By Neil Sinyard
This quantity explores Graham Greene's literary occupation. between different issues, it explores his explanations for writing; the literary and cinematic impacts that formed his paintings; his writing regimen and the significance of his early life event. Greene was once elusive, enigmatic and this booklet teases out the fiction from his autobiographies, the autobiography from his fictions, sharing Paul Theroux's view that you could be now not understand Greene from his face or speech "but from his writing, you recognize everything".
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Additional resources for Graham Greene: A Literary Life (Literary Lives)
The first inklings of American suspicion of Greene as a potentially undesirable alien might also stem from that review, with its satirically salacious mockery of one of their national treasures, particularly as only three weeks earlier, in a review of James Whale’s film, The Road Back, he had savaged America’s tendency to see everything in its own image. ’ he sneered. ‘For Mother’s Day, yes, for anti-vivisection and humanitarianism, the pet dog and the home fire, for the coed college and the campus.
For example, he cites Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, which gave him a fascination with Africa that was to be developed in his later travels – in Liberia in 1935, for example, or in Sierra Leone in 1942. As previously noted, the hero of that novel is cited in a dream of Castle’s in The Human Factor, as he searches the interior of a dark continent for that most elusive of states – peace of mind. But if there is one literary influence from childhood more than any other to which Greene draws attention, it is to Marjorie Bowen’s novel, The Viper of Milan, published in 1906 and which Greene read at the age of fourteen (astonishingly, Marjorie Bowen was not much older than that when she wrote it).
Indeed he described the book in such a way that one can see how he tried to transfer its atmosphere into his own work. ’ 25 Is there a better description of the world and atmosphere of novels like A Gun for Sale or Brighton Rock? There was one other special ingredient that he took from Marjorie Bowen and that he obtained from no other writer to the same degree: namely, the intoxicating sense that writing could be fun. For all their massive gifts, this is not something readily communicated by masters such as Henry James, leaving poor Alec Guinness dizzy and breathless trying to follow the sentence structure of Wings of the Dove, or Joseph Conrad, labouring for four days over the last sentence of Heart of Darkness.