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date: 18 April 2024

Graham Greene 1904–91
English novelist 

  1. 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.
    The Comedians (1966) pt. 3, ch. 4
  2. 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.
    The Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 1, pt. 1, ch. 2
  3. Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim.
    Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 1, pt. 1, ch. 2
  4. In human relations kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.
    The Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 1, pt. 2, ch. 4
  5. Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil—or else an absolute ignorance.
    The Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 2, pt. 1, ch. 1
  6. He felt the loyalty we all feel to unhappiness—the sense that that is where we really belong.
    The Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 2, pt. 2, ch. 1
  7. Any victim demands allegiance.
    The Heart of the Matter (1948) bk. 3, pt. 1, ch. 1
  8. What do we ever get nowadays from reading to equal the excitement and the revelation in those first fourteen years?
    The Lost Childhood and Other Essays (1951)
  9. Goodness has only once found a perfect incarnation in a human body and never will again, but evil can always find a home there. Human nature is not black and white but black and grey.
    ‘The Lost Childhood’ (1951)
  10. There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
    The Power and the Glory (1940) pt. 1, ch. 1
  11. 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.
    The Quiet American (1955) pt. 1, ch. 3
  12. I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.
    The Quiet American (1955) pt. 1, ch. 4
  13. There is a splinter of ice in the heart of a writer.
    A Sort of Life (1971)
  14. People who like quotations love meaningless generalizations.
    Travels With My Aunt (1969)
  15. Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie-detector.
    Travels with My Aunt (1969)
  16. Success is more dangerous than failure, the ripples break over a wider coastline.
    in The Independent 4 April 1991
  17. We must guard even our enemies against injustice.
    Greene's version of Thomas Paine's Dissertation on the First Principles of Government; see Paine