The Quiet American

The Quiet American Graham Greene S Classic Exploration Of Love, Innocence, And Morality In Vietnam I Never Knew A Man Who Had Better Motives For All The Trouble He Caused, Graham Greene S Narrator Fowler Remarks Of Alden Pyle, The Eponymous Quiet American Of What Is Perhaps The Most Controversial Novel Of His Career Pyle Is The Brash Young Idealist Sent Out By Washington On A Mysterious Mission To Saigon, Where The French Army Struggles Against The Vietminh Guerrillas As Young Pyle S Well Intentioned Policies Blunder Into Bloodshed, Fowler, A Seasoned And Cynical British Reporter, Finds It Impossible To Stand Safely Aside As An Observer But Fowler S Motives For Intervening Are Suspect, Both To The Police And Himself, For Pyle Has Stolen Fowler S Beautiful Vietnamese MistressOriginally Published In And Twice Adapted To Film, The Quiet American Remains A Terrifiying And Prescient Portrait Of Innocence At Large This Graham Greene Centennial Edition Includes A New Introductory Essay By Robert Stone

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  • Paperback
  • 180 pages
  • The Quiet American
  • Graham Greene
  • English
  • 03 December 2017
  • 9780143039020

10 thoughts on “The Quiet American

  1. says:

    I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.I assume that everyone for once in own life had to face such a moment that, though convinced about doing the right thing, felt nevertheless poorly and uncomfortably How is it possible, we asked then, we acted righteously so why such bad feeling, such turbulence in our mind We did a good choice so why this bile that fills our mouths Why that need to rationalize our deeds There was no other way, we say But really And this is a feeling Graham Greene leaves me with almost every time Something that still bothers and troubles me and pours cold water over me, my whole self confidence and well being.Because no matter how much we abide by our principles and sense of morality we constantly collide with the concept of the lesser evil and the common good, in short with situations that allow us or even encourage to justify our actions or omissions And so is Thomas Fowler, somewhat cynical English reporter, for years residing in the East, whose life motto is to be not engaged But is it really possibly to live without being involved Thomas seems to care only for a few things in his life willing body of young mistress in his bed and some pipes of opium to detach himself not only from the outside world, the whole thing takes place in the fifties during French Vietnamese war, but also from own conscience And one day in this or less organized world enters the title quiet American, young and na ve impregnably ard by his good intentions and his ignorance Alden Pyle, with his head stuffed with bookish knowledge and mouth packed with platitude on democracy and justice He comes with his sense of mission to save the world and by the way of course falls in love with Fowler s mistress.One could say that it is a banal situation only wrapped up in exotic costume and cast in some unusual scenery to add some spice You couldn t be wrong since this collision of East with West, old with new, that clash between youth and maturity, experience and naivety Greene played masterfully And in the end neither youthful idealism of Pyle nor disillusioned stoicism of Fowler allows anyone to remain nonaligned There is always that moment one must espouse whose side we are on Because in fact, no matter how much we turn our eyes and try to stay neutral, even though we choose our own side, it is always a pure act of being irretrievably engaged.

  2. says:

    I shut my eyes and she was again the same as she used to be she was the hiss of steam, the clink of a cup, she was a certain hour of the night, and the promise of rest Sometimes a few notable books cause me to start thinking just I turn the last page So, excuse me for beginning this review with some of my latest ruminations When I reflect on the meaning of life, although I am not a philosopher I do that sometimes, the fact that we are here for such a short while strikes me as so dismal If we are to have such a short life, how can we live it to the fullest , I often ask myself Our lives might be inconsequential, what are 70 or even 80 years compared with the history of humanity And what is within our control I hope to live up to my 80 s, but will I As you might have guessed, I am an atheist and have no religion to alleviate my doubts One thing I know is that there is always a beginning and an end So I sometimes get melancholic by this musings But how can we make the best of it Then one day I read Graham Greene s The Quiet American, and everything makes sense again Everything is suddenly all right Oh, I am relieved not to have read it before, for now, it enthralled me for the first time And probably tomorrow it will be another gem that will prove to me how right life is And in reading it I convince myself that Greene shared a little in what I will call here my contemplation moments From childhood I had never believed in permanence, and yet I had longed for it Always I was afraid of losing happiness This month, next year If not next year, in three years Death was the only absolute value in my world Lose life and one would lose nothing again forever I envied those who could believe in a God and I distrusted them I felt they were keeping their courage up with a fable of the changeless and the permanent Death was far certain than God, and with death there would be no longer the daily possibility of love dying What is The Quiet American all about, after all Many see it as a mere allegory between the forces involved in the conflict portrayed by Greene Others recognize it as just a war or spy novel I prefer to read it as a love triangle where Fowley, the surly middle aged British war correspondent and Pyle, the young and na ve American spy dispute the love and possession of the young and beautiful Vietnamese Phuong Their tangled relationship could, of course, stand for the intricacies of the conflict that was ravaging Viet Nam and what was yet to come But let s just leave at that.Like The End of the Affair, this is a Greene novel that affects you viscerally A na ve American CIA operative, fresh from Yale, arrives in Vietnam and promptly steals the narrator s lover then gets himself and several Vietnamese killed That seems a pretty straightforward plot But it is far from it The story goes back and forth in time and thus increasingly reveals all that is brewing inside the protagonist and narrator Fowler From the beginning, he felt protective of Pyke, and despite their dispute over the girl, they remain quite good friends I stopped our trishaw outside the Chalet and said to Phuong, Go in and find a table I had better look after Pyle That was my first instinct to protect him It never occurred to me that there was greater need to protect myself Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm But the triangle of Fowler, Pyle and Phuong was even intricate That is the beauty of it, how they dealt with each other and their desires openly What can you offer her he asked me with anger A couple hundred dollars when you leave for England, or will you pass her on with the furniture The furniture isn t mine She is not either Phuong, will you marry me What about the blood group I said And a health certificate You ll need hers, surely Maybe you ought to have mine too And her horoscope no, that is an Indian custom Will you marry me Say it in French, I said I m damned if I ll interpret for you any With each word, each line and each paragraph Greene demonstrates, through his protagonist, how he articulates internal struggles exceptionally well the meditating but judgmental mind, the bustling innermost turmoil He articulates like few the dark side of love the narrator with his quick and keen mind with a fastidious view of the world, and a hardened heart Despite death, anguish, and hardship, there is hope in the end And each sentence is a treasure, making it a pleasure to quote Greene.And we first hear of Fowler s cynical views To be in love is to see yourself as someone else sees you, it is to be in love with the falsified and exalted image of yourself In love we are incapable of honour the courageous act is no than playing a part to an audience of two Perhaps I was no longer in love but I remembered And how he always preferred escape to the possibility of loss No, that woman came earlier When I left my wife What happened I left her, too Why Why indeed We are fools, I said, when we love I was terrified of losing her I thought I saw her changing I don t know if she really was, but