Top 357 Quotes & Sayings by Cormac McCarthy

Explore popular quotes and sayings by an American writer Cormac McCarthy.
Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is an American writer who has written twelve novels, two plays, five screenplays and two short stories, spanning the Western and post-apocalyptic genres. He is well known for his graphic depictions of violence and his unique writing style, recognizable by a sparse use of punctuation and attribution. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest contemporary American writers.

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Abandon Abandoned Ability Abode Absolute Absolute Truth Absolutes Accomplice Accomplices Accounting Hide All Achieve Achievement Acts Admission Admit Adrift Advised Affairs Afflicted Afraid Age And Youth Aggravation Alien All My Heart All Night All The Pretty Horses All The World All Things All Women Almighty Alone In The Dark Alter Altered Alternative Altogether Amber Amulets Analogue Ancient And Love Anguish Animals Annihilation Anonymous Answer Anymore Aperture Apparently Appears Appointed Approaching Arcs Armed Armies Arms Arranged Arrangement Articles Articulation Ashes Asked Aspiring Astonish Attention Attitudes Austere Austerity Authority Autistic Autonomous Awaiting Awake Axis Back Back And Forth Back Home Back Up Backs Bad Dream Bad Luck Bad People Bad Things Bad Times Balance Banished Barefoot Bargain Barren Battle Be Careful Be True Beach Bear Beasts Beat Beauty Beauty Of The World Bedrock Bedside Began Begin Beginning Beings Belief Believed Believes Bell Beloved Bench Beneath Benefit Bent Bereavement Bereft Bidding Binds Birds Birth Bishops Bitter Bitterness Black Blackness Blade Blades Blame Blank Blank Paper Blankets Bleak Bled Bleed Bless Blessing Blew Blind Blinding Blizzard Bloated Blood Bloody Bloom Blow Blue Body Bonds Bone Bones Book Books Boots Bore Bored Born Borrowed Borrowed Time Bothered Bound Brain Brains Bread Break Breaking Breath Breathe Breathing Brief Moment Bright Bring Broad Broken Brook Brought Bulls Bunch Burden Buried Burned Burning Burnt Business By The Time Cafe Calculations California Call Calls Camp Campaigns Candidate Canyons Care Cared Careful Carefully Carnival Carried Carrion Carry Carrying Cart Carved Case Casket Caught Centuries Ceremonies Chain Chamber Chance Change Chant Charge Charitable Chest Chew Child Children Chimneys Chisel Choice Choices Choose Choosing Chore Chunk Circles Circus Citizen City Civilization Claim Claims Clarity Class Clay Close Closed Closely Closes Closest Clothes Clothing Coal Coin Cold Coldness Collected Color Colored Colors Comfort Common Commonplace Communal Communion Community Company Compass Complain Composed Conception Condemned Condition Consent Consequence Constancy Constant Constrained Constraints Construct Consumption Contained Content Control Convenience Conviction Cool Cooler Cooling Coordinates Core Corners Correct Corrupt Cost Coughing Count Counter Country Courage Courts Cover Covered Coward Cowboys Crack Cracked Crash Crazy Creation Creative Creative Work Creature Creatures Crescent Cried Crime Crush Crust Crying Culture Cure Cured Current Curse Curtain Dachau Daddy Daily Damn Damn Thing Dance Dancing Dangerous Dark Darkening Darkness Dawn Days Dead Dead Man Deal Dear Dear Friend Death Deathless Deaths Decide Decision Deeds Deep Deeper Deepest Deficit Define Define You Deity Dementia Democracy Desert Deserve Desire Despair Despised Destination Destiny Destruction Devalue Devil Devour Diamond Diamonds Dictate Died Differ Difference Different Ways Differently Difficult Difficulties Difficulty Dirt Discourse Discover