The Power and the Glory

The Power and the Glory In A Poor, Remote Section Of Southern Mexico, The Paramilitary Group, The Red Shirts Have Taken Control God Has Been Outlawed, And The Priests Have Been Systematically Hunted Down And Killed Now, The Last Priest Is On The Run Too Human For Heroism, Too Humble For Martyrdom, The Nameless Little Worldly Whiskey Priest Is Nevertheless Impelled Toward His Squalid Calvary As Much By His Own Compassion For Humanity As By The Efforts Of His Pursuers In His Introduction, John Updike Calls The Power And The Glory ,Graham Greene S Masterpiece The Energy And Grandeur Of His Finest Novel Derive From The Will Toward Compassion, An Ideal Communism Even Christian Than Communist


❮BOOKS❯ ✻ The Power and the Glory ✴ Author Graham Greene –
  • Paperback
  • 222 pages
  • The Power and the Glory
  • Graham Greene
  • English
  • 28 November 2019
  • 9780142437308

10 thoughts on “The Power and the Glory

  1. says:

    Graham Greene is known as a Catholic novelist even though he objected to that description I mention that because this book is one of his four novels, which, according to Wiki, source of all wisdom, are the gold standard of the Catholic novel The other three are Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair.Like many other Greene novels, this one is set in a down and out environment in a Third World country Third World at least at the time Greene visited Mexico and Africa in the 1930 s and 1940 s Haiti, Cuba and the Congo in the 1950 s Greene s travels around the world including a stint as a British spy in WW II informed many of his novels This one, The Power and the Glory, was based on his travels in Mexico in 1938 The Comedians, Haiti A Burnt Out Case, the Congo Our Man in Havana, Cuba, and The Heart of the Matter, Sierra Leone Greene hit his literary stride in writing set in these destitute countries marked by starvation, disease, political tyranny, graft and corruption In this novel the focus is on anti clericalism in Mexico in the 1930 s Greene s publisher specifically paid for his trip to Mexico for this purpose in 1938 Anti clericalism has a long history in Mexico related to the Revolutions in 1860 and 1910 and the Constitution of 1917 which seized church land, outlawed monastic orders, banned public worship outside of churches, took away political rights from clergy and prohibited primary education by churches By the 1930 s the persecution of clergy had reached new heights, varying in each Mexican state depending upon the political inclinations of the governors In Tabasco state, on the southernmost curve of the Gulf of Mexico, persecution was the worst and it s likely the geographical setting of the story We re in a place of subsistence farming and banana plantations, days from any city by walking, mule or water Churches here were closed and many destroyed Priests were forbidden to wear garb or even conduct masses and many were forced to marry The persecution escalated to the point where priests were hunted down by police and executed without trial On to the story Our main character is a priest on the run because there is a reward on his head He s not dressed as a priest but his diction and decorum as an educated man give him away Just about everyone he meets assumes he s a priest on the run But he s a whiskey priest, addicted to his wine He has also fathered an illegitimate child At one point he meets his 7 year old daughter for the first time Everywhere he goes crowds of peasants beseech him to perform a mass, conduct weddings and baptisms Depending on his level of fear, sometimes, in despair, he ignores them and moves on other times he conducts the sacraments Sometimes he calculates how much he will charge for baptisms and how many bottles of wine the receipts will buy him Because of his drinking, his illicit liaison, and his fear of death by firing squad, he feels unworthy of his role He s human We have other characters of course A dentist, cut off by WW II from contact with his family in Europe, despairs of ever seeing them again A precocious 13 year old runs the family plantation for her incapacitated parents She hides the priest for a time We have good cops bad cops in pursuit of the priest some want to see him killed and some try to help him The priest can t trust anyone an offer of help may be a trap to get the reward on his head a huge sum in this backwards, destitute world A few quotes He walked slowly happiness drained out of him quickly and completely than out of an unhappy man an unhappy man is always prepared A man talking to his wife It s not such a bad life But he could feel her stiffen the word life was taboo it reminded you of death.The woman began to cry dryly, without tears, the trapped noise of something wanting to be released Of course, a classic Photo from runyon.lib.utexas.eduAnti clerical logo from

  2. says:

