the hunted man


Graham Greene hated interviews. He granted one in 1968 to BBC television (his brother, Hugh Carleton Greene, was then director-general) but made two stipulations: the interview should take place on the Orient Express, thundering across borders to Istanbul; and his face should not be shown on screen during the hour-long conversation, only his hands. They titled the programme The Hunted Man. Greene was always easier to hunt than to catch. Norman Sherry notes in the preface to his monumental biography: “A man who would write two versions of his diary is not a man who gives up his secrets easily.” Sherry’s attitude is baffled but deferential. Had he not worshipped Greene, he would never have spent the best (30!) years of his scholarly life on his project only to receive a cascade of scorn from critics when, in 2004, his third and final volume appeared.

more from John Sutherland at the FT here.