Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.
He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet.
The greatest ideas are the simplest.
I don't like the word 'allegorical', I don't like the word 'symbolic' - the word I really like is 'mythic', and people always think that means 'full of lies', whereas of course what it really means is 'full of truth which cannot be told in any other way but a story'.
It wasn't until I was 37 that I grasped the great truth that you've got to write your own books and nobody else's, and then everything followed from there.
It's simpler to believe in a miracle.
I'd rather there wasn't an afterlife, really. I'd much rather not be me for thousands of years.
Marx, Darwin and Freud are the three most crashing bores of the Western World. Simplistic popularization of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence.
I must have been an unsatisfactory child for grownups to deal with. I remember how incomprehensible they appeared to me at first, but not, of course, how I appeared to them.
Man produces evil as a bee produces honey.
The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.
Since most scientists are just a bit religious, and most religious are seldom wholly unscientific, we find humanity in a comical position. His scientific intellect believes in the possibility of miracles inside a black hole, while his religious intellect believes in them outside it.
Boys do not evaluate a book. They divide books into categories. There are sexy books, war books, westerns, travel books, science fiction. A boy will accept anything from a section he knows rather than risk another sort. He has to have the label on the bottle to know it is the mixture as before.
Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.
Utopias are presented for our inspection as a critique of the human state.
I am optimistic when I consider the spiritual dimension which the scientist's discipline forces him to ignore.
I have been in many countries, and I have found there people examining their own love of life, sense of peril, their own common sense. The one thing they cannot understand is why that same love of life, sense of peril and above all common sense, is not invariably shared among their leaders and rulers.
Language fits over experience like a straight-jacket.
When I wrote 'Lord of the Flies' - I had no idea it would even get published.
Before the Second World War, I believed in the perfectability of social man; that a correct structure of society produced goodwill; and that, therefore, you could remove all social ills by a reorganisation of society. It is possible that I believe something of the same again; but after the war, I did not because I was unable to.