Discrete Dismal Distance Distant Distinction Divide Divided Divinity Dogs Don't Care Don't Give Up Dont Care Doomed Door Doubtful Drag Dragging Drained Drama Dramas Drapes Draw Drawing Drawn Dread Dream Dreamer Dreams Dress Drew Drink Drip Drive Driven Driving Drop Drowning Dumb Dust Dusty Dying Early Ears Earth Ease Easily East Easy Edge Edges Education Effect Elbow Elect Elections Electric Embers Empty Enact Encouraged Ended Endless Endowed Ends Endured Enemies Enemy Engaged English Enslavement Enter Enterprises Entire Entities Entity Equality Equally Equity Erased Erode Esoteric Eternal Euphoria Evening Events Every Step Every Step You Take Evil Evils Exception Exhausted Exist Existed Existence Exists Expect Expectation Expected Experience Exposed Expression Extent Extinction Eyes Face Faces Fact Facts Fade Failures Faint Faith Fall Fallen Falling Falls False Familiarity Family Fare Fate Father Fathers Fear Feared Feature Feeble Feel Fellas Felt Ferry Few People Field Figure Figures Filled Fills Final Finally Find Find Me Finds Fine Fins Fire Fire Burning Fires First Time Fishes Fixed Flakes Flame Flames Flapping Flawed Flesh Floating Floats Floor Flow Flower Flown Fluttering Folds Fondness Foolish Foolishness Fools Foot Footsteps Forced Forces Forcing Foreseen Forest Forever Forget Forgive Forgiveness Forgot Form Forms Forsaken Fortunate Fortune Forward Found Foxes Fragile Frail Frailty Frame Free Freedom Freethinker Freeze Freezing Friend From Time To Time Front Fugitive Full Future Game Gates Generally Generations Germ Get Back Ghost Giddy Gift Gifts Give Give Me Giver Glass Globe Glowing God's Love God's Plan Gods Gold Gonna Good Good Day Good Deal Good Guy Good Guys Good Luck Good Man Good Manners Good People Good Thing Good Things Good Time Good Times Good Times And Bad Times Goodness Govern Governed Government Grace Grain Grammar Grammar School Grass Gravel Gray Great Great Deal Great Love Great Men Great Year Greater Greatest Greed Greek Green Grief Grieving Ground Groups Grown Guess Guest Guide Guys Hair Half Half Full Hammer Hand Handful Hands Hang Happen Happened Happy Happy Again Hard Hard Lesson Hard Lessons Hardest Harm Harmonious Harmony Hated Hatred Haul Hazards Head Heading Heals Health Hear Heard Hearing Heart Heart Beat Heartbeat Hearts Heat Heaven Heavy Heel Held Hell Helpless Her Eyes Heretic Hidden High Higher History Hobbies Hobby Hold Holds Holes Home Honesty Honor Hope Hopes Horizon Horrible Horror Horse Horses Hounds Hour House Houses How Many Times Howling Human Human Heart Human Love Human Race Human Soul Humans Hundred Hundred Years Hungry Hunted Hunter Hunters Hurt Hustle I Don't Care I Dont Care I Pray Idea Identity Idiom Ignorant Illusion Image Imagine Imagine That Imagined Imperative Important Improbable Improved In The Beginning Incredible Indestructible Indians Indifferent Inexplicable Infatuated Infinite Infinite Possibilities Injury Injustice Insane Inscrutable Insects Inside Instance Instantly Insult Intelligent Intent Intentions Interchangeable Interested Interesting Interfere Invested Invincible Invisible Invited Invites Iron Issues Itch John Journey Judge Judgments Justice Justification Kafka Keeping Kind Kinship Kiss Knees Knew Knowing Knowing Who You Are Knowledge Lambs Lamp Landscapes Large Largely Larger Last Words Late Latin Latitude Laughed Law Courts Leaf Lean Leaning Learn Learned Learning Leave Leaves Leaving Left Legal Length Lesson Lessons Liable Liar Library Lies Life Life Is Life Is A Lifeless Lifetime Light Lightly Lightning Lights Lime Limits Line Linen Lips Listen Listen To Me Listening Lists Literature Live Lived Lives Living Living Thing Long Long