Download Atlantic Afterlives in Contemporary Fiction: The Oceanic by Ahlberg PDF

By Ahlberg

In chosen 20th- and twenty-first-century texts, starting from Plath to Roth, Ahlberg reads modern narratives, really "transatlantic literature", because it imagines and navigates state-of-the-art digital areas. eventually, Ahlberg's argument empowers the reader to reimagine a destiny for narrative within the info Age.

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Greene’s The Quiet American is set in what was to become a major political and military watershed for America in the twentieth century. In writing the detective novel manqué that is The Quiet American, Greene foreshadows a world in which the trading of information becomes a way of grappling with questions of commitment, judgment, and belief. Faith in God cedes to trust in evidence and facts for the detective Vigot, a priest who has traded in his collar for a magnifying glass (139). For Vigot, and arguably Greene’s first readers, the appeal of detection lies in its perceived ability retrospectively to restore order to a world of chaos and confusion.

I had never in my career discovered the inexplicable. The Pope worked his prophecies with a pencil in a movable lid and the people believed. In any vision somewhere you could find the planchette. I had no visions or miracles in my repertoire of memory. (88) To admit to never having encountered the inexplicable is a symptom of either profound apathy or a studied blindness to the extraordinary and the romantic along the lines of another Greene hero, the indifferent Querry from A Burnt-out Case. All the same, The Quiet American resolves the anxieties of this malaise through its internal endorsement of a secular belief in discourse and intelligence.

The human race needs to survive and it’s the loyal man who dies first from anxiety or a bullet or overwork. If you have to earn a living, boy, and the price they make you pay is loyalty, be a double agent—and never let either of the two sides know your real name. (48) In a letter to V. S. Pritchett dated 1948, Greene explains “the importance of the virtue of disloyalty” (A Life in Letters, 154). “Loyalty,” he writes, “confines us to accepted opinions: loyalty forbids us to comprehend sympathetically our dissident fellows; but disloyalty encourages us to roam experimentally through any human mind: it gives to the novelist the extra dimension of sympathy” (155).

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