I was an only child. It's a great disadvantage being an only child.
You cannot love without intuition.
I wish sometimes you had a few bad motives, you might understand a little more about human beings.
If you live in a place for long you cease to read about it.
Death was far more certain than God.
Innocence is a kind of insanity
Even though my reason wanted the state of death, I was afraid like a virgin of the act.
One forgets so quickly one's own youth…
From childhood I had never believed in permanence, and yet I had longed for it. Always I was afraid of losing happiness. This month, next year...death was the only absolute value in my world. Lose life and one would lose nothing again forever.
Ordinary life goes on--that has saved many a man's reason.
He was impregnably armored by his good intentions and his ignorance.
So it always is: when you escape to a desert the silence shouts in your ear.
I could never have been a pacifist. To kill a man was surely to grant him an immeasurable benefit. Oh yes, people always, everywhere, loved their enemies. It was their friends they preserved for pain and vacuity.
Sooner or later...one has to take sides. If one is to remain human.
I couldn't resist the temptation to tease Pyle - it is, after all, the weapon of weakness and I was weak.
They killed him because he was too innocent to live. He was young and ignorant and silly and he got involved. He had no more of a notion than any of you what the whole affair's about . . .
I envied those who could believe in a God and I distrusted them. I felt they were keeping their courage up with a fable of the changeless and the permanent. Death was far more certain than God, and with death there would be no longer the possibility of love dying.
Thought's a luxury. Do you think the peasant sits and thinks of God and Democracy when he gets inside his mud hut at night?
I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.
Time has its revenges, but revenge seems so often sour. Wouldn't we all do better not trying to understand, accepting the fact that no human being will ever understand another, not a wife with a husband, nor a parent a child? Perhaps that's why men have invented God - a being capable of understanding.
Perhaps it is only in childhood that books have any deep influence on our lives.
It is the story-teller's task to elicit sympathy and a measure of understanding for those who lie outside the boundaries of State approval.
When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity -- that was a quality God's image carried with it. When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the thape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.
However great a man's fear of life, suicide remains the courageous act, the clear-headed act of a mathematician. The suicide has judged by the laws of chance -- so many odds against one that to live will be more miserable than to die. His sense of mathematics is greater than his sense of survival. But think how a sense of survival must clamor to be heard at the last moment, what excuses it must present of a totally unscientific nature.
So much of life is a putting-off of unhappiness for another time. Nothing is ever lost by delay.
The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see - every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties.
The world doesn't make any heroes anymore.
So many of his prayers had remained unanswered that he had hopes that this one prayer of his had lodged all the time like wax in the Eternal ear.
Reality in our century is not something to be faced.
That whisky priest, I wish we had never had him in the house.
More Graham Greene Quotations (Based on Topics)
Death & Dying - Man - World - Love - God - Happiness - Time - Sense & Perception - Sadness - Failure - Innocence - Mind - War & Peace - Life - People - Truth - Night - Friendship - Journalism - View All Graham Greene Quotations
More Graham Greene Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Quiet American
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