Graham Greene

(Henry Graham Greene)

Graham Greene
Graham Greene
  • Born: October 2, 1904
  • Died: April 3, 1991
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Playwright









Henry Graham Greene OM CH, better known by his pen name Graham Greene, was an English novelist regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquired a reputation early in his lifetime as a major writer, both of serious Catholic novels, and of thrillers (or "entertainments" as he termed them). He was shortlisted, in 1966 and 1967, for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Through 67 years of writings, which included over 25 novels, he explored the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, often through a Catholic perspective.

Quote Topics Cited
Fame is a powerful aphrodisiac. Power
Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. Freedom & Liberty
What is cowardice in the young is wisdom in the old, but all the same one can be ashamed of wisdom.” Human Nature
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.
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.
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. Truth
A solitary laugh is often a laugh of superiority.
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. War & Peace
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. Truth ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
Failure too is a form of death. Failure ;Death
God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed - that is the meaning of evolution. Religion & God
He felt the loyalty we feel to unhappiness - the sense that is where we really belong.
Heresy is another word for freedom of thought. Freedom & Liberty
Human nature is not black and white but black and grey. Nature
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.
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? Religion & God
In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths. Relationships
In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace - and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;War & Peace
In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock! Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;War & Peace
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.
Innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself. Life ;Trust
Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism.
Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered.
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.
No human being can really understand another, and no one can arrange another's happiness. Happiness & Unhappiness
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.
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.
Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil - or else an absolute ignorance.
Reality in our century is not something to be faced.
Sentimentality - that's what we call the sentiment we don't share.
Success is more dangerous than failure, the ripples break over a wider coastline. Failure ;Success
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 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 moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn't thought about. At that moment he's alive and you leave it to him.
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. Truth
The world doesn't make any heroes anymore.
There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. Future
They are always saying God loves us. If that's love I'd rather have a bit of kindness. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Religion & God
Thrillers are like life, more like life than you are. Life
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.
We are all of us resigned to death: it's life we aren't resigned to. Life ;Death
When we are not sure, we are alive.
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.