    You can never go wrong with this guy most definitely dude s on my Top Ten of All Time favorite novelists You cannot ask for crisper prose the dialogue is practically in audio, the descriptions themselves cause impressive bouts with synesthesia I cannot think of a single writer that is without flaw the closest to that super man would be Graham Greene.That being said, this is my least favorite novel of his thus far and it is interesting to note that this one is widely hailed as his masterpiece No sir, that title goes to The Quiet American , a thunderbolt of supreme genius But I even preferred Brighton Rock , too Here, like in that one, Greene creates his own orb around a very fickle, very risque topic religion and, most specifically not, of course, my favorite at all Catholicism It is a very hard thesis to substantiate that the search for God transcends the church and yet the different facets in the tests and shortcomings of a very human, very counter effective whisky priest proves just how false the whole enterprise is and yet religion, it seems, is a must I really did not side with any particular point of view, just enjoyed the ride and it s sort of like Cather s Death Comes to the Archbishop, only better an accomplishment without a doubt It is ambitious and harsh, beautiful and devastating Mexico is there, yet not It is cinematic and simultaneously personal I will read ALL his others, for here s a novel to discover, after some time naturally, to rediscover.

  3. says:

    This little gem turned out to be quite a surprise It is indeed powerful and it is glorious Greene s writing seems really simple and is easy to read, and yet is so full of meaning I am still soaking it all in.As the lead character, the whiskey priest , moves from one place to another, Greene takes us along on a journey taut with suspense and tension However, it is really his moral journey which is the most captivating We not only witness the priest s struggle to escape, we also get to look into his tormented soul and his ambivalence He is constantly torn between following what his religious faith has taught him while his worldly sense seems to make practical sense He feels guilty for his sins, but he loves the fruit of his sin He almost wishes that he be caught so that he could be rid of the fear and the misery But doesn t his faith teach him that it is his duty to save his soul He has sinned and is immoral, but he is also full of compassion and love for fellow human beings A question that haunts the priest and the reader throughout is whether he will find redemption and if his soul will achieve salvation Or do immoralities and sins always overshadow a man s goodness Greene makes it so easy for one to understand his characters The priest, with his virtues and his flaws, feels like a very real person It is not at all difficult to imagine such a person walking some part of this earth in flesh.While we read the thoughts and the convictions of the priest, the lieutenant serves as the opposing voice Both have some ideals which I do not completely agree with, but I also don t consider either of them to be totally wrong I also liked that the priest and the lieutenant, though rivals, are able to see the good in each other and have mutual respect Through these two characters, Greene brings forth the impermanence of beliefs through which one defines what is right Life can always take such turns that one s firmly believed ideals cease to make sense any.As the journey proceeds and we encounter various places and characters, Greene also reveals the misery, poverty, disease and utter desolation that has engulfed these wastelands He captures the feeling of the place and the moment with just the right words Through his words, you can almost feel the oppressive heat or the thundering rainstorm or the tranquility and freshness of an early morning Different characters that we meet give a sense of how bleak and despairing their life is There is a person who cannot shirk off the idea of death, there is another with a desperate cheerfulness who has to constantly remind himself that he is happy There are several instances where we see the difference between the world view of adults and children Adults who have known better times and have only those memories to draw any happiness from While the only world their children have seen is this world of misery These children haven t known what happiness, hope or faith means They have matured before they have aged All the playfulness and innocence of childhood has been drained away.Another frequently encountered theme is that of abandonment The words abandoned , abandonment crop up very it a man who has abandoned his family, a child abandoned by her father, a man deserted in the forest However, what Greene is really hinting at is the abandonment of this land and its people They are cut off from the rest of the world to rot in suffering, while the world and civilization outside progress The future holds no promises, all hope and faith has vanished Life has ceased to have any meaning, God himself has ceased to exist Death is an everyday affair for them and life is just a duty to be performed from day to day without ever knowing its joy and charm.She said I would rather die Oh, he said, of course That goes without saying But we have to go on living She was one of those garrulous women who show to strangers the photographs of their children but all she had to show was coffin For the most part the novel is bleak and grim, but it speaks of hope as well It is one of the strange discoveries a man makes that life, however you lead it, contains moments of exhilaration there are always comparisons which can be made with worse times even in danger and misery the pendulum swings Greene also reminds us of how peace and beauty can exist in the smallest of moments, which people often fail to notice until it has been left far behind It was nearly like peace, but not quite For peace you needed human company his alone ness was like a threat of things to come Suddenly he remembered for no apparent reason a day of rain at the American seminary, the glass windows of the library steamed over with central heating, the tall shelves of sedate books, and a young man a stranger from Tucson drawing his initials on the pane with his finger that was peace He looked at it from outside he couldn t believe he would ever again get in There is so much I have to say about this novel, I could never cover it all in a review Let me just say it is so very human.