I couldn t bear the uncertainty any longer I ran towards the finish just as a coward runs towards the enemy and wins a medal I wanted to get death over Death It was a kind of death And I came east Thus, when Pyke saves his life, Fowler was far from thankful, for he had been looking for exactly that escape when he came to Saigon We ve made it, Pyle said, and even in my pain I wondered what we d made for me, old age, an editor s chair, loneliness and for him, one knows now that he spoke prematurely Then in the cold, we settled down to wait Along the road a bonfire burst into life it burnt merrily like a celebration That s my car, I said All through Greene s narrative, we catch glimpses of how his protagonist recognizes that love, even for the toughest of them, brings with it the possibility of pain Her pain struck at my pain we were back at the old routine of hurting each other If only it were possible to love without injury fidelity isn t enough But despite knowing from experience the damage of loss, the pain was not any less I wish I could have those nights back I m still in love, Pyle, and I m a wasting asset But there was to it, even if less hurtful Oh, and there was pride, of course It takes a long time before we cease to feel proud of being wanted But our protagonist fights all that he believes to be true However, he cannot escape to comprehend it all seems impossible and a recurring theme with Greene Wouldn t we all do better not trying to understand, accepting the fact that no human being will ever understand another, not a wife a husband, a lover a mistress It is unforgivably poignant in its sufferings I began to plan the life I had still somehow to live and to remember memories in order to eliminate them Happy memories are the worst, and I tried to remember the unhappy Above all, these passages touch us all the and never go away for their flashes of beauty.Thus, the story of the quiet American is the story of idealism, of naivet , with not knowing but supposing to know best Pyle s good intentions may seem endearing, but they come from ignorance, and Fowler recognizes from the beginning how dangerous, and guesses that his fate was so sealed Have you any hunch, he asked, why they killed him and who Suddenly I was angry I was tired of the whole pack of them with their private stores of Coca Cola and their portable hospitals and their wide cars and their not quite latest guns I said, Yes They killed him because he was too innocent to live He was young and ignorant and silly to get involved Despite the fact that some can view the Vietnamese as weak and ignorant, Fowler by the end presents us the reality of Phuong, and for me, it could not be honest, for these are people that in their effort to survive have to make the most of what they have Talking to Pyke, when they discuss Phuong s future we read how well he can judge her She s no child She is tougher than you ll ever be Do you know the kind of polish that doesn t take scratches That s Phuong She can survive a dozen of us She ll get old, that s all She ll suffer from childbirth and hunger and cold and rheumatism, but she ll never suffer like we do from thought, obsession she won t scratch, she ll only decay One of the dilemmas that Fowler faces since arriving in Viet Nam is that he avoided getting involved He was always the mere correspondent, just relaying the news he imagined his editors would want to see published He had an assistant that was his way of staying distant You can rule me out, I said I m not involved Not involved, I repeated It had been an article of my creed The human condition being what it was, let them fight, let them love, let them murder, I would not be involved My fellow journalists called themselves correspondents I preferred the title of reporter I wrote what I saw I took no action even an opinion is a kind of action But what he discovered is that frequently we do not have the luxury of staying neutral Fowler realizes late in his affair that he loved Phuong, also discover that life sometimes has its way of forcing on us to make a stand Suffering is not increased by numbers one body can contain all the suffering the world can feel I had judged like a journalist in terms of quantity and I betrayed my own principle I had become as engaged as Pyle, and it seemed to me that no decision would ever be simple again I loved The Quiet American It has everything that a discerning reader might want in a book An astute glimpse of American foreign policy, depicted as a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm. It has a credible and fascinating love triangle set in a hazy and exotic setting It has challenging characters uncovered as thoroughly human with all their imperfections All this delivered through a majestic narrative This novel will grab hold of you and by the end, as with most great examples of literature, you ll be a little wiser and enchanted with life because of it.___ I want to thank my friend Vessey for granting me the privilege of reading The Quiet American with her.

