Sunday, October 18, 2015

From "The Ministry Of Fear" by Graham Greene

"... In childhood we live under the brightness of immortality - heaven is as near and actual as the seaside. 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 disappointing memories - of the V.C. in the police court dock, of the faked income-tax return, the sins in corners, and the hollow voice of the man we despise talking to us of courage and purity. The little duke is dead and betrayed and forgotten, we cannot recognise the villain and we suspect the hero and the world is a small cramped place. The two great statements of faith are "What a small place the world is" and "I'm a stranger here myself..." 

From "The Ministry Of Fear" (1943) by Graham Greene

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