Graham Greene

Graham
Greene
1904
1991

English Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright

Author Quotes

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.

She had lost all our memories for ever, and it was as though by dying she had robbed me of part of myself. I was losing my individuality. It was the first stage of my own death, the memories dropping off like gangrened limbs.

Sometimes I would walk with a sense of pain, sometimes with pleasure. If a woman is in one's thoughts all day, one should not have to dream of her at night.

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.

The pouches under his eyes were like purses that contained the smuggled memories of a disappointing life.

There is a point of no return, unremarked at the time, in most lives.

They haven't left us much to believe in, have they?--even disbelief. I can't believe in anything bigger than a home or vaguer than a human being.

We can love with our minds, but can we love only with our minds? Love extends itself all the time, so that we can love even with our senseless nails: we love even with our clothes, so that a sleeve can feel a sleeve.

When I began to realize how often we quarreled, how often I picked on her with nervous irritation, I became aware that our love was doomed: love had turned into a love-affair with a beginning and an end.

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.

She mixes religion with desertion to make it sound noble.

Sometimes it's easier to cut your coat to fit the cloth than lie on the bed you've made.

The first dog I ever had was called Prince. I called him after the Black Prince. You know, the fellow who...' 'Massacred all the women and children in Limoges.' 'I don't remember that.' 'The history books gloss it over.

The problem of pretending to be alive.

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in...We should be thankful we cannot see the horrors and degradations lying around our childhood, in cupboards and bookshelves, everywhere.

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.

We forget very easily what gives us pain.

When I began to write our story down, I thought I was writing a record of hate, but somehow the hate has got mislaid and all I know is that in spite of her mistakes and her unreliability, she was better than most. It's just as well that one of us should believe in her: she never did in herself.

Yesterday I went home with him and we did the usual things. I haven't the nerve to put them down, but I'd like to, because now when I'm writing it's already tomorrow and I'm afraid of getting to the end of yesterday. As long as I go on writing, yesterday is today and we are still together

She thought for the first time, with happiness: perhaps I have a life in people's minds when I am not there to be seen or talked to.

Sooner or later... one has to take sides – if one is to remain human.

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 sense of a small courageous community barely existing above the desert of trees, hemmed in by a sun too fierce to work under and a darkness filled with evil spirits - love was an arm round the neck, a cramped embrace in the smoke, wealth a little pile of palm-nuts, old age sores and leprosy, religion a few stones in the centre of the village where the dead chiefs lay, a grove of trees where the rice birds, like yellow and green canaries, built their nests, a man in a mask with raffia skirts dancing at burials. This never varied, only their kindness to strangers, the extent of their poverty and the immediacy of their terrors. Their laughter and their happiness seemed the most courageous things in nature.

There is an old legend that somewhere in the world every man has his double.

They think my mother's ashes are marijuana.

Author Picture
First Name
Graham
Last Name
Greene
Birth Date
1904
Death Date
1991
Bio

English Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright