Graham Greene - the Third Man

Topics: Graham Greene, The Third Man, Vienna Pages: 7 (1882 words) Published: March 20, 2011
Graham Greene - The Third Man
A classic tale of friendship and betrayal

I. Life of the author
Henry Graham Greene was born on 2 October 1904 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England and was one of six children. At the age of eight he attended the Berkhamsted school where his father Charles was the head teacher. As a teenager he was under so immense pressure that he got psychological problems and suffered a nervous breakdown. In 1922 he was enrolled on the Balliol College, Oxford and in 1926 after graduation he started to work for the London Times as sub-editor and for the Nottingham Journal as journalist, where he met his later wife Vivien Dayrell-Browning. In February 1926 before marring his wife he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, which had influenced him and his writings (moral, religious, social themes). In 1929 his first novel The Man Within was published, so he became a freelance writer in 1930, but his popularity wasn´t sealed before Stamboul Train (Orient Express) was published in 1932. In 1935 he became the house film critic for The Spectator. In 1938 he published Brighton Rock and visited Mexico to report on the religious persecution there and as a result he wrote The Lawless Roads and The Power and the Glory. In 1940 he was promoted to literary editor for The Spectator. In 1941 - World War Two - he began to spy voluntarily for the British Foreign Office in Sierra Leone, western Africa and resigned in 1943 because of being accused of collusion and traitorous activities that never substantiated. He spent the rest of the war travelling widely and produced on his experiences he made The Heart of the Matter in 1948. In 1950 The Third Man was published which was written as a film treatment. So the book became famous after the movie had been released in 1949 and Greene states: ”The Third Man was never to be read but only to be seen”. In 1975 he separated from his wife and on 3 April 1991 he died in Vevey, Switzerland.

Greene´s novels can be divided into entertainments (e.g. The Third Man, Our Man In Havana) and serious novels (e.g. The Matter of The Heart). The entertainments set priority on the suspense not on the message and the serious novels deal with serious problems. He was influenced by R. Browning, Joseph Conrad, R. L. Stevenson (his grand-uncle), Rider Hagards, M. Bowens and John Buchans. In his entertainments he uses the devices of a thriller to show the struggle between good and evil within his characters, also the conflict within his characters between secular love and love of god, also moral doubt and psychological conflict. His novels are filled with exotic locales, vivid imagery and unique detached portrayal of characters that became his trademark, which also made up the terms Greeneland, stream of consciousness and seediness of the world. He often dealt with topical incidents mixed with fiction, so he became a kind of a predictor because like in The Third Man the fictitious crime was true.

II. Literary works of the author
The Man Within
The Name of Action
Rumour at Nightfall
Stamboul Train
It's a Battlefield
England Made Me
A Gun for Sale
Brighton Rock
The Confidential Agent
The Power and the Glory
The Ministry of Fear
The Heart of the Matter
The Third Man
The End of the Affair
Loser Takes All
The Quiet American
Our Man in Havana
A Burnt-Out Case
The Comedians
Travels with my Aunt
The Honorary Consul
The Human Factor
Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party
Monsignor Quixote
The Tenth Man
The Captain and the Enemy
Twenty-One Stories
A Sense of Reality
May We Borrow Your Husband?
The Last Word and other stories
Journey Without Maps
The Lawless Roads
In Search of a Character
Getting to Know the General
Collected Essays
The Pleasure Dome
British Dramatists
Yours etc.
The Living Room
The Potting Shed
The Complaisant Lover
Carving a Statue
The Return of A. J. Raffles...
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