Henry Graham Greene was born in 1904 in Hertfordshire, England. Born into an affluent and well-respected Brewery family, he was diagnosed with depression at just 16 years old. He produced his first work, a collection of poems at the age of 21 and after graduating from Oxford turned to journalism.
His first novel was published when he was 25 but it wasn’t until 3 years later when he published “Stamboul Train” (which was adapted into the film The Orient Express) that he began to receive mass recognition.
During WWII he worked for MI6 and many of the characters and situations he encountered ended up in his novels, but he was also fascinated with religion and the battle of good against evil, which is a reoccurring theme running through many of his novels. He kept a journal by the side of his bed where he wrote down his dreams.
Throughout his lifetime he suffered from Bipolar but produced 27 novels, some collections of short stories, autobiographies and travel writing. In his later years he moved to Switzerland, where he died at the age of 86 from Leukaemia
My favourite Graham Greene quotes:
“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint, can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”
“The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You’re there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see every scrap, even the most longest and boring of luncheon parties.”
“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball point pens are only good for filling out forms on planes.”
“A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction.”
And if you haven’t seen this version of Brighton Rock….you really should!
I’m really showing myself up here aren’t I? Again, I haven’t read any Greene, but again, because I feel that I know his work so well from the film and TV adaptations. I know the story of Brighton Rock, The Ministry of Fear, The Third Man, The End Of The Affair, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Comedians. I have at least 2 of his other novels on my “Mount Toobie” and even one of his travel biographies *blush*
There are just so many books, and not enough days in my life 😦 I can see The Hubster rolling his eyes and thinking “Oh no, she’s not gunna buy more books!” Lol. I think my A-Z subject matter was a bad choice *snigger*
I love the fact that Greene preferred writing with a fountain pen. It’s definitely my preference as a writing implement, and so far away from Capote, who used to write in pencil. Shakespeare must of written with a Quill, so I’m glad we’ve moved on a bit lol.
What’s your favourite writing tool?
- Written Interview: Graham Greene (gointothestory.blcklst.com)