By Maria Couto
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Additional info for Graham Greene: On the Frontier: Politics and Religion in the Novels
He is a Liberal. Oh, yes, he calls himself a Carlist, but what does he care for such politics? The caballero knows what a dirty game they are. Caveda is not a politician. He cares for the great, the fundamental things, Liberalism, the poor, freedom. He does not believe in priests, kings, what are they beside the people? he feels, in his heart, senor, for Liberalism and the peopleY The last novel in this first group, Stamboul Train (1932), illustrates what Greene refers to as' a sense of movement in prose'.
The common elements in his social settings have less to do with a personal emotional pattern than with the facts of history. 25 His novels are apparently light, occasionally schematic and often melodramatic with successful excursions into fantasy so as to probe reality and to apprehend 'people as people and not as social units'. Relationships extend beyond cultural and national boundaries to a human community with a shared moral purpose. The novels attempt a 'vital interpenetration, idea into feeling, person into community, change into settlement, which we need in our divided time'.
Contact with the grubby earth described as 'seediness' in later work is the base of Greene's vision. On the one hand the unpurified human condition, notwithstanding the taint of original sin, has the vitality and exuberance of life like the activity of smuggling. On the other hand, the condition of purity represented by Elizabeth who 38 Graham Greene: On the Frontier urges him to face the law - does represent justice - even though the law itself in its expression is a degenerate form of legality as far removed from the ideal as the hierarchy is from religion.
Graham Greene: On the Frontier: Politics and Religion in the Novels by Maria Couto