Crisp dialogue, a story not muddied with useless and monotonous description It was hilarious a priest in a brothel, a porn theater all unbeknownst to him until its too late, traveling with a communist mayor, the exchange of religion and faith and politics and human error, is both funny and thought provoking My first Greene novel, and will be reading the Quiet American next and if its as engrossingly funny as this he will surely jump to the top of my favorite author list.In a deeper review of the of the novel, it deals with analyzing the line between fact and fiction, which becomes synonymous with doubt and faith and certainty Fr Quixote wonders if a life without faith is better than one with certainty of the truth As a free mind a person can choose what he or she believes and some of these beliefs can be firmly rooted in reality than others ie easily proven and as such Greene poses the questions to the reader which belief leads to a satisfying life and does it even matter Very satisfying, enlightening read, even for those atheists who choose to believe their is nothing beyond the Thunderdome. Greene s picaresque novel, a take on Cervantes Don Quixote, is a delightful read and mercifully, much shorter.The newly minted Monsignor Quixote of La Mancha sets off on a trip across Spain with Communist ex Mayor Sancho, and strangely encounter similar perils and pitfalls as their celebrated fictional namesakes of four centuries ago The Bishop is ostensibly on a shopping trip to buy his new vestments and the ex mayor is looking to get away and bury his hurt from losing the last town council election In the back seat of their battered car, aptly named Rosinante, is an inexhaustible case of good Manchegan wine.Monsignor Quixote is firm in his Catholic faith but is anti establishment, and so is his travelling companion They enter into many discourses along the way, Quixote standing up for God and trouncing the Church, and Sancho pleading for Marx and dumping on the Politbureau No subject is taboo masturbation, the rhythm method, the withdrawal method, the Bible and Das Kapital They read each other s books and take pot shots at each other s faiths Sancho even has a theory about the Prodigal Son he posits that the Prodigal got bored and disappointed upon his return to his father s right wing wealth and fled back to the swineherd to live among the proletariat Quixote compares the Holy Trinity to three bottles of wine from the same vintage the same essence in three distinct entities As they journey along it becomes clear that Sancho is the closet Capitalist, espousing fine wines, luxury hotels and good food, while the Monsignor represents the proletariat, reluctant to even announce his newly appointed promotion to bishop Quixote is also naive, thinking that the movie his worldly companion takes him to, The Maiden s Prayer, must be a religious one he even chuckles at the graphic sex scenes not having known physical love.The Guardia, who constantly interrupt our heroes journey, stand for the windmills in the Cervantes chronicle as they tilt to the tune of every regime in Spain In the eyes of the Church, Quixote is mad and must be put away, before he brings any embarrassment through his ramblings around the countryside with a Communist, even seen exiting a pornographic movie theatre And therein lies the thrust of the story the struggle of the honest individual against the uncaring Establishment a timeless theme that always grips the reader.The travellers individual philosophies that ooze out of the novel are priceless Man can t live without a tranquilizer opium, wine or religion, all the best people have been for awhile in prison, In a perfect world, what need would there be for hope and I never pity the dead, I envy them There are many others.Greene s Catholic novels have always posed the great question can one be on the outside and still be classified as a believer And his heroes have suffered tragically for taking that position Monsignor Quixote is not spared this end either However, I was heartened to read this book, for unlike in his other novels where protagonists wrestle with guilt and remorse in their dark worlds before arriving at redemption, Greene takes Quixote and Sancho on a grand tour of the Spanish countryside, fuelled with wine and camaraderie, and deposits them gently into their earned redemptive states A light but thought provoking read. A Morally Complex And Mature Work From A Modern MasterIn This Later Novel By Graham Greene Featuring A New Introduction The Author Continues To Explore Moral And Theological Dilemmas Through Psychologically Astute Character Studies And Exciting Drama On An International Stage The Title Character Of Monsignor Quixote Is A Village Priest, Elevated