Best 40 of Karl Marlantes quotes - MyQuotes

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Karl Marlantes
By Anonym 17 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Mellas was transported outside himself, beyond himself. It was as if his mind watched eveything coolly while his body raced wildly with passion and fear. He was frightened beyond any fear he had ever known. But this brilliant and intense fear, this terrible here and now, combined with the crucial significance of every movement of his body, pushed him over a barrier whose existence he had not known about until this moment. He gave himself over completely to the god of war within him.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Matterhorn is my metaphor of the Vietnam War - we built it, we abandoned it, we assaulted it, we lost, and then we abandoned it again.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Karl Marlantes

We all have shit on our shoes. We've just got to realize it so we don't track it into the house.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

We all want to be special, to stand out; there's nothing wrong with this. The irony is that every human being is special to start with, because we're unique to start with. But we then go through some sort of boot camp from the age of zero to about 18 where we learn everything we can about how not to be unique.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Victory in combat is like sex with a prostitute. For a moment you forget everything in the sudden physical rush, but then you have to pay your money to the woman showing you the door. You see the dirt on the walls and your sorry image in the mirror.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

When the peace treaty is signed, the war isn't over for the veterans, or the family. It's just starting.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

The Marine Corps taught me how to kill, but it didn't teach me how to deal with killing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Karl Marlantes

It was all absurd, without reason or meaning. People who didn't know each other were going to kill each other over a hill none of them cared about

By Anonym 17 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Many will argue that there is nothing remotely spiritual in combat. Consider this. Mystical or religious experiences have four common components: constant awareness of one's own inevitable death, total focus on the present moment, the valuing of other people's lives above one's own, and being part of a larger religious community such as the Sangha, ummah, or church. All four of these exist in combat. The big difference is that the mystic sees heaven and the warrior sees hell. Whether combat is the dark side of the same version, or only something equivalent in intensity, I simply don't know. I do know that at the age of fifteen I had a mystical experience that scared the hell out of me and both it and combat put me into a different relationship with ordinary life and eternity. Most of us, including me, would prefer to think of a sacred space as some light-filled wonderous place where we can feel good and find a way to shore up our psyches against death. We don't want to think that something as ugly and brutal as combat could be involved in any way with the spiritual. However, would any practicing Christian say that Calvary Hill was not a sacred space?

By Anonym 16 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Gun up,' he whispered to Skosh. The word went back to invisible kids lying on the jungle floor. 'Set it in here,' Mellas whispered to Conman. 'Put Vancouver with his machine gun one-eighty from it.' 'He won't like it.' 'To hell with him. Send a fire team around to the left. We'll cover with Mole if they get into the shit. Who do you want to go?' Now it was Conman's turn to play God, at age nineteen. He shut his eyes. 'Rider.' So some are chosen to die young.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

This nation should be less worried about putting the Vietnam syndrome behind us than restarting the World War II victory syndrome that resulted in the Vietnam syndrome in the first place.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Karl Marlantes

The only meaningful statistic in warfare is when the other side quits.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

The time for debilitating fear is before and after the mission.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

I mean, if you're proud of what you've done when you've served in the military, well then we call that bragging. And if you are unhappy about what happened, we call that complaining. And so what are you going to do?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

In the military I could exercise the power of being automatically respected because of the medals on my chest, not because I had done anything right at the moment to earn that respect. This is pretty nice. It's also a psychological trap that can stop one's growth and allow one to get away with just plain bad behavior.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Vietnam was the first time that Americans of different races had to depend on each other. In the Second World War, they were segregated; it was in Vietnam that American integration happened in the military - and it wasn't easy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

How could you get mad at someone who neither needed to attack nor was at all worried about being able to defend? It was like getting mad at Switzerland.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Everything is touched by the holy when it is in the presence of death.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Quitting is unthinkable and pain is just weakness leaving the body

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

When I first got back from the war, I said, 'I'm gonna write the Great American Novel about the Vietnam War.' So I sat down and wrote 1,700 pages of sheer psychotherapy drivel. It was first person, and there would be pages about wet socks and cold feet.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

War is society's dirty work, usually done by kids cleaning up failures perpetrated by adults.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

