Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weekend Furloughs

The last weekend of Greeneland was spent establishing posture with respect to Moby Dick and then, hands upraised, leaping into Rex Stout and his League of Frightened Men. I needed Nero and Archie. The pacing in the novels is amazing, much like the structured format of Wolfe's quotidian.

Sometimes I am amazed. Friday afternoon I was listening to the Old 97s perform locally for NPR and front man Rhett Miller was asked what authors he found inspiring. I admit to a scoff, as if any man that pretty was bookish. He quickly responded that it may be redundant during Infinite Summer to mention DFW but he had to admit that Wallace was a writer he could always return towards and he kept finding himself in just such a maneuver.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Doctor Fischer of Geneva

I finished such yesterday morning and i while I appreciated this meditation on ageing and loss, it is really story more so than even a novella, given the breaks and wisps of chapters. As plots go, this was translucent but Greene's dark humor keeps one involved throughout.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Power and The Glory

I finished such yesterday at the dinner after a splendid repast with my wife. She had, of course, finished the novel a few days previously. We discussed the moral coloring of several characters, especially the half-caste. I noted that I found it similar to Nineteen Eighty-four in that both protagonists are forced to confront a proverbial stations of the cross before achieving self-awareness. The conversation then drifted into the idea of how diminished food and or meals are construed in Greene's novels. Drinking is paramount but, somehow, in the gamut of Greeneland, cuisine is overlooked

Monday, July 20, 2009

About Last Night

The previous post was about physical similarites between Greene and Brother Van, strictly specific to certain press photos. I was curious today that someone might find lyrical correlations as well. Keep buggering on, I suppose, as Sir Winston would wish.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

And Yet

My wife finished Power and the Glory. I read 40 pages of such today while thinking of sweeping verse in Moby Dick. I have yet to elaborate on an observation that Greene appeared strangely similar to Van Morrison, think Poetic Champions Compose, at least in terms of press photos. I was also struck one day by the chronological proximity of Shostakovich's life to that of Greene

Well, Not Exactly

I was rather annoyed that only the first movement of the Fifth Symphony was played last night. The Mozart Clarinet Concerto was played in its entirety, and it was a treat to behold. I took the Sherry biography and my wife raced ahead in Power and the Glory. It was a sublime evening and we were forced to wear fleece - in July!

I found the context for Greene's The Shipwrecked (England Made Me) riveting, not only the saga of Greene's dissipated brother but the fact that he gleaned so much of Stockholm for the benefit of the novel in a eight day holiday. Another 50 pages of Moby Dick were enjoyed today, the consequences of such will be delineated at samizdat.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tenth Man

It surfaces in the novella's introduction, that when Greene's attorney was notified by MGM that they were considering filming his brief World War II piece, he was puzzled; after all, wasn't there but a two page treatment of a script idea? I told my wife earlier this afternoon, that I obviously don't know what it means to be 75 nor to have penned dozens of novels; but how fascinating it remains to ponder the possibility of having forgotten that one once penned a nearly 120 page novella? I greatly enjoyed the tale's tension, the standard tropes of guilt and flight.

I may read another 100 pages of Moby Dick this evening as we're going to an outdoor concert of the Louisville Orchestra.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Human Factor

Such was finished yesterday afternoon after my fabled Turkish meatballs proved to possess anti-personnel properties. Yet another gem from Greene, soundly structured and laced with bleak conclusions and macabre humor.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Then he allowed himself to strike, like his childhood hero Allan Quatermain, off on that long slow underground stream which bore him on toward the interior of the dark continent where he hoped that he might find a permanent home, in a city where he could be accepted as a citizen, as a citizen without any pledge of faith, not the City of God or Marx, but the city called Peace of Mind. -- Graham Greene

I spent some time yesterday listening to my sister complain about her failed attempts to normalize relations with a relative of ours, one that I declared a few years back I would never see again. This was actually just before I encountered the above quote from Greene. Prescient and just shy of purple, I do appreciate The Human Factor.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rather Tired

I elected myself a weekend furlough from Greeneland, following Joel's incessant pleas to keep with Moby Dick. He's such a mary.

This evening allowed a pattered pace into online groups like Infinite Summer, interesting voyeurism, but if I reread meganovel this year it will be third read of Gravity's Rainbow.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Shipwrecked

I finished England Made Me yesterday and I was left in a shudder of deft appreciation. Greene again displayed a talent for filling out a minor character, somewhat late in the narrative whose motivations offer a symbolism for the dynamic at large.

The biography finds Greene's conversion to Catholicism complete, his work as a strike breaker at The Times and his second courtship of the disastrous Vivien. His daily productivity in writing is explored by Sherry without any real context, only excerpts from his own letters which are certainly objective.

There was pause in the afternoon yesterday where i considered simply rereading the landmark Greene novels which I have enjoyed before. I am glad I reconsidered. The Human Factor is proving amazing.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Man Within

I finished Greene's first novel on Friday. It is certainly experimental, betraying stream-of-consciousness that is rare in Greene's work. I found it poetic and bleak. Dr. Sherry suggests that Greene's having suffered at school fomented his affinity for cowards and fugitives.

My pace in the bio has slowed, Greene has graduated and fallen in love with Vivian. His flexibility in moral matters is reflected in his (rash?) decision to convert to Catholicism from a prior perch as staunch atheist.

I am now reading The Shipwrecked, which was published in the UK under the title England Made Me. Aside from it being a punchline for every sex scandal which geysers on the front page of The Sun, it is an interesting novel, one which also affords fragmented narrative to great effect. Its portrait of Stockholm is, in itself, a deserving enticement.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Orwell on Greene

Hell is a sort of high-class nightclub, entry to which is reserved for Catholics only.