  4. says:

    589 The Labyrinthine Ways The Power and The Glory, Graham GreeneThe Power and the Glory 1940 is a novel by British author Graham Greene The title is an allusion to the doxology often recited at the end of the Lord s Prayer For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen It was initially published in the United States under the title The Labyrinthine Ways 1996 1342 312 1393 9789640016664 20 1373 325 1387 1376 325 183 198 1938

  5. says:

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  6. says:

    Graham Greene published Power and Glory in 1940, when Christians were martyred in the Soviet Union, Spain and Mexico, in what Pope Pius XI called the terrible triangle , when Jews were martyred in Germany In Mexico, persecution, in various forms, had existed since the beginning of the nineteenth century, but in 1917 the Calles law imposed the eradication of the Catholic Church, and in the province of Tabasco the red shirts murdered one after the other the members of the clergy, as was the case in Spain in the 1930s at the time of the crapulary front Persecutions experienced in our time in some provinces of India, Vietnam or China and Nigeria, for example.That is to say that this novel is always upsetting, and that this sinner, a priest very little exemplary, because he is shot as an ecclesiastic, becomes a martyr and that his testimony retains today such a force and such a novelty.

  7. says:

    Greene had an unerring eye for the sanctity of human weakness and the ominousness of human strength.

  8. says:

    This is the first Greene I have read in years and it is a powerful novel It is set in Mexico and Greene has spent some time there in research The novel is about a priest a whisky priest in a province of Mexico where the Catholic Church is banned and priests are shot The unnamed protagonist is a bad priest and a drunkard who has also fathered a child He is also a coward The title is taken from the end of The Lord s Prayer and there is religious imagery all over the place The priest rides a donkey to his inevitable capture having been given a chance to escape , the peasant who betrays him is Judas Most of the other characters can be seen to represent someone in the gospel narratives Maria, padre Jose, Tench etc The priest is a very imperfect Christ and the Lieutenant a very implacable reperesentative of authority who is ultimately moved by the priest The Lieutenant plays a much larger role than Pilate does in the gospels, but there is a What is truth Moment The book represents Greene s own struggles with faith and the Church There are also themes relating to abandonment, desolation, hope and the bleakness of everyday life for the poor Greene s descriptive powers are very powerful and you can feel the stifling heat This is a thought provoking piece and managed to offend Catholics and atheists in equal measure quite a neat trick I ve known a few whisky priests in my time and remember one particular church and rectory which was locally christened St Glenfiddich s because of the drinking habits of the incumbent He didn t seem to do a great deal apart from drink, but when the alcohol finally got him everyone turned out for the funeral and he was rather fondly remembered The whisky priest here doesn t do a great deal apart from move around and perform any religious duties he was forced to by the locals There is something here perhaps about being rather than doing.While I don t share Greene s faith it is an interesting and powerful novel with hidden layers than I first perhaps realised

  9. says:

