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 :: 1904-1991, British Novelist

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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 - [Murder]

 

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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 - [Journalism and Journalists]

 

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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 - [Ugliness]

 

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Behind the complicated details of the world stand the simplicities: God is good, the grown-up man or woman knows the answer to every question, there is such a thing as truth, and justice is as measured and faultless as a clock. Our heroes are simple: they are brave, they tell the truth, they are good swordsmen and they are never in the long run really defeated. That is why no later books satisfy us like those which were read to us in childhood --for those promised a world of great simplicity of which we knew the rules, but the later books are complicated and contradictory with experience; they are formed out of our own disappointing memories.
~ Graham Greene - [Simplicity]

 

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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 - [Communism and Socialism]

 

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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 - [Cynics and Cynicism]

 

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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 - [Despair]

 

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Failure too is a form of death...
~ Graham Greene - [Failure]

 

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God created a number of possibilities in case some of his prototypes failed -- that is the meaning of evolution.
~ Graham Greene - [Evolution]

 

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He entered the territory of lies without a passport for return.
~ Graham Greene - [Lies and Lying]

 

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He felt the loyalty we feel to unhappiness -- the sense that is where we really belong.
~ Graham Greene - [Unhappiness]

 

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His hilarity was like a scream from a crevasse.
~ Graham Greene - [Jokes and Jokers]

 

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However great a man's fear of life, suicide remains the courageous act, the clear-headed act of a mathematician. The suicide has judged by the laws of chance -- so many odds against one that to live will be more miserable than to die. His sense of mathematics is greater than his sense of survival. But think how a sense of survival must clamor to be heard at the last moment, what excuses it must present of a totally unscientific nature.
~ Graham Greene - [Suicide]

 

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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 - [Corruption]

 

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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 - [Faith]

 

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In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.
~ Graham Greene - [Lies and Lying]

 

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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 - [Innocence]

 

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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 - [Trust]

 

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It is the story-teller's task to elicit sympathy and a measure of understanding for those who lie outside the boundaries of State approval.
~ Graham Greene - [Literature]

 

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Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism.
~ Graham Greene - [Media]

 

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