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Articles of Faith: The Collected Tablet Journalism of Graham Greene, 1936 - 1987
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When Graham Greene died in 1991, at the age of 86, his reputation as a great Catholic writer was assured. His books reflected an awareness of sin and confronted discomfiting themes with a sombre eye. The British Catholic journal The Tablet provided Greene with a forum for both his works-in-progress and his sometimes unorthodox religious views. Greene was always drawn to tales of martyrdom, and in 1930s Mexico he found the most pitiless clamp-down on Roman Catholicism anywhere since the Reformation. Greene’s Mexico reportage was first published in The Tablet. The controlled understatement and scrupulous, unsparing lucidity of Greene’s journalism is still impressive, as it unforgettably portrays the aftermath of the anti-religious revolution begun by President Calles. Included here are four Mexico despatches, “Mexican Sunday”, “A Catholic Adventurer and his Mexican Journal”, “In Search of a Miracle” and “The Dark Virgin”. Articles of Faith also includes a long essay on the Assumption, “Our Lady and Her Assumption: The Only Figure of Perfect Love”, written for The Tablet in 1951. Also included are 26 book reviews which the novelist wrote for The Tablet’s “Fiction Chronicle” column. Always broad-minded, Greene praised the work of the anti-Fascist Italian novelist Ignazio Silone and a science fiction by the Czech author Karel Capek: “I have no room to do more than warmly recommend Mr Capek’s fantasy of a world conquered by newts.” Among the other authors whom Greene reviewed are Thomas Mann, John Dos Passos, Djuna Barns, Stevie Smith, William Gerhardi, Erich Kastner and Somerset Maugham. For the first time, Graham Greene’s Tablet contributions are collected in one volume. Much of the journalism has not been seen for fifty years. The book includes an essay, “Two Friends”, documenting the story of Greene’s friendship with a Catholic diplomat and fellow devotee of Henry James, Peter Leslie. The Greene-Leslie correspondence has not been seen before.
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