He thought of the jungle, already regrowing around him to cover the scars they had created. He thought of the tiger, killing to eat. Was that evil? And ants? They killed. No, the jungle wasn’t evil. It was indifferent. So, too, was the world. Evil, then, must be the negation of something man had added to the world. Ultimately, it was caring about something that made the world liable to evil. Caring. And then the caring gets torn asunder. Everybody dies, but not everybody cares.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

I began writing 'Matterhorn' in 1975 and for more than 30 years I kept working on my novel in my spare time, unable to get an agent or publisher to even read the manuscript.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Mellas knew that Hawke was letting him squirm. Then, without looking up, Hawke said, 'Look, Mellas, in the Navy or Air Force they give you a medal for what the Marines call just doing their job. In the Marines you only get a medal for being braver than just doing your job." Then he looked at Mellas. 'You get in fixes where medals are handed out because you were unlucky and had to fix things, or because you were stupid and had to fix things. Be carful what you're wishing for.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

I mean... if you're raised as a decent human being, killing somebody is against every moral thing you've ever been taught. And so, generally, in combat it's 'krauts,' the 'gooks,' the 'yanks' - whatever you want to do to try and make it so that it's not a human being.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Thinking you might be crazy can drive you crazy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

I don't want any romantics to go into the military. I'm not a pacifist. I think we need a military, and the better one we have, the better off we are. I don't want kids going in there thinking that it's John Wayne on Iwo Jima. That's not healthy.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Karl Marlantes

It won't hurt you. It's just to kill plants. It's called Agent Orange...and it won't bother humans.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Once we recognize our shadow's existence we must resist the enticing step of going with its flow.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

I knew many Marines had done brave deeds that no one saw and for which they got no medals at all. I was having a very hard time carrying those medals and didnt have the insight or maturity to know what to do with my combination of guilt and pride.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Karl Marlantes

War is society's dirty work, usually done by kids cleaning up some failure on the part of the adults.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Mellas continued to look at the wallet, saying nothing. Hawke, who had been watching Mellas through the steam that rose from his pear-can coffee mug, handed Mellas the cup. Mellas gave a brief smile and took a drink. His hand was shaking. Hawke said in a calm voice, 'Something happened. You want to talk about it?' Mellas didn't answer right away. Then he said, 'I think I know where the gooks are.' He pulled out his map and pointed to the spot, his hand still trembling. 'How do you know that, Mel?' Hawke asked. 'From the direction he crawled after he was shot.' Mellas tossed the wallet down at Fitch. Then he dug into his pocket and pulled out the soldier's unit and rank patches. he looked at them, then at Fitch and Hawke, who were no longer eating. 'I let him crawl toward home with his guts hanging out.' He started sobbing. 'I just left him there.' Snot was streaming from his nose. 'I'm so sorry. I'm so fucking sorry.' His hands were now shaking with his body as he clenched the two pieces of cloth to his eyes.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

And I think that it's - the military has actually made improvements, so people are considering post-traumatic stress disorder as, at the least, a possible psychological problem. You know, when I was in Vietnam, it was just considered malingering. And we're making progress.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

Cynicism is no more mature than naïveté. You're no more mature, just more burned.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

For every veteran who goes through a divorce, a wife goes through one, too. For every veteran alone in the basement, there is a wife upstairs, bewildered, isolated and in despair from the dark clouds of war that hangs over family life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Karl Marlantes

We mistakenly assume that bodily survival has a higher precedence than ego survival. This is simply not generally true. Ego will happily destroy the body for its own sake. Look at overweight executives headed for heart attacks on the way to getting their pictures in Fortune or anorexic models suffering slow starvation on their way to getting their pictures in Vogue. Protecting ego is the general case.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Karl Marlantes

I was given the ability to create stories and characters. That's my part of the long chain of writers, publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, and a host of others who eventually deliver literature to the world. I want to do for others what Eudora Welty did for me.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Karl Marlantes

He lay before God as a woman opens herself to a man, with legs apart, stomach exposed, arms open. But unlike some women, he did not have the inner strength that allowed them to do such a thing without fear. There was no woman’s strength in Mellas at all.