Palimpsest  

Go Back   Palimpsest > Palimpsest Groups > The Book Group Discussions


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 8th Dec 2007, 12:14   #21
Ang
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Ang's Avatar
 
Join Date: 25 Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 3,195
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

And here's the Catholic mass section:

In the Roman Catholic Mass

All.Our Father,who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name;thy kingdom come;thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread;and forgive us our trespassesas we forgive those who trespass against us;and lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil.
Priest.
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,and grant us peace in our day.In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
All.
For the kingdom,the power,and the glory are yours now and for ever.

But back to JS's question - is this significant, that the phrase comes from a major difference between the protestant and Catholic versions of the prayer? Yes, I think it is.
__________________
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008=post 80611
Ang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th Dec 2007, 20:29   #22
Beth
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Beth's Avatar
 
Join Date: 22 Sep 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,854
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

I also had no idea there was a difference between the Protestant and Catholic versions! It would seem significant, but it's puzzling as Greene was so drawn to Catholicism.

Greene's introduction to the 1963 edition sheds light on the novel's genesis. Is it found in the new Penguin? Looking for a link to it, but so far no luck. He says, "The book gives me more satisfaction than any other I have written." And also, "A pious film was made by Mr. John Ford who gave the integrity to the priest and the corruption to the lieutenant, while the success of the novel in French Catholic circles caused a reaction, so that it was twice denounced to Rome by French bishops." Hmmm.
Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th Dec 2007, 21:34   #23
Ang
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Ang's Avatar
 
Join Date: 25 Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 3,195
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
Greene's introduction to the 1963 edition sheds light on the novel's genesis. Is it found in the new Penguin? Looking for a link to it, but so far no luck. He says, "The book gives me more satisfaction than any other I have written." And also, "A pious film was made by Mr. John Ford who gave the integrity to the priest and the corruption to the lieutenant, while the success of the novel in French Catholic circles caused a reaction, so that it was twice denounced to Rome by French bishops." Hmmm.
I wish I had that introduction. The Vintage Classics I have is introduced by John Updike. Still very good, but I'd also like to hear what the man himself has to say about it.

I read your quote above and think that Greene is pleased that it caused such a reaction from both "sides". I'm sure that's what he was after. There's no way a pious Catholic would like this book.
__________________
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008=post 80611
Ang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th Dec 2007, 23:12   #24
Beth
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Beth's Avatar
 
Join Date: 22 Sep 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,854
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ang View Post
There's no way a pious Catholic would like this book.
That's where the veil is drawn across the temple for me, Ang. The only experience I have is with the Protestant tradition; I don't know anything about Catholicism. Why would a pious Catholic or any other pious person dislike this book? The plump little nameless priest is Christlike, imho. The jail cell section, probably one of the most powerful scenes I've ever encountered (read it over three times just to be gobsmacked by it again and again) is analagous to Gethsemane for me. Praying for the cup to be lifted but submitting to inevitability.
Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th Dec 2007, 9:06   #25
Ang
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Ang's Avatar
 
Join Date: 25 Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 3,195
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
That's where the veil is drawn across the temple for me, Ang. The only experience I have is with the Protestant tradition; I don't know anything about Catholicism. Why would a pious Catholic or any other pious person dislike this book? The plump little nameless priest is Christlike, imho. The jail cell section, probably one of the most powerful scenes I've ever encountered (read it over three times just to be gobsmacked by it again and again) is analagous to Gethsemane for me. Praying for the cup to be lifted but submitting to inevitability.
I don't know if I completely understand what Greene is trying to say. He is making a major statement against piety, almost as if it is evil. I agree that there is a huge difference between pious and good, but I wouldn't equate pious with bad.

I guess the thing is, you can't be partially Catholic. You can't believe in some of it and not others. So even though the whisky priest is a very good man and sacrifices himself again and again to serve people, his commitment never wavering, he is damned. He knows it. The woman at the end who's thinking that he's a saint is a fool. The Catholics wouldn't like their process of sainthood being mocked so.

I don't get the woman's son though - why he is suddenly a believer and goes along with his mother that the whisky priest is a hero and a saint. Earlier in the book he thought it was a load of rubbish.

