Showing posts from February, 2013
The Heart of the MatterGraham Greene
I visited Greeneland after years. And I am struck by how much an outdated religious sensibility still has the power to affect. Scobie is a police officer in an obscure African colony during the war. The Vichy French are neighbours and a clandestine trade in industrial diamonds means an air of suspicion hangs around the colony. Colonial Africa is a character as much as any of the others – the heat, the colonials with their ‘boys’ and pink gin and the club and the gossip and their deference to hierarchy. Scobie is a good man, an honest police officer, with a faded wife and a genuine love of the land and people he has governed for over 15 years. He is also a converted Catholic and that proves the defining characteristic taking the story forward. Pity and sympathy are Scobie’s routes to love. He loves his wife Louise best when he is able to pity her disappointment at his not getting a promotion (something that does not really bother him). So, to accommoda…