The Book & the Movie: The End of the Affair | Graham Greene, 1951 / Edward Dmytryk, 1955

The Book & the Movie: The End of the Affair | Graham Greene, 1951 / Edward Dmytryk, 1955
Graham Greene, 1904-1991                                                           The End of the Affair, 1951 – first edition

“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from
which to look back or from which to look ahead.”

“The sense of unhappiness is so much easier to convey than that of happiness. In misery we seem aware of our own existence, even though it may be in the form of a monstrous egotism: this pain of mine is individual, this nerve that winces belongs to me and to no other. But happiness annihilates us: we lose our identity.”

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, 1951
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Edward Dmytryk, The End of the Affair, 1955

“It’s a strange thing to discover and to believe that you are loved when you know that
there is nothing in you for anybody but a parent or a God to love.”

“I had to touch you with my hands, I had to taste you with my tongue;
one can’t love and do nothing.”

“I have loved no part of the world like this and I have loved no women as I love you.
You’re my human Africa. I love your smell as I love these smells. I love your dark bush
as I love the bush here, you change with the light as this place does, so that one all the
time is loving something different and yet the same. I want to spill myself out into you
as I want to die here.”

“When I tried to remember her voice saying, ‘Don’t worry,’ I found I had no memory for
sounds. I couldn’t imitate her voice. I couldn’t even caricature it: when I tried to remember
it, it was anonymous – just any woman’s voice.
The process of forgetting her had set in. We should keep gramophone records
as we keep photographs.”

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, 1951
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Edward Dmytryk, The End of the Affair, 1955

“Insecurity is the worst sense that lovers feel; sometimes the most humdrum desireless
marriage seems better. Insecurity twists meanings and poisons trust.”

“Yesterday I went home with him and we did the usual things. I haven’t the nerve to put them
down, but I’d like to, because now when I’m writing it’s already tomorrow and I’m afraid of
getting to the end of yesterday. As long as I go on writing, yesterday is today and
we are still together”

“There are times when a lover longs to be also a father and a brother:
he is jealous of the years he hasn’t shared.”

“I had never known her before and I had never loved her so much.
The more we know the more we love, I thought.”

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, 1951
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Edward Dmytryk, The End of the Affair, 1955

“I measured love by the extent of my jealousy.”

“You needn’t be so scared. Love doesn’t end. Just because we don’t see each other…”

“We can love with our minds, but can we love only with our minds? Love extends itself all
the time, so that we can love even with our senseless nails: we love even with our clothes,
so that a sleeve can feel a sleeve.”

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Edward Dmytryk, The End of the Affair, 1955

“I became aware that our love was doomed; love had turned into a love affair with a beginning
and an end. I could name the very moment when it had begun, and one day I knew I should
be able to name the final hour. When she left the house I couldn’t settle to work. I would
reconstruct what we had said to each other; I would fan myself into anger or remorse.
And all the time I knew I was forcing the pace. I was pushing, pushing the only thing I loved
out of my life. As long as I could make believe that love lasted I was happy; I think I was even
good to live with, and so love did last. But if love had to die, I wanted it to die quickly. It was
as though our love were a small creature caught in a trap and bleeding to death; I had to shut
my eyes and wring its neck.”

“Eternity is said not to be an extension of time but an absence of time.”

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Edward Dmytryk, The End of the Affair, 1955

“Sometimes I get tired of trying to convince him that I love him and shall love him for ever.
He pounces on my words like a barrister and twists them. I know he is afraid of that desert
which would be around him if our love were to end, but he can’t realize that I feel exactly
the same. What he says aloud, I say to myself silently and write it here.”

“I’m not at peace anymore. I just want him like I used to in the old days. I want to be eating
sandwiches with him. I want to be drinking with him in a bar. I’m tired and I don’t want
anymore pain. I want Maurice. I want ordinary corrupt human love. Dear God, you know
I want to want Your pain, but I don’t want it now. Take it away for a while and give it me
another time.”

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, 1951

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Deborah Kerr –  The End of the Affair, 1955


“I want men to admire me, but that’s a trick you learn at school–a movement of the eyes,
a tone of voice, a touch of the hand on the shoulder or the head. If they think you admire
them, they will admire you because of your good taste, and when they admire you, you
have an illusion for a moment that there’s something to admire.”

“Indifference and pride look very much alike, and he probably thought I was proud.”

“As long as one suffers one lives.”

“So much in writing depends on the superficiality of one’s days. One may be preoccupied
with shopping and income tax returns and chance conversations, but the stream of the
unconscious continues to flow undisturbed, solving problems, planning ahead: one sits down
sterile and dispirited at the desk, and suddenly the words come as though from the air: the
situations that seemed blocked in a hopeless impasse move forward: the work has been done
while one slept or shopped or talked with friends.”

Graham Greene, The End of the Affair, 1951
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The End of the Affair, 1955
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Writers: Graham Greene(novel) / Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay)
Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, John Mills

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