  3. says:

    This is a cautionary tale about the involvement of America and Britain in the Vietnam war Reading this book was a great way to learn about the Vietnam war.The two main characters are symbols of the American and British participation in Vietnam The British does not want to get involved in the war, and he is deluding himself that he is only an indifferent spectator Pyle, the American, represents the idealistic principles that the Americas brought in the Vietnam war and the lack of guilt for the damage they had created by their innocent causes Innocence is a kind of insanity Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm One of the conclusions of the books is that Sooner or laterone has to take sides If one is to remain human Another is somehow similar to the other book that I was reading in the same time, Blindness It is about peoples s ignorance to human suffering, futility of life and the permanence of death This is the first book I read by Greene and it won t be the last I enjoyed his subtle tone.

  4. says:

    The perfect novel.Ingenious in its pace and tone The plot unravels in a peculiar, non linear way, easily enviable by even the most capable of writers Perhaps because it is like a meaty novella about star crossed lovers, hidden intentions, and the war of the classes that it makes it s powerful, jarring punch to the gut.I LoooVE this book It s incredibly elegant, both prophetic and historic, very very adult.

  5. says:

    NELLA GUERRA L ARMA PI EFFICACE LA SEDUZIONE Fu scritto a guerra d Indocina in corso e anche a guerra di Corea in atto quando fu pubblicato, invece, erano entrambe concluse, e i francesi si erano ritirati dal Vietnam dopo la nota battaglia di Dien Bien Phu L innocenza professata dagli americani nel romanzo, sia quelli tranquilli che quelli rumorosi, suona stonata e Greene ne consapevole considerato quello che stava succedendo in quell altra parte dell Oriente estremo.Storia di un triangolo che forse definire d a fuorviante in quanto nessuno dei tre vertici professa a in senso tradizionale ma cosa c di tradizionale in Greene lui stesso a iniziare una tradizione, a rappresentare un capostipite.Da una parte abbiamo l io narrante, il pi ag dei tre, Fowler, il giornalista inglese che viene sempre definito cinico quando in realt pi romanticamente un disincantato ancora capace di sentimento e scelte Secondo viene Pyle, il tranquillo americano del titolo, definito cos perch non come tutti gli altri americani, bastardi fracassoni grandi, grossi e rumorosi, infantili, cinici, loro s , davvero cinici questo in particolare ancora piuttosto giovane, serio, pieno di illusioni e desiderio di migliorare il mondo, di fare del bene una vera mosca bianca salvo poi scoprire il reale motivo che lo porta in Asia colui che sbandiera il sentimento che apparentemente pi si avvicina all a, ma pi che altro sembra che abbia alfine trovato la prima donna che non lo metta in imbarazzo, cos mansueta da poterglisi dichiarare, lui che a trenta e passi anni qualcuno prende ancora per vergine Per finire c Phuong, la ragazza vietnamita, non ancora ventenne, giovane e bellissima, l uccellino che cinguetta e prepara meravigliose pipe d oppio a Fowler, disponibile per chi gentile con lei e di lei sa prendersi cura, garantirle un futuro, un sogno di femminilit mansueta e riconoscente per molti uomini.Storia sul prendere parte, sullo schierarsi, sul passare all azione anche quando si professa distacco e imparzialit , sul passaggio dall oggettivit , presunta obiettiva, alla soggettivit Fowler si definisce reporter e non giornalista proprio perch scrive e descrive quello che vede senza partecipare, senza prendere posizione, senza sostenere nessuna delle parti in campo La maestria di Greene sublime in come riesce a intrecciare i due aspetti, il triangolo con l impegno sociale, politico, semplicemente umano , costruendo un thriller denso d atmosfera Come sempre, Greene creatore di storie che il cinema ama, di cui si appropria e non sempre restituisce al meglio Come in questo caso.Due sono stati i film derivati da questo romanzo, entrambi conservano il titolo del romanzo Il primo del 1958, in bianco e nero, scritto e diretto dal grande Joseph Mankiewicz Risente molto della stroncatura riservata al libro di Greene da parte della critica US, che l accus di antiamericanismo e quindi nel film non esistono spie americane, i cattivi sono solo i comunisti, e l americano, oltre che tranquillo, innocente e pacifico D altra parte, il cinema la pi potente ed efficace industria americana dopo quella bellica, il modo pi efficace per gli amati yankee di imporre nel globo il loro modello e i loro valori Per interpretare il tranquillo americano Pyle fu chiamato Audie Murphy, che prima di essere attore hollywoodiano, fu il soldato pi decorato d America Il ruolo della ragazza vietnamita fu offerto alla nostra Giorgia Moll Giorgia Molinella, nata