grahame greene

luka

Well-known member
both ballard and ballard and burroughs cite him as a major influence. not got round to it yet. have a copy of the quiet amercian here
anything intelligent to say?
 

woops

is not like other people
He divided his works into serious stuff and "entertainments". Based on my reading history I prefer the latter to the Catholic stuff. Try every loser wins
 

martin

----
Read them in my teens so the memories are hazy, but Brighton Rock is OK – sadistic cat lick street urchin running amok with his razor. Actually, it’s probably really tame by today’s standards. Heart Of The Matter is heavy on Catholicism, corruption and human failings. Ministry of Fear is a decent WW2 spy thriller with some unusual memory loss sequences, IIRC? (apt). I’ve also read The End Of The Affair but can’t remember a thing about it, except I thought it was the worst.

He’s OK but I never really got hooked on him. Greene and Muriel Spark (who I prefer) were converts, and converts usually tend to view Catholicism as being a lot more profound and intellectually complex than we born RCs do. Maybe it’s an ego thing; if you’ve made a conscious decision to emotionally and spiritually invest in the one true faith, rather than having it shoved down your throat from birth, you’re probably less likely to take the piss out of chain-smoking priests getting babies’ names wrong during baptisms / telling you you’re going to Hell if you read the Sunday Sport, etc.

Maybe I just read the worst ones. Surprised Burroughs liked him, to be honest - can maybe see a bit of him in Ballard, but it wouldn't be much more than 'a bit'.
 

luka

Well-known member
ive jst burned my inner elbow cooking oven chips. intersting martin thsnk you do you think his adopted faith is central to his stories?
 

martin

----
ive jst burned my inner elbow cooking oven chips. intersting martin thsnk you do you think his adopted faith is central to his stories?

It's definitely central to Heart Of The Matter, and crops up in Brighton Rock, where this paranoid teen psycho is trying to fuck everyone over but then relapsing and crying out for Christ's mercy when he comes under attack. Hard to say, as I've read so little, but Ministry of Fear (and I think The Third Man, but only saw the film) are Catholic-free. (Edit, 'Third Man' was only ever a film)
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
Yeah his faith is seen as quite integral to his writing, most explicitly Heart of the Matter, although arguably he overcomes it in that... End of the Affair too.
I liked virtually all his books I've read which is a lot. Definitely check HoftheM, Hunan Factor, England Made Me, End of the Affair, Comedians... Travels With My Aunt was more silly. He also wrote The Third Man of course.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I do have one: I remember being repulsed when I read The End of the Affair and thinking it was one of the worst novels I'd ever read. Unfortunately I can't recall in detail why.
 

luka

Well-known member
They're not Great Books are they. The reputation is inflated. But he is another grubby shop stained soul like Auden, like Bacon, all these morally compromised and exhausted men of the era who are all too aware of their own weakness and complicity and are suspicious of fine motives and purity and rhetoric
 

luka

Well-known member
My dad inherited some of that. He always liked to say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We went to see the film of the quiet american together. He approved of the sentiment. That Americans don't understand the world and make a mess by trying to fix things. That do-gooders cause trouble generally.
 

luka

Well-known member
There was an exhibition that put Bacon together with his Soho peers and everything was so grotty and grubby. Seediness as a spiritual condition.
 

148 I.Q. Magical Thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
At school, for GCSE eng lit, we read the one about the priest on the run in revolutionary Mexico. The power and the glory. It was mostly dull, but 30 years later I still remember snippets, so it left an impression.
 

luka

Well-known member
The American is young and a virgin. The Englishman is old and has 'had' over 40 women. The American gets his facts from books, the Englishman knows from experience. The American drinks lime juice, the Englishman is pickled in whisky and smokes opium each evening.
 

luka

Well-known member
At school, for GCSE eng lit, we read the one about the priest on the run in revolutionary Mexico. The power and the glory. It was mostly dull, but 30 years later I still remember snippets, so it left an impression.
Exotic locations are good. I love the Plumed Serpent but I'm not sure I could take a DH Lawrence set in Coventry or Derby.
 

luka

Well-known member
There is an American equivalent to this in the likes of Updike and Roth but it's much uglier for some reason, and comes with a kind of braggart machismo, without the same wounded, chastened quality. Someone could write an essay comparing the two forms of it
 
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