To The Rank Of Monsignor Through A Clerical Error, Who Travels To Madrid Accompanied By His Best Friend, Sancho, The Communist Ex Mayor Of The Village, In Greene S Lighthearted Variation On Cervantes First Impression An interesting novel.The Reason It is about belief and doubtDoubt and belief are two halves of the same hinge, neither is defined without the other Miguel de Unamuno. This quote was apparently in the first draft of Greene s Monsignor Quixote Later when he revised it, he removed it I doubt that it would make the theme of the book blatantly very explicit.There are two important characters in the novel Monsignor Quixote, a Catholic priest recently elevated to the rank of Monsignor and deposed from his parish at El Tobaso and Enrique Zancas alias Sancho, the deposed Communist mayor of El Tobaso The entire novel can be considered a dialogue between a Communist and a Catholic priest The main issues discussed are Faith and Doubt.Faith is essential for a Catholic But what about a Communist Here is an excerpt form the novel Monsignor The Church depends on written authority as your Party depends on Marx and Lenin Sancho But you believe your books are the word of God Monsignor Be fair, Sancho Do you not think that Marx and Lenin are as infallible as well, Matthew and Mark Monsignor says in unequivocal terms that a Communist also has Faith in the great future when Communism in its true nature will rule the whole world Without faith no one can be on this earth The element of mystery has to be present for the life to be interesting in this world Monsignor asks the following two questions to Sancho for which Sancho gave no answer 1 Can a man live without faith 2 Would you want to live in a wholly rational world What a dull world that would be They both have faith That is alright But then, their faith is in totally opposite realities So what brings them together as friends The answer They both struggle with doubts regarding their own respective faithsIt s human to doubt.sharing a sense of doubt can bring men together perhaps even than sharing a faith The believer will fight another believer over a shade f difference the doubter fights only with himself I think that is what this novel is about It encourages the believer not to fear doubts In that sense, this novel is a great service to the faith life of a person Additional Information The dialogues are funny and witty There are sharp criticisms on few principles in Moral Theology, the doctrine of Hell and Purgatory, Catholic practices and the dogma of Marxism Two Samples for the dialogue Example 1 Monsignor All our good actions are acts of God, just as all our ill actions are acts of the Devil Mayor In that case you must forgive our poor Stalin, for perhaps only the Devil was responsible Example 2 The Monsignor and Sancho have stopped over by an abandoned building to have their lunch The wall of the building contains the painting of a hammer and sickle The dialogue now.Monsignor I would have preferred a cross to eat under Sancho What does it matter The taste of the cheese will not be affected by cross or hammer Besides, is there much difference between the two They are both protests against injustice Monsignor But the results were a little different One created tyranny, the other charity Last Word If you have read Don Quixote, you will appreciate this work even Unfortunately I had not done so But that was not a big handicap I HOPE SO. Although one of Greene s later novels, Monsignor Quixote is his most dated work In the story, Quixote is promoted from village priest to Monsignor Quixote via an error His accompanying travelling comedian is Sancho, a Communist former mayor Although a clever homage to Cervantes work, this novel relies heavily on exploring Catholicism and theology Unfortunately, the themes are tired and dated for modern day readers And for many non Christian or even non Catholic readers, may even border on inaccessible This is tired Greene, and an ineffective product of his era, which doesn t compare with his timeless works It may have worked back in the day, but doesn t any longer. One of the insights I have gained from reading Greene is that we do not see eye to eye when it comes to being fascinated by religion It is a topic that holds little interest for me Unfortunately, Monsignor Quixote is very much focused on the religious I m describing the topic the religious because at the heart of the book is a dialogue between Monsignor Quixote, a Spanish priest, and Sancho, who used to be the major of the Monsignor s home town Sancho is a communist whose faith in Marx, Engels, and Lenin is as strong as the Monsignor s in the holy trinity.What Greene sets out to do is to throw both characters together on a