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The Quotable Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy is eminently quotable, so I'll let her speak for herself. June 21 is her birthday and she lived at 16 Gay Street.

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.

"America the Beautiful," Commentary, September 1947

I do not mind if I lose my soul for all eternity. If the kind of God exists Who would damn me for not working out a deal with Him, then that is unfortunate. I should not care to spend eternity in the company of such a person.

Memories of a Catholic Girlhood

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

People with bad consciences always fear the judgement of children.

"The Hue and Cry," The Writing on the Wall, 1970

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.

Intellectual Memoirs

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.

Intellectual Memoirs



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Reading Mary McCarthy's "The

Reading Mary McCarthy's "The Group" at 16 really opened up the world for me. It gave me a glimpse of the world that had been, and set in motion for me some goals and expectations. Over the years, I have read it many times, and the universality of young people wanting to conquer the world, even if that world is only Manhattan,comes vividly through. In fact, if it wasn't for Mary and her "Group," there might today be no Carrie Bradshaw.

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