Greene, Graham (1904 – 1991)

Greene claims as his subject ‘the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God’

A superb typed letter signed by Graham Greene, 17th January 1950.

The author wries to Dr. Heinrich Jansen Cron, responding to questions about his works.He opens, ‘No, personally I do not agree with the interpretations you quote that have been put on my work, but I do feel that critics should be allowed to find their own interpretations and it is not for the author to protest.’

He goes on, ”I certainly do not regard myself as a Protestant smuggling reformation into the Church! I think myself that one’s general philosophical purpose has been misunderstood. In Brighton Rock one was trying to draw the picture of a character whom the reader, non-Christian and Protestant as well as Catholic, could imaginatively conceive as suffering damnation, and then in the last pages introduce a doubt even there.’‘In other words, one’s subject was “the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God”‘.

Greene continues, with reference to another of his great works, ‘In The Heart of the Matter one was reversing the process and expressing the danger of damnation that was possible even with a man of apparently good intentions, but again one was raising the question mark at the end. It always amuses me to read reviews, therefore, which regard me as a pessimist.’

Signed boldly in fountain pen ink, and in very fine condition.

Letters of Greene that make such important statements about his creative output are extremely rare.