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Suttree Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
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Suttree Quotes (showing 1-30 of 55)
“But there are no absolutes in human misery and things can always get worse”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“What do you believe?
I believe that the last and the first suffer equally. Pari passu.
Equally?
It is not alone in the dark of death that all souls are one soul.
Of what would you repent?
Nothing.
Nothing?
One thing. I spoke with bitterness about my life and I said that I would take my own part against the slander of oblivion and against the monstrous facelessness of it and that I would stand a stone in the very void where all would read my name. Of that vanity I recant all.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“And what happens then?
When?
After you're dead.
Dont nothing happen. You're dead.
You told me once you believed in God.
The old man waved his hand. Maybe, he said. I got no reason to think he believes in me. Oh I'd like to see him for a minute if I could.
What would you say to him?
Well, I think I'd just tell him. I'd say: Wait a minute. Wait just one minute before you start in on me. Before you say anything, there's just one thing I'd like to know. And he'll say: what's that? And then I'm goin to ast him: What did you have me in that crapgame down there for anyway? I couldnt put any part of it together.
Suttree smiled. What do you think he'll say?
The ragpicker spat and wiped his mouth. I dont believe he can answer it. I dont believe there is an answer. ”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Hard weather, says the old man. So let it be. Wrap me in the weathers of the earth, I will be hard and hard. My face will wash rain like the stones. ”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Remember her hair in the morning before it was pinned, black, rampant, savage with loveliness. As if she slept in perpetual storm.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“What deity in the realms of dementia, what rabid god decocted out of the smoking lobes of hydrophobia could have devised a keeping place for souls so poor as is this flesh. This mawky worm-bent tabernacle.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“He looked at a world of incredible loveliness. Old distaff Celt's blood in some back chamber of his brain moved him to discourse with the birches, with the oaks. A cool green fire kept breaking in the woods and he could hear the footsteps of the dead. Everything had fallen from him. He scarce could tell where his being ended or the world began nor did he care. He lay on his back in the gravel, the earth's core sucking his bones, a moment's giddy vertigo with this illusion of falling outward through blue and windy space, over the offside of the planet, hurtling through the high thin cirrus.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“What could a child know of the darkness of God's plan? Or how flesh is so frail it is hardly more than a dream”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“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, Suttree
“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, Suttree
“Peering down into the water where the morning sun fashioned wheels of light, coronets fanwise in which lay trapped each twig, each grain of sediment, long flakes and blades of light in the dusty water sliding away like optic strobes where motes sifted and spun.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“He said that even the damned in hell have the community of their suffering and he thought that he’d guessed out likewise for the living a nominal grief like a grange from which disaster and ruin are proportioned by laws of equity too subtle for divining.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Mr. Suttree it is our understanding that at curfew rightly decreed by law and in that hour wherein night draws to its proper close and the new day commences and contrary to conduct befitting a person of your station you betook yourself to various low places within the shire of McAnally and there did squander several ensuing years in the company of thieves, derelicts, miscreants, pariahs, poltroons, spalpeens, curmudgeons, clotpolls, murderers, gamblers, bawds, whores, trulls, brigands, topers, tosspots, sots and archsots, lobcocks, smellsmocks, runagates, rakes, and other assorted and felonious debauchees.

I was drunk, cried Suttree.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Suttree stood among the screaming leaves and called the lightning down. It cracked and boomed about and he pointed out the darkened heart within him and cried for light. If there be any art in the weathers of this earth. Or char these bones to coal. If you can, if you can. A blackened rag in the rain.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“She smiled and sipped from her glass. There was altogether too much of her sitting there, the broad expanse of thigh cradled in the insubstantial stocking and the garters with the pale flesh pursed and her full breasts and the sootblack piping of her eyelids, a gaudish rake of metaldust in prussian blue where cerulean moths fluttered her awake from some outlandish dream. Suttree gradually going awash in the sheer outrageous sentience of her. Their glasses clicked on the tabletop. Her hot spiced tongue fat in his mouth and her hands all over him like the very witch of fuck.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“What man is such a coward he would not rather fall once than remain forever tottering?”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“The cooler days have brought a wistful mood upon him. The smell of coalsmoke in the air at night. Old times, dead years. For him such memories are bitter ones.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“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, Suttree
“Where hunters and woodcutters once slept in their boots by the dying light of their thousand fires and went on, old teutonic forebears with eyes incandesced by the visionary light of a massive rapacity, wave on wave of the violent and the insane, their brains stoked with spoorless analogues of all that was, lean aryans with their abrogate Semitic chapbook reenacting the dramas and parable therein...”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“He rocked in the swells, floating like the first germ of life adrift on the earth's cooling seas, formless macule of plasm trapped in a vapor drop and all creation yet to come.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Suttree surfaced from these fevered deeps to hear a maudlin voice chant latin by his bedside, what medieval ghost come to usurp his fallen corporeality. An oiled thumball redolent of lime and sage pondered his shuttered lids.