a Roma , che calzava il 42, ed era pi alta del tranquillo americano di almeno un palmo.Greene espresse giudizio negativo, e non poteva essere altrimenti Il film, invece, fu molto apprezzato dal ventottenne critico Jean Luc Godard, che cinque anni dopo, offr a Giorgia Moll un ruolo importante nel suo adattamento cinematografico de Il disprezzo di Alberto Moravia.E poi il secondo film, del 2002, del regista Philip Noyce E qui le cose cambiano Pur con gli indispensabili tradimenti e tagli, necessari per passare dal libro al film, per raccontare una storia in cento minuti e non in duecento e passa pagine, per rivolgersi allo spettatore cinematografico che pi facilmente distratto di un lettore per tacere di quello televisivo Purtroppo anche in sala ormai si vedono solo spettatori televisivi, stesso livello d intuizione, di velocit di collegamento, stessa attenzione, e soprattutto, stessa chiacchiera , il film di Noyce funziona Eccome se funziona Forse grazie a un magistrale Michael Caine che per questo ruolo ottenne un altra nomination all Oscar, peraltro ancora mai vinto Forse perch Do Thi Hai Yen, azzeccata, vera vietnamita, e giusta nella parte di Phuong O forse perch a cofirmare la sceneggiatura c il premio Oscar con Le relazione pericolose Christopher Hampton, che aveva debuttato vent anni prima proprio con un altro adattamento di Greene, Il console onorario.E allora il commissario Vigot, bel personaggio marginale, che legge i Pensieri di Pascal in commissariato alle 2 del mattino, che ama non ricambiato la sua vistosa e promiscua moglie francese, cos pregno di disincanto e sagacia risolve il caso, ma tiene tutto per s , viene interpretato in questa pellicola dal croato Rade Serbedzija, che si sforza di avere un inglese venato di francese, il che mi sembra chiedere troppo anche a un attore poliglotta come lui.E allora il flemmatico e distaccato Fowler in questo film diventa quasi un giornalista d inchiesta pi che un reporter Mentre Fowler tiene le distanze da Pyle, non ricambia la sua esagerata voglia d amicizia se non molto avanti nella narrazione, Michael Caine appare dolce e disponibile sin da subito con questo tranquillo americano Che tranquillo non , nel film men che meno Brendan Fraser attore massiccio e atletico, difficile scambiarlo per vergine, indossa il camice da medico come se fosse uno spolverino da Mucchio Selvaggio.Ma che importa Il film funziona, bello, intelligente, un piacere.Michael Caine e il regista Phillip Noyce in quella che di solito si definisce una pausa dalle riprese ma non esistono pause su un set, regista e protagonista sono seduti e stanno probabilmente discutendo la scena o il personaggio, macchinisti, elettricisti, reparto fotografia, reparto scenografia sono in piena attivit per preparare la prossima inquadratura, eccetera La pausa solo quella per il pranzo Poi, esistono le attese e quelle sono un altro discorso e possono essere lunghe davvero.Purtroppo, per andare incontro al distratto spettatore cinematografico americano che non ama i sottotitoli e non conosce le lingue in questo non certo meno capace di quello italico , Phuong, che nel libro parla francese e ovviamente vietnamita, ma ben poco inglese, qui invece si esprime tranquillamente in questa lingua e Pyle, che nel romanzo non parla altro che la sua di lingua, nel film si esprime invece con buon francese e ottimo vietnamita e quindi possono comunicare direttamente tra loro, non hanno bisogno che Fowler faccia da interprete E cos si perde per strada la mia scena preferita del romanzo, quella in cui Pyle dichiara il suo a a Phuong tramite Fowler che funge da interprete, cio un uomo si dichiara a una donna tramite un altro uomo, proprio quello al quale sta cercando di rubare la donna.Spariscono anche le belle citazioni di Greene, a cominciare da Baudelaire Ma non se ne sente la mancanza.I difetti di questo secondo adattamento sono caso mai nei costumi, un po troppo eleganti, che rendono relativamente quell epoca 1950 52 In certi interni che si amalgamano poco con gli esterni corrispondenti si percepisce che il set in teatro.La Miramax ritard l uscita del film di un anno per via dell 11 settembre Qui abbiamo cos tante regole in materia d alimentazione Sapete com una capitale religiosa Credo che sia la stessa cosa a Roma, o a Canterbury Beh, non so a Canterbury, ma a Roma certo non la stessa cosa nessuna regola in materia d alimentazione, e nessuna regola tout court, non conosco altro posto dove le regole contino di meno, siano meno rispettate, di Roma Capoccia Almeno non ci odieranno come odiano i francesi, dice Pyle, l americano tranquillo, e si iscrive nella categoria ultime parole famose Singolare come Mondadori negli Oscar abbia pubblicato questo romanzo usando nel titolo sia il corretto articolo determinativo, che anche quello indeterminativo.La versione del 1958, con Giorgia Moll, vietnamita de Roma, e Michael Redgrave Fowler.

