Graham Greene Quotes (76 Quotes)












    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 . . .



    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.

    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.



    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism.


    If one is going to write about war, self respect demands that one

    Don't be shy. Put your nose right up to the bunghole.

    Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.

    At the end of what is called the sexual life the only love which has lasted is the love which has everything, every disappointment, every failure and every betrayal, which has accepted even the sad fact that in the end there is no desire so deep as the simple desire for companionship.

    No human being can really understand another, and no one can arrange another's happiness.

    Thrillers are like life, more like life than you are.

    Success is more dangerous than failure, the ripples break over a wider coastline.

    Those who marry God can become domesticated too it's just as hum-drum a marriage as all the others. The word ''Love'' means a formal touch of the lips as in the ceremony of the Mass, and ''Ave Maria '' like ''dearest'' is a phrase to open a letter. This marriage like the world's marriages was held together by habits and tastes shared in common between God and themselves it was God's taste to be worshipped and their taste to worship, but only at stated hours like a suburban embrace on a Saturday night.

    It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.

    God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed - that is the meaning of evolution.

    A movie is not a book. If the source material is a book, you cannot be too respectful of the book. All you owe to the book is the spirit.

    His hilarity was like a scream from a crevasse.

    If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?

    A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction.

    He felt the loyalty we feel to unhappiness - the sense that is where we really belong.

    The economy of a novelist is a little like that of a careful housewife who is unwilling to throw away anything that might perhaps serve its turn.

    To take an Annamite to bed with you is like taking a bird they twitter and sing on your pillow


    More Graham Greene Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Death & Dying - Man - World - Love - God - Time - Sense & Perception - Happiness - War & Peace - Sadness - Failure - Innocence - Mind - Life - People - Night - Friendship - Journalism - Compassion - View All Graham Greene Quotations

    More Graham Greene Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - The Quiet American

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