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Mary McCarthy (1912 – 1989)


American author and critic.
Mary McCarthy
Intellectual responses are known as opinions and Mary had them and had them. Still she was so little of an ideologue as to be sometimes unsettling in her refusal of tribal reaction — left or right, male or female, that sort of thing. She was doggedly personal and often this meant being so aslant that there was, in this determined rationalist, an endearing crankiness, very American and homespun somehow.
McCarthy quotes
As happens with sports and hobbies, his enjoyment was solemnized by expertise, the rites of comparing, collating, a half-deliberate parody of scholarship like the recitation of batting averages.
McCarthy
We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story.




McCarthy Mary quotes
Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the.
McCarthy Mary
She was a great heroine to many young women of my age. She was a heroine for her independence and her courage in speaking out in defence of lost causes and for her ability to combine great personal glamour with a ferocious intelligence.
Mary McCarthy quotes
You mustn't force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex.
Mary McCarthy
A society person who is enthusiastic about modern painting or Truman Capote is already half a traitor to his class. It is middle-class people who, quite mistakenly, imagine that a lively pursuit of the latest in reading and painting will advance their status in the world.
McCarthy Mary quotes
When Henry Mulcahy, a middle-aged instructor of literature at Jocelyn College, Jocelyn, Pennsylvania, unfolded the President's letter and became aware of its contents, he gave a sudden sharp cry of impatience and irritation, as if such interruptions could positively be brooked no longer.
McCarthy
Liberty, as it is conceived by current opinion, has nothing inherent about it; it is a sort of gift or trust bestowed on the individual by the state pending good behavior.
McCarthy Mary
The theater is the only branch of art much cared for by people of wealth; like canasta, it does away with the bother of talk after dinner.
Mary McCarthy
The labor of keeping house is labor in its most naked state, for labor is toil that never finishes, toil that has to be begun again the moment it is completed, toil that is destroyed and consumed by the life process.




Mary McCarthy quotes
Of all the men I slept with in my studio-bed on Gay Street (and there were a lot: I stopped counting) I liked Bill Mangold the best. Until I began to see Philip Rahv.
Mary McCarthy
We all know in our gut that art educates. In other societies, they're aware of the power it has of speaking directly to the masses, teaching them to be better socialists, better citizens. The trouble is that with us it's fallen into the wrong hands. Forget the speculators... The concept of the collector is so rotten by now that it stinks.
McCarthy quotes
In science, all facts, no matter how trivial or banal, enjoy democratic equality.
McCarthy Mary
Europeans used to say Americans were puritanical. Then they discovered that we were not puritans. So now they say that we are obsessed with sex.
McCarthy Mary quotes
It was June, 1933, one week after Commencement, when Kay Leiland Strong, Vassar '33, the first of her class to run around the table at the Class Day dinner, was married to Harald Petersen, Reed '27, in the chapel of St. George's Church, P.E., Karl F. Reiland, Rector.
Mary McCarthy
It was getting rather alarming. I realised one day that in twenty four hours I had slept with three different men. And one morning I was in bed with somebody while over his head I talked on the telephone with somebody else…I did not feel promiscuous. Maybe no-one does. And maybe more girls sleep with more men than you would ever think to look at them.
Mary McCarthy quotes
To be a child is something one learns, as one learns the names of rivers or the kings of France. Childhood, for a child, is a sort of falseness, woodenness, stoniness, a lesson recited. Many children are aware of this — that is, aware of being children as a special, prosy condition: "We can't do that! We're children!" Playing children is a long boring game with occasional exciting moments.
Mary McCarthy
In violence, we forget who we are.
McCarthy Mary
To care for the quarrels of the past, to identify oneself passionately with a cause that became, politically speaking, a losing cause with the birth of the modern world, is to experience a kind of straining against reality, a rebellious nonconformity that, again, is rare in America, where children are instructed in the virtues of the system they live under, as though history had achieved a happy ending in American civics.


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