  6. says:

    NELLA GUERRA L ARMA PI EFFICACE LA SEDUZIONE Fu scritto a guerra d Indocina in corso e anche a guerra di Corea in atto quando fu pubblicato, invece, erano entrambe concluse, e i francesi si erano ritirati dal Vietnam dopo la nota battaglia di Dien Bien Phu L innocenza professata dagli americani nel romanzo, sia quelli tranquilli che quelli rumorosi, suona stonata e Greene ne consapevole considerato quello che stava succedendo in quell altra parte dell Oriente estremo.Storia di un triangolo che forse definire d a fuorviante in quanto nessuno dei tre vertici professa a in senso tradizionale ma cosa c di tradizionale in Greene lui stesso a iniziare una tradizione, a rappresentare un capostipite.Da una parte abbiamo l io narrante, il pi ag dei tre, Fowler, il giornalista inglese che viene sempre definito cinico quando in realt pi romanticamente un disincantato ancora capace di sentimento e scelte Secondo viene Pyle, il tranquillo americano del titolo, definito cos perch non come tutti gli altri americani, bastardi fracassoni grandi, grossi e rumorosi, infantili, cinici, loro s , davvero cinici questo in particolare ancora piuttosto giovane, serio, pieno di illusioni e desiderio di migliorare il mondo, di fare del bene una vera mosca bianca salvo poi scoprire il reale motivo che lo porta in Asia colui che sbandiera il sentimento che apparentemente pi si avvicina all a, ma pi che altro sembra che abbia alfine trovato la prima donna che non lo metta in imbarazzo, cos mansueta da poterglisi dichiarare, lui che a trenta e passi anni qualcuno prende ancora per vergine Per finire c Phuong, la ragazza vietnamita, non ancora ventenne, giovane e bellissima, l uccellino che cinguetta e prepara meravigliose pipe d oppio a Fowler, disponibile per chi gentile con lei e di lei sa prendersi cura, garantirle un futuro, un sogno di femminilit mansueta e riconoscente per molti uomini.Storia sul prendere parte, sullo schierarsi, sul passare all azione anche quando si professa distacco e imparzialit , sul passaggio dall oggettivit , presunta obiettiva, alla soggettivit Fowler si definisce reporter e non giornalista proprio perch scrive e descrive quello che vede senza partecipare, senza prendere posizione, senza sostenere nessuna delle parti in campo La maestria di Greene sublime in come riesce a intrecciare i due aspetti, il triangolo con l impegno sociale, politico, semplicemente umano , costruendo un thriller denso d atmosfera Come sempre, Greene creatore di storie che il cinema ama, di cui si appropria e non sempre restituisce al meglio Come in questo caso.Due sono stati i film derivati da questo romanzo, entrambi conservano il titolo del romanzo Il primo del 1958, in bianco e nero, scritto e diretto dal grande Joseph Mankiewicz Risente molto della stroncatura riservata al libro di Greene da parte della critica US, che l accus di antiamericanismo e quindi nel film non esistono spie americane, i cattivi sono solo i comunisti, e l americano, oltre che tranquillo, innocente e pacifico D altra parte, il cinema la pi potente ed efficace industria americana dopo quella bellica, il modo pi efficace per gli amati yankee di imporre nel globo il loro modello e i loro valori Per interpretare il tranquillo americano Pyle fu chiamato Audie Murphy, che prima di essere attore hollywoodiano, fu il soldato pi decorato d America Il ruolo della ragazza vietnamita fu offerto alla nostra Giorgia Moll Giorgia Molinella, nata a Roma , che calzava il 42, ed era pi alta del tranquillo americano di almeno un palmo.Greene espresse giudizio negativo, e non poteva essere altrimenti Il film, invece, fu molto apprezzato dal ventottenne critico Jean Luc Godard, che cinque anni dopo, offr a Giorgia Moll un ruolo importante nel suo adattamento cinematografico de Il disprezzo di Alberto Moravia.E poi il secondo film, del 2002, del regista Philip Noyce E qui le cose cambiano Pur con gli indispensabili tradimenti e tagli, necessari per passare dal libro al film, per raccontare una storia in cento minuti e non in duecento e passa pagine, per rivolgersi allo spettatore cinematografico che pi facilmente distratto di un lettore per tacere di quello televisivo Purtroppo anche in