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John Le Carre QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A committee is an animal with four back legs.
Quotation of John Le Carre
A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.
Quotation of John Le Carre
A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it.
Quotation of John Le Carre
America has entered one of its periods of historic madness, but this is the worst I can remember.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Americans believe that if you know something, you should do something about it.
Quotation of John Le Carre
By the age of 9 or 10, I knew that I had to cut my own cloth and make my own way.
Quotation of John Le Carre
During the Cold War, we lived in coded times when it wasn't easy and there were shades of grey and ambiguity.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Every writer knows he is spurious; every fiction writer would rather be credible than authentic.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Fools, most linguists. Damn all to say in one language, so they learn another and say damn all in that.
Quotation of John Le Carre
For better or worse, I've been involved in the description of political conflict.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Graham Greene once referred to a chip of ice that has to be in the writer's heart. And that is the strain: that you must abstain from relationships and yet at the same time engage in them. There you have, I think, the real metaphysical relationship between the writer and the spy.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I always begin with one character and then perhaps two, and they seem to be in conflict with each other.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I don't think it is given to any of us to be impertinent to great religions with impunity.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I happen to write by hand. I don't even type.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I have always felt that the great botched decisions of my life were the work of men in secret conclave. Women's voices were too absent.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I think I have been better served by television than film. It also depends on the product itself, and there are some books that lend themselves more naturally to it.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I think that there are books that I hope I will still write where I really would not wish a movie to be made.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I think that where I've watched a movie go wrong, it's usually because the dread committee has been interfering with it.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I was very aware of a feeling of professional menopause. I felt that I needed new horizons for my own self as well as my work. And it was a wonderful challenge to take on a completely new theater of life and experience and try to fit it into fictional form.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I'm really a library man, or second-hand book man.
Quotation of John Le Carre
I've always had difficulties with female characters.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Ideologies have no heart of their own. They're the whores and angels of our striving selves.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
If there is one eternal truth of politics, it is that there are always a dozen good reasons for doing nothing.
Quotation of John Le Carre
If you describe a Secret Service and impose upon it the same ground rules of behavior as you would upon an English country house, you quickly get the reader with you. So these are bits of ammunition that are available to an English writer, and properly used, are pure gold, in my experience.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
In my own bizarre childhood, I had no mother and I didn't have a very normal upbringing with girls in my own peer group.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
It's been more than 40 years since I had anything to do with the secret world. But as I've gone on writing I've really just refined the uses of that world as my private theater. Added and subtracted and changed it, tried to make it reflect the mood of the day.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Once you're comfortable with a perspective upon life, you go back to certain situations and work them.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Thank heaven, though, one of the few mistakes I haven't made is to talk about the unwritten book.
Quotation of John Le Carre
The Cold War was over long before it was officially declared dead.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
The notion that we can really plug into really huge amounts of data is really wonderful.
Quotation of John Le Carre
There are some subjects that can only be tackled in fiction.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Tinker, Tailor centred on a wonderfully simple premise: that there is a spy inside our secret service, and we can use the secret service as a vision of the British establishment at play.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
We always think that we are prisoners of our own image. I didn't want my image to be stuck with cold spy stuff.
Quotation of John Le Carre
We can all have strong views, and they may differ, but the issue that is on the table is really where we stand on the power of one nation, and the exercise of that power. And where we believe that the popular voice and will are being overridden by factions which are totally undemocratic.
Quotation of John Le Carre
We have an extra telephone line installed and we have a Mac. I think by Christmas we'll be all set up and ready to go. It's my wife, Jane, who will actually sit at the controls. I am moving gradually towards it. I accept that it is quite impossible to stand aside from it.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
When I did the stuff that was so formative in my life, went into the secret world from an early age, it was predominantly a man's world. The comedy of human behaviour enacted on the tiny secret stage was a man's comedy.
Quotation of John Le Carre
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.
Quotation of John Le Carre
Writing is like walking in a deserted street. Out of the dust in the street you make a mud pie.
Quotation of John Le Carre
You should have died when I killed you.
Quotation of John Le Carre