Time Longer Longing Looked Looking Back Loosely Lose Loss Lost Love Love Is Loved Loved One Loved Ones Loveliness Lovely Lover Lower Luck Lucky Luminous Lying Machine Machines Made Made It Madness Make Makes Malevolent Mankind Manner Manners Maps Marked Martyr Massive Material Matter Maze Mazes Meaning Meanness Meant Measure Medicine Medieval Meet Memories Memory Mention Mexico Middle Migrants Million Million Years Millions Mind Mindless Minds Mine Mirror Misery Misfortune Missing Mistaken Moment Money Monster Monsters Monstrous Mood Moon Moonlight Morning Morning Sun Mortality Moss Mother Mother Earth Mother Wit Mountain Mountains Mouth Move Moved Multitudes Muscular Music My Family My Heart My Life My Own Life Myriad Mysteries Mystery Myth Naked Nameless Names Naming Narcotics Narrative Narrow Nation Nature Naught Neck Needed Never Quit Never Stop New Order Next Thing Night Night Sky Nightmare Nights No Control No Difference No Exception No Fear No Forgiveness No Matter What No Point No Reason No Time No Turning Back Noon North Note Nothin Nothing To Lose Nothingness Notice Notion Notions Number Numbered Numbers Nuts Oaks Oblivion Occur Oceans Odds Offer Offered Oils Older One Of The Things One Thing One Time Opinion Opinions Opposed Opposite Opposites Optical Orchard Order Original Original Thought Origins Orion Our Dreams Our Father Our Lives Our Past Outward Overlook Owned Page Pages Pain Pale Palimpsest Papa Paper Parable Paradox Part Party Pass Passed Passing Passing Through Passion Past Path Patience Pattern Patterns Pay Attention Peak People Perfect Permission Permit Permitted Perpetual Persistent Person Personal Perspective Phantom Phenomena Picked Picture Pierce Pilgrims Pinned Pipes Pistol Pitch Place Plain Plan Planet Plans Plays Pleasure Pockets Poetry Point Pointed Polished Poor Possibilities Pounding Power Powerless Pray Pray For Precedence Precedent Preference Prepared Preserve Pretend Pretty Priest Print Problem Profession Professor Profoundly Promise Promised Promises Properly Prophets Prospect Prosper Prove Proven Pull Punishment Puppet Puppets Pure Purpose Quality Question Quick Quickly Quiet Quit Rabid Race Racing Rage Ragged Rags Rain Raining Raised Rampant Random Random Events Rash Reach Read Ready Real Real Life Reality Realize Realms Reason Reason For Everything Reasons Recalled Reckoning Recognizable Regain Regions Relationship Relentless Remain Remember Remembering Remind Remote Repeat Repent Replica Require Resolved Respect Respect Me Respectable Rest Return Revealed Reveals Reverence Ribs Rich Rich Or Poor Ride Riding Rightly Ring Rise Rising Rising Up Road Roadside Rock Rocks Rode Roll Room Rose Round Ruin Ruins Rule Running Rushing Ruthless Sacred Sacrifice Saddles Sadness Sage Salt Sand Sands Satan Savage Save Saved Savor Scarce Scarcely Scared Scars Scattered Scenes Scent Scheme School Scientists Scratch Screaming Screw Screw You Seamless Seas Seated Secret Secrets Secular Sediment Seek Seeking Seeks Seize Seldom Select Selecting Send Senseless Sentiments Separate Seriousness Serpent Serve Sets Setting Shadows Shape Shaped Shapes Sharing Sharp Sheer Shells Shelves Shield Ship Shirt Shook Shooting Shooting Star Shore Shot Shoulders Show Shrinking Shuffling Shut Shuttle Sick Side Sight Signals Signature Silence Silent Simple Single Sister Sitting Sixteen Size Skin Skull Slain Slander Sleep Sleeping Sleeps Slender Slept Sliding Slow Slowly Small Smallest Smell Smile Smoke Smoking Snow Sobbing Societies Soft Softly Sole Some Things Someplace Songs Sooner Sooner Or Later Sorcery Sorrow Sort Soul Soulless Souls Sound Southwest Space Spaniards Spare Spark Speak Speaks Special