Miserere mei, Deus ...
His ears anointed, his lips ... omnis maligna discordia ... Bechrismed with scented oils he lay boneless in a cold euphoria. Japheth when you left your father's house the birds had flown. You were not prepared for such weathers. You'd spoke too lightly of the winter in your father's heart. We saw you in the streets. Sad.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“His subtle obsession with uniqueness troubled all his dreams.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“He lifted the slice of cake and bit into it and turned the page. The old musty album with its foxed and crumbling paper seemed to breathe a reek of the vault, turning up one by one these dead faces with their wan and loveless gaze out toward the spinning world, masks of incertitude before the cold glass eye of the camera or recoiling before this celluloid immortality or faces simply staggered into gaga by the sheer velocity of time. Old distaff kin coughed up out of the vortex, thin and cracked and macled and a bit redundant. The landscapes, old backdrops, redundant too, recurring unchanged as if they inhabited another medium than the dry pilgrims shored up on them. Blind moil in the earth's nap cast up in an eyeblink between becoming and done. I am, I am. An artifact of prior races.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“The night is quiet. Like a camp before battle. The city beset by a thing unknown and will it come from forest or sea? The murengers have walled the pale, the gates are shut, but lo the thing's inside and can you guess his shape? Where he's kept or what's the counter of his face? Is he a weaver, bloody shuttle shot through a time warp, a carder of souls from the world's nap? Or a hunter with hounds or do bone horses draw his dead cart through the streets and does he call his trade to each? Dear friend he is not to be dwelt upon for it is by just such wise that he's invited in”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“I've seen all I want to see and I know all I want to know. I just look forward to death.
He might hear you, Suttree said.
I wisht he would, said the ragpicker. He glared out across the river with his redrimmed eyes at the town where dusk was settling in. As if death might be hiding in that quarter.
No one wants to die.
Shit, said the ragpicker. Here's one that's sick of livin. Would you give all you own?
The ragman eyed him suspiciously but he did not smile. It wont be long, he said. An old man's days are hours.
And what happens then?
When?
After you're dead.
Dont nothin happen. You're dead.
You told me once you believed in God.
The old man waved his hand. Maybe, he said. I got no reason to think he believes in me. Oh I'd like to see him for a minute if I could.
What would you say to him?
Well, I think I'd just tell him. I'd say: Wait a minute. Wait just one minute before you start in on me. Before you say anything, there's just one thing I'd like to know. And he'll say: What's that? And then I'm goin to ast him: What did you have me in that crapgame down there for anyway? I couldnt put any part of it together.
Suttree smiled. What do you think he'll say?
The ragpicker spat and wiped his mouth. I dont believe he can answer it, he said. I dont believe there is a answer.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Wrap me in the weathers of the earth, I will be hard and hard. My face will turn rain like the stones.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“One spring morning timing the lean near-liquid progress of a horse on a track, the dust exploding, the rapid hasping of his hocks, coming up the straight foreshortened and awobble and passing elongate and birdlike wish harsh breaths and slatted brisket heaving and the muscles sliding and brunching in clocklike flexion under the wet black hide and a gout of foam hung from the long jaw and then gone in a muted hoofclatter, the aging magistrate snapped his thumb from the keep of the stopwatch he held and palmed it into his waistcoat pocket and looking at nothing, nor child nor horse, said anent that simple comparison of rotary motions and in the oratory to which he was prone that they had witnessed a thing against which time would not prevail.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“Foreign stars in the nights down there. A whole new astronomy Mensa, Musca, the Chameleon. Austral constellations nigh unknown to northern folk. Wrinkling, fading, through the cold black waters. As he rocks in his rusty pannier to the sea's floor in a drifting stain of guano. What family has no mariner in its tree? No fool, no felon. No fisherman.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree
“I know all the people I want to know.”
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree

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