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 Post subject: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:17 am 
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Journeyman
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What a book... I'm only about a 1/4th way through it but could Graham Greene craft a sentence.
Out of all of the Catholic authors I have read fiction from (Cronin, Waugh, Percy, O'Connor, Chesterton, Tolkein) I'd have to say Greene has some of the most beautifully worded sentences.

Early in the book I came across this sentence: "Pride wavered in his voice like a plant with shallow roots." and was just struck by the imagery of it... and the message the narrator was conveying about the character Mr. Trench.

That sentence is just one example. The pages contain so much extra meaning.... if I find myself pausing to make sense of everything I can get a bit slowed down. It's different than Walker Percy because with Percy I get this feeling that the deeper meaning is just too vague and abstract.... Graham has loaded sentences too, but they seem more manageable.


This is my first Graham Greene. Looking forward to reading more.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:17 am 
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Thank you for your observations. I've not read anything of Graham Greene's. Sounds like I should put some on my wish list.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:24 am 
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YMMV. I didn't like what I read of him.

Which is not to say that you shouldn't try him; just don't run off to Amazon and order all of his books at once :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:28 am 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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I have The Power and the Glory on my kindle, but haven't read it yet.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:28 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
YMMV.


:scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:52 am 
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http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ymmv

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:07 pm 
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Europeans don't understand mileage :fyi: only kilometrage

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:10 pm 
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I bet they use them leeter thingies too.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
YMMV. I didn't like what I read of him.

Which is not to say that you shouldn't try him; just don't run off to Amazon and order all of his books at once :)



What of his have you read that you didn't like?
The Power and The Glory is the first I've read.... Only about half way through it so far.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:23 pm 
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Graham Greene used to be on The Index of Forbidden Books. While he was cardinal, Cardinal Montini (future Pope Paul VI) was a huge fan of Graham Greene and even had a private meeting with him, which one of the many things that were regarded as deeply troubling to many when he was elected Pope.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:04 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Graham Greene used to be on The Index of Forbidden Books.

It's true that the Holy Office wrote his Ordinary over The Power and the Glory but it was not, as far as I know, placed on the Index.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:32 pm 
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Greene's story "The Power and The Glory" has had some points that have annoyed me and come across as standard boilerplate "I'm Catholic.... but different and better than those pious, devout Catholics".

In the Whiskey Priest meets a pious, devout lady in a prison cell (this ruins nothing with the story). She's not necessarily portrayed as a spiteful Catholic but her piousness seems to be an object of acrimony that Greene puts in the Whiskey Priest's thoughts. Almost saying that her piousness and devoutness to the faith are as bad, if not worse, than the sexual relations that another man and woman in the cell are carrying on with (it's a cramped cell with many folk, male and female, tossed in).

Maybe I'm reading what Greene is saying wrong.... but it's hard not to interpret it as your standard.... ahem.... National Catholic Reporter article.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:32 pm 
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But... his prose is still beautiful though.
His description of things just enchants the mind.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:36 pm 
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Greene had a troubled relationship with the Church, no doubt about it. According to Wikipedia (which you can believe or not, as you like), he stopped going to Confession and to Mass in the 1950s and didn't resume until shortly before he died in 1991.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Journeyman
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Greene had a troubled relationship with the Church, no doubt about it. According to Wikipedia (which you can believe or not, as you like), he stopped going to Confession and to Mass in the 1950s and didn't resume until shortly before he died in 1991.


You can definitely pick up on some of that troubled relationship sentiment in this book.
I get that an author is going to focus on the bad elements of the Church in the imperfect ways some of the members in it represent the Church.
But sometimes it can become this theme of ecclesiastical aloofness to the "the real world" and an almost bone-headed blindness to what people are really going through.... as if the higher ups in the Church would reply "let them eat cake".

In books like this, "Silence", and even "Keys of the Kingdom" (but, Cronin does a good job of showing a human face to those members as well) you can get the feeling of "why would they even waste their time if they knew that the Church was filled with this much presented buffoonery"

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:05 pm 
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Greene seemed to lose his faith from the early 50s onwards, but perhaps began recovering something of it from the late 70s onwards.

But there are 4 remarkable and powerful Catholic novels from 1951 or before: Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair.

The books do feature his questioning, struggling self that would lead him to become very liberal in later life, especially.

However, they are literary _masterpieces_. They reveal the human condition in all its complexity with tremendous insight and poignancy - from the depths of depravity to the most tender and beautiful. Gritty, powerful, REAL. And they speak to the mystery and mercy of God.

Greene was a (tormented) genius. May God have mercy on his soul.

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 Post subject: Re: The Power and The Glory - Graham Greene
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:10 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, Roger Buck.

There were so many passages in The Power and The Glory where I would have to re-read them because they were so clever and insightful... found myself regularly sharing sentences with friends.

I saw Brighton Rock at the book store... thinking about getting that one now that you've mentioned it.

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