Species Spend Spider Spine Spirit Spoke Spring Springs Spun Square Squat Squatters Stage Stain Stake Stand Stand Up Standing Stands Stars Start Started Starting Starting Out Starts Starving State Steady Steal Steep Step Stick Stockings Stoked Stone Stones Stood Stop Stop Trying Store Stories Storm Storms Story Straight Strange Strangeness Streaks Streams Streets Strength Stretching String Strings Strong Struggles Stuff Stupid Subject Substance Such A Thing Sucked Sucking Sudden Suddenly Suffer Suffering Suicide Suits Summer Superstition Suppose Supposed Supposed To Be Suppression Surely Surf Surprise Surprised Survive Suspect Sustained Sweating Sweep Sweeping Tabernacle Take Care Takes Taking Taking Charge Tale Talent Tales Talked Tall Tapestry Task Tavern Teacher Teaching Teaching English Teaching Writing Temporal Tend Terms Terrain Terrible Terrible Thing Terrible Things Testing Texas The History Of The One Thing The Only Thing Theatre There's A Reason For Everything Thief Thieves Thin Thing Things Things Happen Things In Life Thinks This World Thou Thought Thoughtful Thousand Thousand Years Thousands Thread Throat Thwart Tide Tightly Till Time Time Heals Times Tired To Love To Survive Tomorrow Tops Torches Touch Town Trace Traces Tracks Trade Tragedy Train Trance Trapped Travelers Traveling Tree Trees Trembling Trick Trouble Trough Trout True True Nature Truest Truth Truth Is Truths Turn Turned Turning Turns Twig Twist Two Things Type Ultimate Ultimately Unable Unable To Forgive Unaware Uncanny Uncertain Understand Understanding Understood Undertakings Unfold Unhappy Unity Universe Unjust Unknown Unseen Unspeakable Uphill Upward Vacuous Vacuum Vanity Vapor Vast Veil Veils Veins Vertigo Very Strong Victims View Vigor Violence Violent Virgins Visible Vision Visionary Voice Voices Void Volume Vulnerable Waited Waiting Wake Wake Up Waking Waking Life Walk Walked Wall Wanted Warmer Warmth Warned Warp Warrant Wash Waste Waste Of Time Watched Watching Water Wave Way To Live Ways Wears Weather Weeds Weep Weigh Weight Welding Wept West Western Western Civilization Whales Wheels Whimsical Whisper White Wife Wild Wild Horses Wilderness Wildness Wind Wind In The Trees Winding Window Winds Windy Wings Wink Winter Wise Wished Witness Woke Wolf Wolves Woman Women Wondered Woods Word Word Of God Words Work Working World Worlds Worm Worried Worry Worse Worth Wounded Woven Wrap Wrath Wrath Of God Wrecked Wrench Wrenches Writ Writer Writers Writing Written Wrong Yeah Yearn Yearning Years Years Ago Yellow Yesterday Young Your Body Your Dreams Youth Less More Hide All See All
I felt early on I wasn't going to be a respectable citizen.
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.
People apparently only read mystery stories of any length. With mysteries, the longer the better, and people will read any damn thing. But the indulgent, 800-page books that were written a hundred years ago are just not going to be written anymore, and people need to get used to that.
I remember in grammar school the teacher asked if anyone had any hobbies. I was the only one with any hobbies and I had every hobby there was... name anything, no matter how esoteric. I could have given everyone a hobby and still had 40 or 50 to take home.
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. β€” Β© Cormac McCarthy
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.
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.
Even if what you're working on doesn't go anywhere, it will help you with the next thing you're doing. Make yourself available for something to happen. Give it a shot.
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.
