110+ Graham Greene Quotes On Writing, Provocative And Subtle
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Top 10 Graham Greene Quotes (BEST)
- My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.
- Hate is a lack of imagination.
- Our worst enemies here are not the ignorant and simple, however cruel; our worst enemies are the intelligent and corrupt
- Innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
- 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.
- A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
- A single feat of daring can alter the whole conception of what is possible.
- Sweet are the thoughts that savor of content: the quiet mind is richer than a crown.
- People who like quotes love meaningless generalizations
- In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.
Graham Greene Short Quotes
- You cannot conceive, nor can I, of the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God.
- When we are not sure, we are alive.
- In the end there is no desire so deep as the simple desire for companionship.
- Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.
- He entered the territory of lies without a passport for return.
- As long as nothing happens anything is possible.
- I can't talk you in terms of time --your time and my time are different
- So it always is: when you escape to a desert the silence shouts in your ear.
- Sentimentality--that's what we call the sentiment we don't share.
- I hate you, God. I hate you as though you actually exist.
Graham Greene Quotes On Writing
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. — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
One never knows enough about characters in real life to put them into novels. One gets started and then, suddenly, one can not remember what toothpaste they use; what are their views on interior decoration, and one is stuck utterly. No, major characters emerge; minor ones may be photographed. — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
Had Shakespeare listened to the news of Duncans death in a tavern or heard the knocking on his own bedroom door after he had finished the writing of Macbeth? — Graham Greene
And there, in that phrase, the bitterness leaks again out of my pen. What a dull lifeless quality this bitterness is. If I could I would write with love, but if I could write with love I would be another man; I would never have lost love. — Graham Greene
I get fed up with all this nonsense of ringing people up and lighting cigarettes and answering the doorbell that passes for action in so many modern plays. — Graham Greene
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 — Graham Greene
Melodrama is one of my working tools and it enables me to obtain effects that would be unobtainable otherwise; on the other hand I am not deliberately melodramatic; don't get too annoyed if I say that I write in the way that I do because I am what I am. — Graham Greene
I aim to be content with what I produce. It's an aim I never achieve, but I go over my work word by word, time and again, so as to be as little dissatisfied as possible. — Graham Greene
Graham Greene Quotes On Love
It's a strange thing to discover and to believe that you are loved when you know that there is nothing in you for anybody but a parent or a God to love. — Graham Greene
You don't bless what you love...It's when you want to love and you can't manage it. You stretch out your hands and you say God forgive me that I can't love but bless this thing anyway...We have to bless what we hate...It would be better to love, but that's not always possible. — Graham Greene
One can't love humanity. One can only love people. — Graham Greene
As the end of the 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. — Graham Greene
Hatred seems to work on the same glands as love: it even produces the same actions. If we had not been taught how to interpret the story of the Passion, would we have been able to say from their actions alone whether it was the jealous Judas or the cowardly Peter who loved Christ? — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
I had to touch you with my hands, I had to taste you with my tongue; one can't love and do nothing. — Graham Greene
Her face looked ugly in the attempt to avoid tears; it was an ugliness which bound him to her more than any beauty could have done. It isn't being happy together, he thought as though it were a fresh discovery, that makes one love--it's being unhappy together. — Graham Greene
Like some wines our love could neither mature nor travel. — Graham Greene
Lust is not the worst thing. It is because any day, any time, lust may turn into love that we have to avoid it. And when we love our sin then we are damned indeed. — Graham Greene
Graham Greene Quotes On Life
It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself. — Graham Greene
It is one of the strange discoveries a man can make that life, however you lead it, contains moments of exhilaration; there are always comparisons which can be made with worse times: even in danger and misery the pendulum swings. — Graham Greene
At one with the One, it didn't mean a thing besides a glass of Guinness on a sunny day. — Graham Greene
Thrillers are like life, more like life than you are. — Graham Greene
He gave her a bright fake smile; so much of life was a putting off of unhappiness for another time. Nothing was ever lost by delay. He had a dim idea that perhaps if one delayed long enough, things were taken out of one's hands altogether by death. — Graham Greene
We are all of us resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to. — Graham Greene
The border means more than a customs house, a passport officer, a man with a gun. Over there everything is going to be different; life is never going to be quite the same again after your passport has been stamped. — Graham Greene
Ordinary life goes on--that has saved many a man's reason. — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
