Greene, Graham. (1904 - 1991).
W o r k
- preoccupied with political and religious problems
- projects his anti-imperialism and Catholic faith in his writing
- considers Christianity a single ray of hope x his characters perceive God as distant and ‘appallingly strange’
- reinforces his themes by using troubled and disorienting topographies
- typical setting: countries suffering under the effects of imperialism, or countries torn by war
- typical characters: outsiders and rebels, double-sided characters with destructive tendencies, and characters suffering under their sense of sin and moral unworthiness
The Man Within (1929):
- the title: from Sir Thomas Browne’s quotation ‘There is another man within me that is angry with me.’
- introduces the recurrent two-sidedness of his protagonists
Brighton Rock (1938):
- the protagonist: a self-destructive Catholic gangster fascinated by the concept of ‘Hell, Flames, and damnation’
The Power and the Glory (1940):
- the protagonist: a whisky-priest in the restless anti-clerical Mexico
- concerned with faith, doubt, and failure
The Ministry of Fear (1943):
- set in the phantasmagoria world of the blitzed London
The Heart of the Matter (1948):
- set in a flyblown, rat-infested, and war-blighted West African colony
- the protagonist: a suicide accussing God of ‘forcing decisions on people’ and blaming the Church for having all the answers
The Third Man (1951):
- concerned with citizens, refugees, and military occupiers in Vienna
- all of the characters are equally wrecked, divided, and guilt-ridden
The End of the Affair (1951):
- set in the blitzed London
- concerned with an illegitimate love affair, sin and guilt, and moral decision
The Quiet American (1955):
- set in Vietnam during the war
- argues for the necessity of expressing one's political loyalties
Our Man in Havana (1958):
- set in Cuba
The Comedians (1967):
> provoked an international scandal: the Haitian Government brought a case against it for its having damaged the Republic’s tourist trade
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorHenry Graham Greene. (1904 - 1991). British.
WorkNovelist. Short story writer. Author of The Quiet American (1955).
GenresModern fiction. Political novel.
Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.
Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.
Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.
Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.
Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.
"You're a devil, God, tempting us to leap. But I don't want Your peace and I don't want Your love. I wanted something very simple and very easy: I wanted Sarah for a lifetime and You took her away. With Your great schemes You ruin our happiness like a harvester ruins a mouse's nest: I hate You, God, I hate You as though You existed."
From The End of Affair (1951).