A Study in Greene: Graham Greene and the Art of the Novel by Bernard Bergonzi

By Bernard Bergonzi

Bernard Bergonzi has been interpreting Graham Greene for a few years; he nonetheless possesses the unique version of The finish of the Affair that he got whilst it was once released in 1951. After rather a lot contemporary realization to Greene's existence he believes it's time to go back to his writings; during this serious research Bergonzi makes a detailed exam of the language and constitution of Greene's novels, and lines the obsessive motifs that recur all through his lengthy profession. such a lot previous feedback used to be written whereas Greene used to be nonetheless alive and dealing, and was once to a point provisional, because the ultimate form of his paintings was once now not but obvious. during this booklet Bergonzi is ready to take a view of Greene's entire occupation as a novelist, which prolonged from 1929 to 1988. He believes that Greene's past paintings used to be his most sensible, combining melodrama, realism, and poetry, with Brighton Rock, released in 1938, an ethical myth that attracts on crime fiction and Jacobean tragedy, because the masterpiece. The novels that Greene released after the Nineteen Fifties have been very specialist examples of skilful story-telling yet represented a decline from this excessive point of feat. Bergonzi demanding situations assumptions in regards to the nature of Greene's debt to cinema, and makes an attempt to elucidate the complexities and contradictions of his spiritual principles. even though this ebook engages with questions that come up in educational discussions of Greene, it really is written with basic readers in mind.

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As Lodge has remarked, ‘the railroad train is one of the few products of the industrial revolution to have acquired a certain mythic quality’6; one thinks of the train journeys in Dickens and Hardy, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and of paintings by Frith and Monet. Early in the twentieth century Arthur Honegger expressed this mythic quality in music, in his tone-poem about a locomotive, Pacific ; to keep his imagination charged, Greene continually played a gramophone record of it while he was writing Stamboul Train.

In Film Form he describes how the pioneers of cinema, like himself and D. W. Griffith, had access to an invention with extraordinary powers and possibilities, but they had to work out what to do with it if they wanted to tell stories. To learn how to construct cinematic               narrative they turned to existing literary forms, primarily the novel, but looking back as far as classical epic. ” But, strange as it seems, movies were also boiling in that kettle. ’ Eisenstein goes on to show how much Griffith discovered about the making of films in the novels of Dickens, which he had always loved.

In these references we see an obsession turning into a joke, at least for the author and those of his readers who might pick it up. Greene was a notorious practical joker, who sent spoof letters to the press under a variety of pseudonyms, including ‘Henry Ash’ and ‘Mrs Henry Montgomery’. Once he entered a New Statesman competition for a parody of his work and won second prize. Greene’s jokes with names are private but not altogether inaccessible, given a certain amount of biographical information.

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