One of the most popular, respected and controversial writers of the twentieth century, Greene's work has still attracted relatively little scholarly comment. Thomson charts the intricate dance between his novels and screenplays, his many audiences, and an intellectual establishment reluctant to identify the work of a popular writer as 'literature'.
When a writer produces a novel that is both denounced as Communist propaganda and extolled as the ideal travelling companion for hearty venture capitalists looking to conquer the untapped markets of Southeast Asia, one would expect to see a troupe of post-modernist scholars scrambling to be the first to point out the textual ironies at play. Strangely, however, this has not been the case for Graham Greene, author of The Quiet American and several dozen of the twentieth-century's most critically acclaimed bestsellers. Graham Greene and the Politics of Popular Fiction and Film examines why contemporary scholars have largely ignored the popular and wildly controversial writer. It explores how the evolution of literature as a discipline helped entrench intellectual biases against popular fiction, how the post-war economy and the collapse of the Hollywood studio system conspired to transform The Third Man from a thriller into the work of an auteur, and why movie critics felt that The End of the Affair was sexually obscene while priests celebrated God's belated cameo on cinema screens.
Acknowledgements Introduction: The Politics of Reading Greene PART I: FROM FAILED NOVELIST TO POPULAR WRITER Institutional and Critical Priorities at the Beginning of Graham Greene's Career The Failed Novelist Readers and Generic Processes in Stamboul Train Cinema as a Strategy of Containment PART II: FROM POPULAR WRITER TO AUTHOR Cinematic Evasions After Stamboul Train Greene and Genre Strategic Moves: Genres, Brand, Authors and The Third Man Amateurs and Professionals, Auteurs and Intellectuals PART III: FROM AUTHOR TO CONTESTED AUTHORITY Auteurism and the Study of Greene Our Man in Havana and Auteurism PART IV: THE POLEMICAL BATTLEFIELD Greene and the Polemics of Canonical Reading Depopulating the Common: Reading The End of the Affair Liberal Commitment: Reading The Quiet American Appropriating Greene: Re-reading The End of the Affair and The Quiet American Conclusion: The Problem of a 'Better Case' Index