I hope m. comes along soon and helps me out with the Catholic angle... it's all a bit hard to explain.
__________________
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008=post 80611
Ang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th Dec 2007, 17:11   #26
Beth
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Beth's Avatar
 
Join Date: 22 Sep 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,854
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ang View Post
So even though the whisky priest is a very good man and sacrifices himself again and again to serve people, his commitment never wavering, he is damned. He knows it.

I hope m. comes along soon and helps me out with the Catholic angle... it's all a bit hard to explain.

Yes, I'm greatly looking forward to comments from m. and all the others. Far as the priest being damned, that's where I had to chuckle and lose my objectivity. In as far as we're all in that boat and this is all going to end badly (from my worldview), the priest is still somehow set apart. I'm still trying to figure this out, but two niggling phrases keep popping to mind.
First is "the priesthood of all believers", and second is musical "peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."
Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th Dec 2007, 20:17   #27
m.
Palimpsestarian
eats too much cheese
 
m.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: 22 Nov 2003
Location: Poland
Posts: 1,298
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

I haven't finished it yet, sorry, maybe I'll log out and do it now.
__________________
Reading.
m. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Dec 2007, 15:06   #28
John Self
Administrator
suffers from smallness of vision
 
John Self's Avatar
 
Join Date: 27 Jun 2003
Location: Belfast
Posts: 15,939
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

About two-thirds through, I'm finding myself struggling a bit with The Power and the Glory. Partly this is my own fault: I didn't really want to read it now, being keener to get through unread books and deplete my TBR pile while I seem (for the moment) to be in a period of book-buying calm. So I kind of resented it from the off.

But I now recall that I struggled with it both time I read it before too. I think the story has much less narrative pull than most of Greene's other biggies, like Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair, or The Quiet American. It seems that to enjoy it, you have to be in the frame of mind to think "Yes dammit, I want to read a bitterly bleak investigation of faith and humanity" rather than "Yes, I want to read a great story which also happens to be a bitterly etc. etc."

It is of course full of greatness. There is a horrible black comedy in the way the priest watches and downs his brandy as the Chief of Police meticulously drains the bottle of wine he had fought so hard to get in order to carry out communion. It reminded me a little of the fisherman trailing the ever-decreasing marlin in The Old Man and the Sea. And the facets of faith and pragmatism displayed in the contrast between the whisky priest, Father José, the pious woman in the cell, and the lieutenant, are brilliantly exposed.

But... I'm struggling to retain interest. Possibly also because I know what happens and that the final simplest message of the book is that you can kill as many wasps as you like, but the nest will bring them back next year.
__________________
Reading Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate | Asylum | Book List
John Self is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Dec 2007, 21:56   #29
m.
Palimpsestarian
eats too much cheese
 
m.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: 22 Nov 2003
Location: Poland
Posts: 1,298
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

I've finished it. I must say that my response to the book is slightly cooler this time, but I rather expected it. And I still think it's a great book.

This thread has already helped me to understand the book better. I had no idea that the title comes from the Lord's Prayer or the prayer in the mass as quoted by Ang - the title of the Polish translation loses this connection, and although I read the original text, I must have been influenced by that Polish title (Moc i chwała instead of Potęga i chwała)...

As for making fun of Catholicism - yes, I agree with Ang that he does make fun of certain aspects of it, but at the same time he gives the inkling of the real power and the glory beneath the pomp and hypocrisy of the Church. In my present copy I have the introduction by Updike (I haven't read it) but last time I read the copy with the foreword by Greene, and he mentioned there that he had a visit from the Holy Office and been suggested to tone down certain elements in the book.
__________________
Reading.
m. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th Dec 2007, 22:11   #30
Ang
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
 
Ang's Avatar
 
Join Date: 25 Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 3,195
Default Re: Book 38: THE POWER AND THE GLORY by Graham Greene

Evidently the book was condemned by the Vatican for being "paradoxical". Yes, I would say paradoxical is a way of describing what I was trying to say, but he didn't present any aspect of the church which wasn't true. So what does that say of the church?
__________________
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008=post 80611
Ang is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 0:25.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.