sala ormai si vedono solo spettatori televisivi, stesso livello d intuizione, di velocit di collegamento, stessa attenzione, e soprattutto, stessa chiacchiera , il film di Noyce funziona Eccome se funziona Forse grazie a un magistrale Michael Caine che per questo ruolo ottenne un altra nomination all Oscar, peraltro ancora mai vinto Forse perch Do Thi Hai Yen, azzeccata, vera vietnamita, e giusta nella parte di Phuong O forse perch a cofirmare la sceneggiatura c il premio Oscar con Le relazione pericolose Christopher Hampton, che aveva debuttato vent anni prima proprio con un altro adattamento di Greene, Il console onorario.E allora il commissario Vigot, bel personaggio marginale, che legge i Pensieri di Pascal in commissariato alle 2 del mattino, che ama non ricambiato la sua vistosa e promiscua moglie francese, cos pregno di disincanto e sagacia risolve il caso, ma tiene tutto per s , viene interpretato in questa pellicola dal croato Rade Serbedzija, che si sforza di avere un inglese venato di francese, il che mi sembra chiedere troppo anche a un attore poliglotta come lui.E allora il flemmatico e distaccato Fowler in questo film diventa quasi un giornalista d inchiesta pi che un reporter Mentre Fowler tiene le distanze da Pyle, non ricambia la sua esagerata voglia d amicizia se non molto avanti nella narrazione, Michael Caine appare dolce e disponibile sin da subito con questo tranquillo americano Che tranquillo non , nel film men che meno Brendan Fraser attore massiccio e atletico, difficile scambiarlo per vergine, indossa il camice da medico come se fosse uno spolverino da Mucchio Selvaggio.Ma che importa Il film funziona, bello, intelligente, un piacere.Michael Caine e il regista Phillip Noyce in quella che di solito si definisce una pausa dalle riprese ma non esistono pause su un set, regista e protagonista sono seduti e stanno probabilmente discutendo la scena o il personaggio, macchinisti, elettricisti, reparto fotografia, reparto scenografia sono in piena attivit per preparare la prossima inquadratura, eccetera La pausa solo quella per il pranzo Poi, esistono le attese e quelle sono un altro discorso e possono essere lunghe davvero.Purtroppo, per andare incontro al distratto spettatore cinematografico americano che non ama i sottotitoli e non conosce le lingue in questo non certo meno capace di quello italico , Phuong, che nel libro parla francese e ovviamente vietnamita, ma ben poco inglese, qui invece si esprime tranquillamente in questa lingua e Pyle, che nel romanzo non parla altro che la sua di lingua, nel film si esprime invece con buon francese e ottimo vietnamita e quindi possono comunicare direttamente tra loro, non hanno bisogno che Fowler faccia da interprete E cos si perde per strada la mia scena preferita del romanzo, quella in cui Pyle dichiara il suo a a Phuong tramite Fowler che funge da interprete, cio un uomo si dichiara a una donna tramite un altro uomo, proprio quello al quale sta cercando di rubare la donna.Spariscono anche le belle citazioni di Greene, a cominciare da Baudelaire Ma non se ne sente la mancanza.I difetti di questo secondo adattamento sono caso mai nei costumi, un po troppo eleganti, che rendono relativamente quell epoca 1950 52 In certi interni che si amalgamano poco con gli esterni corrispondenti si percepisce che il set in teatro.La Miramax ritard l uscita del film di un anno per via dell 11 settembre Qui abbiamo cos tante regole in materia d alimentazione Sapete com una capitale religiosa Credo che sia la stessa cosa a Roma, o a Canterbury Beh, non so a Canterbury, ma a Roma certo non la stessa cosa nessuna regola in materia d alimentazione, e nessuna regola tout court, non conosco altro posto dove le regole contino di meno, siano meno rispettate, di Roma Capoccia Almeno non ci odieranno come odiano i francesi, dice Pyle, l americano tranquillo, e si iscrive nella categoria ultime parole famose Singolare come Mondadori negli Oscar abbia pubblicato questo romanzo usando nel titolo sia il corretto articolo determinativo, che anche quello indeterminativo.La versione del 1958, con Giorgia Moll, vietnamita de Roma, e Michael Redgrave Fowler.Bisogna schierarsi se si vuole restare umani.

