No human being can really understand another, and no one can arrange another's happiness.
The world doesn't make any heroes anymore.
There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?
A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous.
The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn't thought about. At that moment he's alive and you leave it to him.
When we are not sure, we are alive.
Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered.
Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see - every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties.
I have often noticed that a bribe has that effect - it changes a relation. The man who offers a bribe gives away a little of his own importance; the bribe once accepted, he becomes the inferior, like a man who has paid for a woman.
Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil - or else an absolute ignorance.