Love is whatever you can still betray. Betrayal can only happen if you love.
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I grew up in a completely bookless household. It was my father's boast that he had never read a book from end to end. I don't remember any of his ladies being bookish. So I was entirely dependent on my schoolteachers for my early reading with the exception of 'The Wind in the Willows,' which a stepmother read to me when I was in hospital.
I made an awful mess of my first marriage. It was hard to live with me being me. I was so abnormal. I mean, most writers struggle. I hadn't struggled. I couldn't suddenly go down to the PEN Club and behave like a normal human being, because most of those guys were struggling to make a couple of thousand pounds a year.
It's necessary to understand what real intelligence work is. It will never cease. It's absolutely essential that we have it. At its best, it is simply the left arm of healthy governmental curiosity. It brings to a strong government what it needs to know. It's the collection of information, a journalistic job, if you will, but done in secret.
It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.
Like every novelist, I fantasise about film. Novelists are not equipped to make a movie, in my opinion. They make their own movie when they write: they're casting, they're dressing the scene, they're working out where the energy of the scene is coming from, and they're also relying tremendously on the creative imagination of the reader.
The creation of George Smiley, the retired spy recalled to hunt for just such a high-ranking mole in 'Tinker, Tailor,' was extremely personal. I borrowed elements of people I admired and invested them in this mythical character. I'm such a fluent, specious person now, but I was an extremely awkward fellow in those days.