Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Bizarre Graham Greene

I'm currently reading the Power and the Glory, by Graham Greene. So far so good. I picked this one up after reading Our Man in Havana which rivals Catch 22 for the title of best surreal spy novel (an admittedly narrow category).

I was reading up on Graham Greene online and came across a great NYTimes review of his biography. What a strange man. Here are some choice quotes.

Much of Volume 1 was given over to [Greene's] pursuit of a suitable wife, and when the young Greene had settled on Vivien Dayrell-Browning he wrote her 2,000 letters before finally persuading her to marry him. But not long after his wedding he resumed frequenting prostitutes.

Aware that he led a hidden life, Greene developed a habit of evasion, an almost pathological inability to come clean. His secretiveness led him at times to keep a parallel diary, in which he might chronicle two versions of his day, one rather sober and preoccupied, the other perhaps detailing a frolic with a prostitute. Betrayal was one of Greene's obsessive subjects.

Finally, this last quote is Greene's and seems to be depressingly accurate.
At the end of what is called 'the sexual life' the only love which has lasted is the love that has accepted everything, every disappointment, every failure and every betrayal, which has accepted even the sad fact that in the end there is no desire so deep as the simple desire for companionship.

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