We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story.
"Characters in Fiction," Partisan Review (March/April 1961) ; sometimes misquoted: "We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words, you are the hero of your own story."
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.Mary Mccarthy
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.Mary Mccarthy
If someone tells you he is going to make "a realistic decision," you immediately understand that he has resolved to do something bad.Mary Mccarthy
Calling someone a monster does not make him more guilty; it makes him less so by classing him with beasts and devils.Mary Mccarthy
You know what my favourite quotation is?…It’s from Chaucer... Criseyde says it, "I am myne owene woman, wel at ese."Mary Mccarthy
The American, if he has a spark of national feeling, will be humiliated by the very prospect of a foreigner's visit to Congress — these, for the most part, illiterate hacks whose fancy vests are spotted with gravy, and whose speeches, hypocritical, unctuous and slovenly, are spotted also with the gravy of political patronage, these persons are a reflection on the democratic process rather than of it; they expose it in its underwear.Mary Mccarthy
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
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.Mary Mccarthy
Bureaucracy, the rule of no one, has become the modern form of despotism.Mary Mccarthy
People with bad consciences always fear the judgment of children.Mary Mccarthy
In science, all facts, no matter how trivial or banal, enjoy democratic equality.Mary Mccarthy
I suppose everyone continues to be interested in the quest for the self, but what you feel when you’re older, I think, is that — how to express this — you really must make the self. It's absolutely useless to look for it, you won’t find it, but it’s possible in some sense to make it.Mary Mccarthy
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.Mary Mccarthy
Being abroad makes you conscious of the whole imitative side of human behavior. The ape in man.Mary Mccarthy
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.Mary Mccarthy
To be disesteemed by people you don’t have much respect for is not the worst fate.Mary Mccarthy
When you have committed an action that you cannot bear to think about, that causes you to writhe in retrospect, do not seek to evade the memory: make yourself relive it, confront it repeatedly over and over, till finally, you will discover, through sheer repetition it loses its power to pain you. It works, I guarantee you, this sure-fire guilt-eradicator, like a homeopathic medicine — like in small doses applied to like. It works, but I am not sure that it is a good thing.Mary Mccarthy
The immense popularity of American movies abroad demonstrates that Europe is the unfinished negative of which America is the proof.Mary Mccarthy
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