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Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:44 am

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A committee is an animal with four back legs.
John le Carre

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

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

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

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

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

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

For better or worse, I've been involved in the description of political conflict.
John Le Carre

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

I am still making order out of chaos by reinvention.
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.
John Le Carre

I don't think it is given to any of us to be impertinent to great religions with impunity.
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.
John Le Carre

I happen to write by hand. I don't even type.
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.
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.
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.
John Le Carre



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