Dangerous Edge: Culture and Contradiction in Graham Greene

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Graham Greene's 50 books have sold tens of million copies in countless languages. Greene's twenty novels have all been adapted into feature films — some twice, like The Quiet American and The End of the Affair. When Greene died in 1991, Time magazine's Paul Gray wrote: "No serious writer of the twentieth century has more thoroughly influenced the public imagination than Graham Greene."

While Greene's work and influence are well known, Greene the man remains an enigma. Despite repeated suicide attempts, Greene lived to be 86. He was a British spy who befriended traitor Kim Philby. He was a committed Catholic who referred to himself as a “Catholic agnostic.” He craved anonymity, yet his writing made him famous.

This presentation will include an introduction to a film I am completing on the Life of Graham Greene and a short clip from the film to explore how the contradictions in Greene's life contributed to writing that captured the imagination of a generation worldwide. As novelist Shirley Hazzard wrote: "Graham's life long preoccupation with the equivocations that beset all men and women, and his awareness of his own contrariety, themselves gave his novels their distinctive voice."

Keywords: Dangerous Edge: Culture and Contradiction in the Life and Art of Graham Greene
Stream: Literary Arts Practices
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Dangerous Edge

Prof. Thomas O’Connor

Associate Professor, School of Media Arts, James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Thomas P. O'Connor has written and produced over 50 documentaries and teleplays for broadcast, several of which have won major awards. Mr. O'Connor has traveled widely for his productions—throughout Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico. His film "Fatima" was the first nationwide documentary shown in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. During a NASA fellowship in 1998, he wrote and produced a documentary on the first manned lunar landing. His feature screenplay titled Fools of Time has been optioned by a Los Angeles production company. Currently he is working on a documentary about author Graham Greene.

Ref: A09P0743