Quotations From GRAHAM GREENE


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  • Cynicism is cheap—you can buy it at any Monoprix store—it's built into all poor-quality goods.
    Graham Greene (1904-1991), British novelist. The Comedians, pt. 1, ch. 1, sct. 3 (1966).
  • 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 (1904-1991), British novelist. The Heart of the Matter, bk. 1, pt. 1, ch. 2, sct. 2 (1948).

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  • There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
    Graham Greene (1901-1994), British author. The Power and the Glory, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1940).

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  • 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 (1904-1991), British novelist. letter, Jan. 18, 1981, to critic Stephen Pile, Sunday Times (London). Yours, Etc: Letters to the Press, 1945-1989 (1989).

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  • 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.
    Graham Greene (1904-1991), British novelist. The Quiet American, pt. 1, ch. 3, sct. 3 (1955). Later in the book, the narrator describes Pyle—"the quiet American" of the title, a fumbling idealist in Cold-War Vietnam—in similar terms: "What's the good? He'll always be innocent, you can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." (pt. 3, ch. 2, sct. 1).

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  • 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.
    Graham Greene (1904-1991), British novelist. The Quiet American, pt. 1, ch. 3, sct. 3 (1955). Later in the book, the narrator describes Pyle—"the quiet American" of the title, a fumbling idealist in Cold-War Vietnam—in similar terms: "What's the good? He'll always be innocent, you can't blame the innocent, they are always guiltless. All you can do is control them or eliminate them. Innocence is a kind of insanity." (pt. 3, ch. 2, sct. 1).

    Read more quotations about / on: innocence, lost, world
  • There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
    Graham Greene (1904-1991), British novelist. The Power and the Glory, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1940).

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  • It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
    Graham Greene (1904-1991), British novelist. The Ministry of Fear, bk. 1, ch. 3, sct. 2 (1943).

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  • Nobody thinks in terms of "human beings." Governments don't, why should we? They talk about people and the proletariat; I talk about the suckers and the mugs. It's the same thing.
    Graham Greene (1904-1991), British author, screenwriter, and Carol Reed. Harry Lime (Orson Welles), The Third Man (1949). To his friend, writer Holly Martins. Based On Greene's Novel.

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  • 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 (1904-1991), British novelist. The Ministry of Fear, bk. 1, ch. 7, sct. 1 (1943).

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