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29+ quotes from All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Quotes from All the Pretty Horses

Cormac McCarthy ·  302 pages

Rating: (78.3K votes)


“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“There is no forgiveness. For women. A man may lose his honor and regain it again. But a woman cannot. She cannot.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“When I was in school I studied biology. I learned that in making their experiments scientists will take some group--bacteria, mice, people--and subject that group to certain conditions. They compare the results with a second group which has not been disturbed. This second group is called the control group. It is the control group which enables the scientist gauge the effect of his experiment. To judge the significance of what has occurred. 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 o 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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“Scared money can’t win and a worried man can’t love.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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 ardenhearted and they would always be so and never be otherwise.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid neither horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“A goodlookin horse is like a goodlookin woman, he said. They're always more trouble than what they're worth. What a man needs is just one that will get the job done.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“He'd half meant to speak but those eyes had altered the world forever in the space of a heartbeat.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“It was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“He lay on his back in his blankets and looked our where the quartermoon lay cocked over the heel of the mountains. In the false blue dawn the Pleiades seemed to be rising up into the darkness above the world and dragging all the stars away, the great diamond of Orion and Cepella and the signature of Cassiopeia all rising up through the phosphorous dark like a sea-net. He lay a long time listening to the others breathing in their sleep while he contemplated the wildness about him, the wildness within.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


“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 from All the Pretty Horses


“He remembered Alejandra and the sadness he'd first seen in the slope of her shoulders which he'd presumed to understand and of which he knew nothing and he felt a loneliness he'd not known since he was a child and he felt wholly alien to the world although he loved it still. He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world's pain and it's 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 from All the Pretty Horses


“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from All the Pretty Horses


About the author

Cormac McCarthy
Born place: in Providence, Rhode Island, The United States
Born date July 20, 1933
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