Inspiration, Quotes, Productivity and More

A Selection of John le Carré Quotes

John le Carré, pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell was born on October 19, 1931 in England. He was a professor of French and Latin, and later a member of the British foreign service before he became a full time novelist.

Le Carré won some awards for this writing incuding the Somerset Maugham Award in 1964 as well as the Goethe Medal in 2011. John Le Carré published more than 20 novels, and had ten of his novels adapted into film.

John Le Carré Quotes

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

I’ve always had difficulties with female characters.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carrée

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

Writing is like walking in a deserted street. Out of the dust in the street you make a mud pie.

John le Carré

You should have died when I killed you.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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.

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

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

John le Carré

A committee is an animal with four back legs.

John le Carré

36 Clifford Geertz Quotes On Anthropology

Clifford Geertz was born on August 23, 1926 in San Francisco and is widely known for his contribution to the field of anthropology and ethnography.

116 Most Amazing Quotes About Literature

It is one of the paradoxes of American literature that our writers are forever looking back with love and nostalgia at lives they couldn’t wait to leave.

Anatole Broyard