An autobiography is only 'a sort of life' - it may contain less errors of fact than a biography, but it is of necessity even more selective: it begins later and it ends prematurely. — Graham Greene
Graham Greene Quotes On Sense
Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered. — Graham Greene
Insecurity is the worst sense that lovers feel; sometimes the most humdrum desireless marriage seems better. Insecurity twists meanings and poisons trust. — Graham Greene
He felt the loyalty we feel to unhappiness -- the sense that is where we really belong. — Graham Greene
He felt the loyalty we feel to unhappiness - the sense that is where we really belong. — Graham Greene
We mustn't complain too much of being comedians -- it's an honorable profession. If only we could be good ones the world might gain at least a sense of style. We have failed -- that's all. We are bad comedians, we aren't bad men. — Graham Greene
American bankers believe in the personal touch; the teller conveys a sense that he happens to be there accidentally and he is overjoyed at the lucky chance of the encounter. — Graham Greene
...and yet could swear it was just then that I fell in love. It wasn't, of course, simply the onions -- it was the sudden sense of an individual woman, of a frankness that was so often later to make me happy and miserable. — Graham Greene
Graham Greene Quotes On World
Politics, war, marriage, crime, adultery. Everything that exists in the world has something to do with money. — Graham Greene
In a mad world it always seems simpler to obey. — Graham Greene
A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous. — Graham Greene
Like the characters in Chekhov, they have no reserves -– you learn the most intimate secrets. You get an impression of a world peopled by eccentrics, of odd professions, almost incredible stupidities, and, to balance them, amazing endurances. — Graham Greene
I don't care a damn about men who are loyal to the people who pay them, to organizations...I don't think even my country means all that much. There are many countries in our blood, aren't there, but only one person. Would the world be in the mess it is if we were loyal to love and not to countries? — Graham Greene
The world doesn't make any heroes anymore. — Graham Greene
It's a good world if you don't weaken. — Graham Greene
Would the world be in the mess it is if we were loyal to love and not to countries? — Graham Greene
The world was in her heart already, like the small spot of decay in a fruit. — Graham Greene
Suffering is not increased by numbers; one body can contain all the suffering the world can feel. — Graham Greene
Graham Greene Quotes On Word
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. — Graham Greene
Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism. — Graham Greene
Heresy is another word for freedom of thought. — Graham Greene
So much of a novelist's writing, as I have said, takes place in the unconscious: in those depths the last word is written before the first word appears on the paper. We remember details of our story, we do not invent them. — Graham Greene
I know one thing you don't. I know the difference between Right and Wrong. They didn't teach you that at school.' Rose didn't answer; the woman was quite right: the two words meant nothing to her. Their taste was extinguished by stronger foods--Good and Evil. — Graham Greene
Graham Greene Famous Quotes And Sayings
The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness. In misery we seem aware of our own existence, even though it may be in the form of a monstrous egotism: this pain of mine is individual, this nerve that winces belongs to me and to no other. But happiness annihilates us: we lose our identity. — Graham Greene
Insecurity twists meanings and poisons trust. In a closely beleaguered city every sentry is a potential traitor. — Graham Greene
The truth has never been of any real value to any human being - it is a symbol for mathematicians and philosophers to pursue. In human relations kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths. — Graham Greene
Against the beautiful and the clever and the successful, one can wage a pitiless war, but not against the unattractive: then the millstone weighs on the breast. — Graham Greene
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully. — Graham Greene
Of two hearts one is always warm and one is always cold: the cold heart is more precious than diamonds: the warm heart has no value and is thrown away. — Graham Greene
Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim. It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is a sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope. He never reaches the freezing-point of knowing absolute failure. Only the man of goodwill carries always in his heart this capacity for damnation. — Graham Greene
Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil --or else an absolute ignorance. — Graham Greene
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? — Graham Greene
Eternity is said not to be an extension of time but an absence of time, and sometimes it seemed to me that her abandonment touched that strange mathematical point of endlessness, a point with no width, occupying no space. — Graham Greene
Unhappiness in a child accumulates because he sees no end to the dark tunnel. The thirteen weeks of a term might just as well be thirteen years. — Graham Greene
The hands of the guilty don't necessarily tremble; only in stories does a dropped glass betray agitation. Tension is more often shown in the studied action. — Graham Greene
He couldn't tell that this was one of those occasions a man never forgets: a small cicatrice had been made on the memory, a wound that would ache whenever certain things combined - the taste of gin at mid-day, the smell of flowers under a balcony, the clang of corrugated iron, an ugly bird flopping from perch to perch. — Graham Greene
Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim. — Graham Greene
There's a virtue in slowness, which we have lost — Graham Greene
Pity is cruel. Pity destroys. — Graham Greene
Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival; we require a season when we can regret all the flaws in our human relationships: it is the feast of failure, sad but consoling. — Graham Greene
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? — Graham Greene
All good novelists have bad memories. What you remember comes out as journalism; what you forget goes into the compost of the imagination. — Graham Greene
It was like having a box of chocolates shut in the bedroom drawer. Until the box was empty it occupied the mind too much. — Graham Greene
People talk about the courage of condemned men walking to the place of execution: sometimes it needs as much courage to walk with any kind of bearing towards another person's habitual misery. — Graham Greene
Sentimentality - that's what we call the sentiment we don't share. — Graham Greene
There was a tacit understanding between them that 'liquor helped'; growing more miserable with every glass one hoped for the moment of relief. — Graham Greene
Childhood was the germ of all mistrust. You were cruelly joked upon and then you cruelly joked. You lost the remembrance of pain through inflicting it. — Graham Greene
When I replied that I loved her too in that way, I was the liar, not she, for I never lose the consciousness of time: to me the present is never here: it is always last year or next week. — Graham Greene
It is always of interest to know what strikes another human being as remarkable. — Graham Greene
Grief and disappointment are like hate: they make men ugly with self-pity and bitterness. And how selfish they make us too. — Graham Greene
Reality in our century is not something to be faced. — Graham Greene
Sooner or later... one has to take sides. If one is to remain human. — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
She mixes religion with desertion to make it sound noble. — Graham Greene
Most things disappoint till you look deeper. — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
You cannot love without intuition. — Graham Greene
Oh well, perhaps when you're my age you'll know the heart is an untrustworthy beast.The mind too,but it doesn't talk about love. — Graham Greene
Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil - or else an absolute ignorance. — Graham Greene
love had turned into "love affair" with a begining and an end. — Graham Greene
Cynicism is cheap -- you can buy it at any Monoprix store -- it's built into all poor-quality goods. — Graham Greene
In our hearts there is a ruthless dictator, ready to contemplate the misery of a thousand strangers if it will ensure the happiness of the few we love. — Graham Greene
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. — Graham Greene
I had very good dentures once. Some magnificent gold work. It's the only form of jewelry a man can wear that women fully appreciate. — Graham Greene
I have often noticed that a bribe has that effect - it changes a relation. The man who offers a bribe gives away a little of his own importance; the bribe once accepted, he becomes the inferior, like a man who has paid for a woman. — Graham Greene
Communism, my friend, is more than Marxism, just as Catholicism is more than the Roman Curia. There is a mystique as well as a politick. Catholics and Communists have committed great crimes, but at least they have not stood aside, like an established society, and been indifferent. I would rather have blood on my hands than water like Pilate. — Graham Greene
I couldn't have thought of her more. Even vacancy was crowded with her. — Graham Greene
One's life is more formed, I sometimes think, by books than by human beings: it is out of books one learns about love and pain at second hand. — Graham Greene
Failure too is a form of death... — Graham Greene
But I'm a bad priest, you see. I know--from experience--how much beauty Satan carried down with him when he fell. Nobody ever said the fallen angels were the ugly ones. Oh, no, they were just as quick and light and . . . — Graham Greene
The argument of danger only applies to those who live in relative safety. — Graham Greene
So much of life [is] a putting-off of unhappiness for another time. Nothing [is] ever lost by delay. — Graham Greene
The trouble is I don't believe my unbelief. — Graham Greene
I'm only saying I want you to be happy. I hate your being unhappy. I don't mind anything you do that makes you happy." You just want an excuse. If I sleep with anybody else, you feel you can do the same - any time." That's neither here nor there. I want you to be happy, that's all." You'd make my bed for me?" Perhaps. — Graham Greene
Rocinante was of more value for a true traveller than a jet plane. Jet planes were for business men. — Graham Greene
All good novelists have bad memories. — Graham Greene
A major character has to come somehow out of the unconscious. — Graham Greene
His hilarity was like a scream from a crevasse. — Graham Greene
God is love. I don't say the heart doesn't feel a taste of it, but what a taste. The smallest glass of love mixed with a pint pot of ditch-water. We wouldn't recognize that love. It might even look like hate. It would be enough to scare us - God's love. — Graham Greene
Life Lessons by Graham Greene
- Graham Greene teaches us to embrace our own unique perspectives and to be open to the perspectives of others. He encourages us to strive for meaningful connections with those around us, and to be mindful of our own actions and how they may affect others.
- He also reminds us to stay true to our values and beliefs, even in the face of adversity, and to be mindful of the consequences of our actions.
- Finally, he encourages us to look for the beauty and joy in life, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.
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