Winter 1957 • Vol. XIX No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1957 |

The Fiction of Graham Greene: Between the Horror and the Glory

R. W. B. Lewis THE FICTION OF GRAHAM GREENE: BETWEEN THE HORROR AND THE GLORY THE STORY of The Quiet American, Graham Greene's recent novel about the war in Indochina, is told in a smooth but sometimes inaudible undertone that marks a further decline from the harried and explosive intensity of his best fiction up to about I940. A further decline: for even in The Heart of the Matter, an occasional narrative flabbiness marred what was other- wise a novel of greater stature than its large and immediate popularity might suggest. And less happily still, The End of the Afair revealed what seemed to be a disconcerting shift of narrative intention. The account, there, of a woman of frail virtue reluctantly dragged towards sainthood was a tour-de-force of considerable brilliance-incipient sanctity seen from without with splendid incomprehension; but one had the feeling that the plot was being manipulated in the interest of a furtive edification. Greene has insisted (in the preface to a book

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