50+ John le Carre Quotes


John le Carre Quotes
Biography Author’s Book
Name: John le Carre Find on Amazon India: Link
Nationality: BritishFind on Amazon: Link
Profession: Writer
Born: 19-Oct-1931 

The monsters of our childhood do not fade away, neither are they ever wholly monstrous. But neither, in my experience, do we ever reach a plane of detachment regarding our parents, however wise and old we may become. To pretend otherwise is to cheat.

I’m really a library man, or second-hand book man.

I’ve always had difficulties with female characters.


Ideologies have no heart of their own. They’re the whores and angels of our striving selves.

If there is one eternal truth of politics, it is that there are always a dozen good reasons for doing nothing.

In the last 15 or 20 years, I’ve watched the British press simply go to hell. There seems to be no limit, no depths to which the tabloids won’t sink. I don’t know who these people are but they’re little pigs.

Love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love.

Most people like to read about intrigue and spies. I hope to provide a metaphor for the average reader’s daily life. Most of us live in a slightly conspiratorial relationship with our employer and perhaps with our marriage.

People who’ve had very unhappy childhoods are pretty good at inventing themselves. If nobody invents you for yourself, nothing is left but to invent yourself for others.

Thank heaven, though, one of the few mistakes I haven’t made is to talk about the unwritten book.

The Cold War was over long before it was officially declared dead.

The longing we have to communicate cleanly and directly with people is always obstructed by qualifications and often with concern about how our messages will be received.

I think that where I’ve watched a movie go wrong, it’s usually because the dread committee has been interfering with it.

By the age of 9 or 10, I knew that I had to cut my own cloth and make my own way.

Remember Graham Green’s dictum that childhood is the bank balance of the writer? I think that all writers feel alienated. Most of us go back to an alienated childhood in some way or another. I know that I do.

I think I’m in the same mood as ever, but in some ways more mature. I guess you could say that, at 65, when you’ve seen the world shape up as I have, there are only two things you can do: laugh or kill yourself.

I made a series of wrong decisions about moderately recent books, and I’ve sold the rights to studios for ridiculous amounts of money and the films have never been made. That’s the saddest thing of all, because they’re locked up and no one else can make them.

I happen to write by hand. I don’t even type.

I don’t think that there are very many good writers who don’t live without a sense of tension. If they haven’t got one immediately available to them, then they usually manage to manufacture it in their private lives.

I don’t think it is given to any of us to be impertinent to great religions with impunity.

I don’t know whether it’s age or maturity, but I certainly find myself committed more and more to the looser forms of Western democracy at any price.

I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention.

History keeps her secrets longer than most of us. But she has one secret that I will reveal to you tonight in the greatest confidence. Sometimes there are no winners at all. And sometimes nobody needs to lose.

Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.

For better or worse, I’ve been involved in the description of political conflict.

Fools, most linguists. Damn all to say in one language, so they learn another and say damn all in that.

During the Cold War, we lived in coded times when it wasn’t easy and there were shades of grey and ambiguity.

In every war zone that I’ve been in, there has been a reality and then there has been the public perception of why the war was being fought. In every crisis, the issues have been far more complex than the public has been allowed to know.

There are some subjects that can only be tackled in fiction.

Every writer knows he is spurious; every fiction writer would rather be credible than authentic.

We have learned in recent years to translate almost all of political life in terms of conspiracy. And the spy novel, as never before, really, has come into its own.

We lie to one another every day, in the sweetest way, often unconsciously. We dress ourselves and compose ourselves in order to present ourselves to one another.

When you’re my age and you see a story, you better go for it pretty quickly. I’d just like to get a few more novels under my belt.

Writing is like walking in a deserted street. Out of the dust in the street you make a mud pie.
You should have died when I killed you.

If I had to put a name to it, I would wish that all my books were entertainments. I think the first thing you’ve got to do is grab the reader by the ear, and make him sit down and listen. Make him laugh, make him feel. We all want to be entertained at a very high level.

Until we have a better relationship between private performance and the public truth, as was demonstrated with Watergate, we as the public are absolutely right to remain suspicious, contemptuous even, of the secrecy and the misinformation which is the digest of our news.

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.

A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it.

America has entered one of its periods of historic madness, but this is the worst I can remember.

Americans believe that if you know something, you should do something about it.

A committee is an animal with four back legs.


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