  7. says:

    This was actually read for my university course We were tasked to read a book or watch a movie but and write a paper about how a journalist is presented in the Unfortunately, there was a blacklist as well and all the books I had in my mind were on it So I had to look for a new one And I am a bit angry that I did not know this book before Graham Greene has a unique way how to tell a story and I really liked it Death was far certain than God The most interesting was the difference between Fowler and Pyle Fowler is cynical, he saw all of it, he has no illusions Pyle is new, full of hopes, believing in pretty theories he read about Pyle is naive to a point where he is delusional Sooner or laterone has to take sides If one is to remain human

  8. says:

    This is an amazing story about the French colonial war in Vietnam and an incompetent CIA wanna be agent seen through the eyes of a heroin addicted British diplomat Cynicism abounds Great writing, gripping scenes Excellent read A true classic I definitely need to read Graham Greene.If you enjoyed this book and wish to have background on the historical canvas on which the story was painted, I highly suggest Fredrik Logevall s Embers of War about the French Indochina War and Frances Fitzgerald s masterful Fire in the Lake about the Vietnamese and the American conflict Gripping stories.

  9. says:

    I don t know I guess this is what you would get if you crossed Ernest Hemingway with John le Carr Maybe The Quiet American is the story of a British journalist covering the war in 1950s French Indochina and the annoying American who disrupts his complacent lifestyle Sure, he s in a war zone, but he has never had it better He has a beautiful girl by his side and he finds it possible to remain relatively safe, both physically and emotionally physically in that most of his reporting duties occur behind the front lines and emotionally in that he is able to convince himself of Britain s and by extension his lack of involvement with the war itself It is their problem.The annoying American changes all that, and it seems to me the American Pyle, by name is presented by Greene as an extension of America itself innocent in its idealistic principles, yet dangerous in its perceived lack of guilt for the harm its idealism causes.Without getting into specifics, there is to Pyle than meets the eye, and even though I did not love this story as much as I had hoped to, it did pull together for me in the end The protagonist learns that at some point, it becomes necessary to make a choice and become involved no matter how adamantly you believe in your own neutrality Greene does write with a remarkable degree of restraint in my opinion, his writing could even be said to be too restrained which is how he packs a story with such complexity into a reasonable number of pages The problem I had with it lay mostly in the fact that I did not experience much of a connection with any of the characters relationships Though Pyle and Fowler essentially fight over a girl, it is a girl whom neither of them seems to really love, and the two men themselves don t actually develop any quantifiable bond of friendship that would have otherwise made the story affecting.Anyway, I am not done with Graham Greene yet Some guy on Goodreads named Ben told me to read The End of the Affair, so I suppose that is what I ll go ahead and do next.

  10. says:

    War and Love they have always been compared. Like The End of the Affair, this is a Greene novel that affects you viscerally It is a war novel, set in Vietnam Being so, it is not cheerful or pretty dead children lying in the street and the like It hits on the complexities of war the complexity of morals how it s impossible to stay neutral forever on such matters when you re directly involved you have to make a decision you must decide, or you re as good as dead You can rule me out, I said I m not involved Not involved, I repeated It had been an article of my creed The human condition being what it was, let them fight, let them love, let them murder, I would not be involved My fellow journalists called themselves correspondents I preferred the title of reporter I wrote what I saw I took no action even an opinion is a kind of action It s something our protagonist fights, and it s a recurring theme Wouldn t we all do better not trying to understand, accepting the fact that no human being will ever understand another, not a wife a husband, a lover a mistress, nor a parent a child Perhaps that s why men have invented God a being capable of understanding Perhaps if I wanted to be understood or to understand I would bam boozle myself into belief, but I am a reporter God exists only for leader writers Greene has proven to me that he articulates internal struggles exceptionally well the ruminating but judgmental mind, the bustling churnings of the inside And I m not sure anybody articulates the dark side of love better than he does Our protagonist here has a quick mind cold but keen, with an accurate view of the world, and a hardened heart To be in love is to see yourself as someone else sees you, it is to be in love with the falsified and exalted image of yourself In love we are incapable of honour the courageous act is no than playing a part to an audience of two Perhaps I was no longer in love but I remembered But you see, love even makes the toughest of us feel pain Her pain struck at my pain we were back at the old routine of hurting each other If only it were possible to love without injury fidelity isn t enough I had been faithful to Anne and yet I had injured her The hurt is in the act of possession we are too small in mind and body to possess another person without pride or to be possessed without humiliation These quotes bite because they re so true They are painful and real I wish I could have those nights back I m still in love, Pyle, and I m a wasting asset Oh, and there was pride, of course It takes a long time before we cease to feel proud of being wanted Though God knows why we should feel it, when we look around and see who is wanted too But the beauty of it it s still there it doesn t fully go away and these flashes of beauty live in the memory forever I shut my eyes and she was again the same as she used to be she was the hiss of steam, the clink of a cup, she was a certain hour of the night, and the promise of rest Oh yeah, and there s plenty of intellectual heft to this, too the story of the quiet American is a discerning model a microcosm if you will of the United State s idealism with respect to Vietnam Greene pulls this off in a clever fashion Pyle s good intentions are endearing, even admirable at times but they are also ignorant, and therefore dangerous.This novel will grab hold of you and by the end as with most good pieces of literature you ll be a little worldly and wiser because of it.

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