When the lambs is lost in the mountain, he said. They is cry. Sometime come the mother. Sometime the wolf.
Ive seen the meanness of humans till I dont know why God aint put out the sun and gone away.
you fix what you can fix and you let the rest go. If there ain't nothin to be done about it it aint even a problem. It's just a aggravation.
Probably I dont believe in a lot of things that I used to believe in but that doesnt mean I dont believe in anything.
There is for a man two things in life that are very important, head and shoulders above everything else. Find work you like, and find someone to live with you like. Very few people get both.
There is no later. This is later.
There is no forgiveness. For women. A man may lose his honor and regain it again. But a woman cannot. She cannot.
I got what I needed instead of what I wanted and that's just about the best kind of luck you can have.
The man smiled at him a sly smile. As if they knew a secret between them, these two. Something of age and youth and their claims and the justice of those claims. And of their claims upon them. The world past, the world to come. Their common transciencies. Above all a knowing deep in the bone that beauty and loss are one.
They spoke less and less between them until at last they were silent altogether as is often the way with travelers approaching the end of a journey.
He lay listening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone.
If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it. β€” Β© Cormac McCarthy
If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it.
Each leaf that brushed his face deepened his sadness and dread. Each leaf he passed he'd never pass again. They rode over his face like veils, already some yellow, their veins like slender bones where the sun shone through them. He had resolved himself to ride on for he could not turn back and the world that day was as lovely as any day that ever was and he was riding to his death.
There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
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.
You give up the world line by line. Stoically. And then one day you realize that your courage is farcical. It doesn't mean anything. You've become an accomplice in your own annihilation and there is nothing you can do about it. Everything you do closes a door somewhere ahead of you. And finally there is only one door left.
The trouble with a liar is he can't remember what he said.
One of the things you realize about gettin older is that not everybody is goin to get older with you.
Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.
The rain falls upon the just And also on the unjust fellas But mostly it falls upon the just Cause the unjust have the just's umbrellas
There's hard lessons in this world. What's the hardest? I dont know. Maybe it's just that when things are gone they're gone. They aint comin back.
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.
The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not.
When you die it's the same as if everybody else did too.
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
There's a difference between quittin and knowin when you're beat.
The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.
I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am.
How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?
It was the nature of his profession that his experience with death should be greater than for most and he said that while it was true that time heals bereavement it does so only at the cost of the slow extinction of those loved ones from the heart's memory which is the sole place of their abode then or now. Faces fade, voices dim. Seize them back, whispered the sepulturero. Speak with them. Call their names. Do this and do not let sorrow die for it is the sweetening of every gift.
The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.
She said that these were things all women knew yet seldom spoke of. Lastly she said that if women were drawn to rash men it was only that in their secret hearts they knew that a man who would not kill for them was of no use at all.
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 dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. 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.
He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. 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.
But there are no absolutes in human misery and things can always get worse β€” Β© Cormac McCarthy
But there are no absolutes in human misery and things can always get worse
You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.
Life is brief and to have to spend every day of it doing what somebody else wants you to do is not the way to live it.
What business is it of yours where I'm from, friendo?
Notions of chance and fate are the preoccupations of men engaged in rash undertakings.
You have to carry the fire." I don't know how to." Yes, you do." Is the fire real? The fire?" Yes it is." Where is it? I don't know where it is." Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it.
It is personal. That's what an education does. It makes the world personal.
Our enemies ... seem always with us. The greater our hatred the more persistent the memory of them so that a truly terrible enemy becomes deathless. So that the man who has done you great injury or injustice makes himself a guest in your house forever. Perhaps only forgiveness can dislodge him.
If only my heart were stone.
Do you know what happens with people who cannot govern themselves? That's right. Others come in to govern for them.
Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I'd made before it. β€” Β© Cormac McCarthy
Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I'd made before it.
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
The things that I loved were very frail. Very fragile. I didn't know that. I thought they were indestructible. They weren't.
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.
He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activites 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.
Ever step you take is forever.
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