    Here we have a novel which takes faith at face value which for an atheist reader is a bit of a thwack round the fizzog with a wet towel This novel is all about the confession and all about the Mass And a little bit about the baptism too And the reality behind these rituals is that if they aren t done properly by a priest YOU yes YOU could end up going to HELL because you might then die in a state of mortal sin, i.e outside the reach of the grace of God, these are the rules, don t look at me like that, it s tough I know, because Hell means infinite pain for all eternity and God will be okay with that because He created Hell and created these complicated rules so you better get a priest over right NOW since you re looking a bit green and your eyes are puffy You could keel over at any minute So babies will get roasted in Hell if they don t get baptized So when the priest blesses the bread it then TRANSUBSTANTIATES into the actual body of Christ which is God although it still looks like bread, so that when the priest puts it in the mouths of his faithful flock he is putting God into their mouths literally this is what the priest in this novel says The first thing I think when confronted with these concepts, which millions have believed and still believe, is that I m glad I don t believe this kind of stuff because it seems to be very bad for your mental health which Graham Greene amply demonstrates And it s this exact kind of stuff which so outraged the guys who made the Mexican revolution in the 1920s that they set about crushing and destroying the Catholic Church, to the extent of hunting down and shooting priests And I was completely unaware of that So when I was reading Graham Greene s novel and I found it was about a priest being hunted down by the military not because he s a criminal but because he s a priest I was like wow Heavy And this really happened Yes, it really did, in Mexico, between 1926 and 1934 Two things about this particular priest he s not got a name Now why do authors do this have their protagonist being all nameless It just makes it a bit portentous That wasn t good The other thing is that he s a whisky priest, the definition of which is that he s a bad one, an alcoholic, he s fathered a child, he s not very pious He spends many pages desperately trying to get his hands on a bottle of brandy or two.The whole novel is about him being hunted up mountain and down canyon often on the back of a mule just like Jesus by the also nameless lieutenant He s now the last priest in the state, all others having been shot or they ve vamoosed or they ve been forced to marry a woman no fate worse than death to a priest and so been de fanged But our Father Nameless has ducked and dived for eight years but now he s getting to the end of his tether As Martha and the Vandellas sang in 1964, there s nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide No village will give him shelter, every man could be his Judas Iscariot So why didn t this very bad priest just take a slow boat to China or give up and get married After all, this isn t some brave wanna be martyr for the Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church He s a sniveling whining self loathing reptile most of the time But he himself provides a great explanation When he realized he was the last priest in his state, he was filled with euphoria Now at last there were no fellow priests to sneer at his drunken lacksadaisical ways He could make his own rules up He could be exactly the kind of priest he damn well wanted to be and no one to give him a hard time any I think that the novel wants in the end to show that martyrdom for the true faith can happen even in the squalor of this unpleasant man s life, and that the power and the glory may sometimes be located in the filth and the vileness Something along those lines, I wasn t too sure of the moral of it all What it meant to me was something quite differentThis was is a surprisingly savage nasty grim miseryfest, a real feel bad book for Catholics, atheists and Mexicans alike.

  10. says:

    The Power and the Glory is the sort of title to inspire readers to great deeds, pushing beyond the bounds of normal reading capabilities to turn pages at superhuman speed But alas no And why not Afterall, the premise is promisingA cynical, whiskey priest sneaks about the poor, rural lands of southern Mexico, evading capture for the treasonous action of being a priest The question is whether he s on the lam to preach the word of god or to save his own neck.I haven t read much Graham Greene, but what I have read makes me think Greene could turn a phrase and slap a good sentence together right up there with some of the best of them The problem seems to be his plots They don t punch you like you expect I always seemed to be waiting for something out of this book and it never came, and this isn t the first time it s happened with a Greene book Straight out of college I made a pledge to read through the works of respected authors I powered through Kafka and then Camus Both were exciting or at least interesting In hindsight, I think I read them both at the perfect time in my life.Next up was Greene He wrote over two dozen novels, and then there were plays, screenplays, children s books, travel journals, short story collections Out of all that, all I managed to read was The Man Within, his less than spectacular first attempt at a novel Such were the deflating affects of that ho hum experience that twenty years passed before I picked up my second Greene, A Gun For Sale aka This Gun For Hire It wasn t great, but it was good enough to reignite my interest Since then I ve renewed my pledge, but with lowered expectations I just don t think I ll be able to bulldoze through his work If only his work was a bit exciting As you read on a growing sense that nothing will be resolved starts to envelope you, and if you re a person that likes resolution, you re up shit s creek paddle less, my friend If you let the current take you, you ll float along into a boggy morass of self doubt and moral ambiguity, where you re left to stew in unpleasant juices like contemplating a poorly mixed metaphor Graham Greene writes thinking man s books and I don t mean books for smart folk necessarily I mean he intends you to ponder his ideas well after you ve put the book down The Power and the Glory is just such a book That s fine, but couldn t he have managed both Say perhaps, a thinking man s thriller I m just asking for a little spark It would make me leap to his next book

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