“I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am.”
“He said that those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength.”
“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
“He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led to nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined that it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe that it would ever leave.”
“There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.”
“War was always here.”
“This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification.”
“War is god.”
“War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence.”
“He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.”
“Men are born for games. Nothing else.”
Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.
“War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”
“War is the truest form of divination.”
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down.”
“The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible.”

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