Graham Greene

Novelist, Author

1904 – 1991

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Who was Graham Greene?

Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH, was an English writer, playwright and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene was noted for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair. Several works such as The Confidential Agent, The Third Man, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.

Greene suffered from bipolar disorder, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life. In a letter to his wife Vivien, he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life", and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material". William Golding described Greene as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety." Greene never received the Nobel Prize in Literature, though he finished runner-up to Ivo Andrić in 1961.

Famous Quotes:

  • Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered.
  • Reality in our century is not something to be faced.
  • Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
  • A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous.
  • If I had to choose between life in the Soviet Union and life in the U. S. A. , I would certainly choose the Soviet Union.
  • Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either egotism, selfishness, evil --or else an absolute ignorance.
  • Unhappiness in a child accumulates because he sees no end to the dark tunnel. The thirteen weeks of a term might just as well be thirteen years.
  • Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism.
  • Communism, my friend, is more than Marxism, just as Catholicism is more than the Roman Curia. There is a mystique as well as a politick. Catholics and Communists have committed great crimes, but at least they have not stood aside, like an established society, and been indifferent. I would rather have blood on my hands than water like Pilate.
  • It is the story-teller's task to elicit sympathy and a measure of understanding for those who lie outside the boundaries of State approval.

Citation

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"Graham Greene." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 12 Nov. 2019. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/graham_greene>.


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Born
Oct 2, 1904
Berkhamsted
Also known as
  • Henry Graham Greene
  • Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Catholicism
Nationality
  • England
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Education
  • Balliol College
  • University of Oxford
  • Berkhamsted School
Lived in
  • Berkhamsted
Died
Apr 3, 1991
Vevey

Submitted
on July 23, 2013