Graham Greene

Graham
Greene
1904
1991

English Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright

Author Quotes

Would the world be in the mess it is if we were loyal to love and not to countries?

She had an immense store of trivial memories and when she wasn't living in the future she was living in the past. As for the present – she got through that as quickly as she could, running away from things, running towards things, so that her voice was always a little breathless, her heart pounding at an escape or an expectation.

Sometimes I see myself reflected too closely in other men for comfort, and then I have an enormous wish to believe in the saints, in heroic virtue.

The Boy sat silent. It was he this time who was being warned: life held the vitriol bottle and warned him: I'll spoil your looks.

The picture Cubitt drew had got nothing to do with him: it was like the pictures men drew of Christ, the image of their own sentimentality. ...He was like a professor describing to a stranger some place he had only read in books... when all the time it was a country the stranger knew.

There I go again. I want. I don't want. If I could love You, I could love Henry. God was made man. He was Henry with his astigmatism, Richard with his spots, not only Maurice. If I could love a leper's sores, couldn't I love the boringness of Henry? But I'd turn from the leper if he were here, I suppose, as I shut myself away from Henry. I want the dramatic always. I imagine I'm ready for the pain of your nails... Dear God, I'm no use. I'm still the same bitch and fake. Clear me out of the way.

They had been corrupted by money, and he had been corrupted by sentiment. Sentiment was the more dangerous, because you couldn’t name its price. A man open to bribes was to be relied upon below a certain figure, but sentiment might uncoil in the heart at a name, a photograph, even a smell remembered.

We are all resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to.

When he was young, he had thought love had something to do with understanding, but with age he knew that no human being understood another. Love was the wish to understand, and presently with constant failure the wish died, and love died too perhaps or changed into this painful affection, loyalty, pity…

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.

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

English Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright