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The Quiet American
  • The Quiet American

    Graham Greene. 


    Viking: 1956. Hardcover in a jacket. First US edition. Near fine book in a good jacket. 


    “'I couldn't have faced Phuong,' he said, and the name lay there like a banker's bid. I took it up. 

    'So it was for her,' I said. What made my jealousy more absurd and humiliating was that it had to be expressed in the lowest of whispers - it had no tone, and jealousy like histrionics. 'You think these heroics will get her. How wrong you are. If I were dead you could have had her.' 

    'I didn't meant that,' Pyle said. 'When you are in love you want to play the game, that's all.' 

    That's true, I thought, but not as he innocently means it. To be in love is to see yourself as someone else sees you, it is to be in love with the falsified and exalted image of yourself. In love we are incapable of honour - the courageous act is no more than playing a part to an audience of two. Perhaps I was no longer in love, but I remembered.”

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