journey through Spain in the same manner that Cervantes did with his characters.In the process, Quixote and Sancho discuss different aspects of life from the Catholic and the communist angles sometimes with humorous outcomesWhat puzzles me, friend, is how you can believe in so many incompatible ideas For example, the Trinity It s worse than higher mathematics Can you explain the Trinity to me It was than they could do in Salamanca I can try Try then You see these bottles Of course Two bottles equal in size The wine they contained was of the same substance and it was born at the same time There you have God the Father and God the Son and there, in the half bottle, God the Holy Ghost Same substance Same birth They re inseparable Whoever partakes of one partakes of all three I was never even in Salamanca able to see the point of the Holy Ghost He has always seemed to me a bit redundant We were not satisfied with two bottles, were we That half bottle gave us the extra spark of life we both needed We wouldn t have been so happy without it Perhaps we wouldn t have had the courage to continue our journey Even our friendship might have ceased without the Holy Spirit No question, Greene does create a satirical, well written discourse However, the topics of conversation and the patterns of conversation get repetitive very quickly revolving around the wine, purple socks, and for some reason there seems to be a lot of discussion of birth control.Having progressed to about the half way point, I had my fill of circular discussions and even the odd self reverential mention of the whisky priest featured in Greene s The Power and the Glory , and skimmed through the rest of the book.I m glad I did I love Greene s work but not even for him will I sit through something that is not only dull and moving at snail s pace but also utterly unoriginal Unoriginal not because Greene is re imagining the characters and plot of Cervantes work but unoriginal because I grew up watching a series of films featuring a Catholic priest called Don Camillo quarrelling with a communist mayor called Peppone which really is exactly the same plot as Greene s.The Don Camillo stories were created by Italian author Giovannino Guareschi 1908 68 , and are highly entertaining Unlike Greene, Guareschi does not dwell on religious or political theory but focuses on the humanity that both characters, priest and mayor, try to encourage in their respective flocks. A lovely dialectic between belief and faith, politics and religion, plain old human feeling As I read it, it occurred to me that the two main characters, Father Quixote and the Communist mayor, Sancho, must have represented two sides of GG s personality Sweet and charming, two words I never thought I d attribute to any work by Mr Greene, a late work full of love, humor and forgiveness. From BBC Radio 4 15 Minute Drama Dramatised by Stephen WyattGraham Greene s comic entertainment , set in rural Spain a few years after the death of Franco Father Quixote makes a friend of an Italian bishop, with unexpected consequences.2 10 Father Quixote receives some unwelcome and very surprising news from his bishop.3 10 Newly appointed a Monsignor, Father Quixote and his friend Sancho set off on their quest for purple socks.4 10 Father Quixote and his friend Sancho arrive in Madrid to buy purple socks and attract the unwelcome attention of the Guardia Civil.5 10 Father Quixote and his friend Sancho arrive in Madrid to buy purple socks and attract the unwelcome attention of the Guardia Civil 6 10 Monsignor Quixote and Sancho help a robber and pay an unexpected price.7 10 Monsignor Quixote wakes from a drugged sleep to discover that he has been kidnapped and taken back to El Toboso.8 10 Imprisoned in his own house, Father Quixote is at the mercy of his bishop unless his friend Sancho can pull off a daring rescue.9 10 Having escaped El Toboso, Monsignor Quixote and Sancho go in search of wine but find themselves in a battle to save the honour of the church.10 10 Monsignor Quixote and Sancho are taken in by the monks at the monastery of Oseira and their journey comes to an end.Directed by Marc Beeby.http www.bbc.co.uk programmes b07mwqfc3 The Third Man4 The End of the Affair4 Our Man in Havana3 The Captain and the Enemy3 The Quiet American4 The Ministry of Fear4 The Power and the Glory4 The Honorary Consul3 Orient Express4 Monsignor QuixoteTR Brighton RockTR Travels With My AuntTR The Tenth ManTR The Heart of the Matter I didn t really enjoy reading this novel compared to his famous The Power and the Glory for some reasons so my rating is around 2.75, not 3 The first reason is that this one is rather obscure to me, I have never known that it exists, thus my reading motive is a bit shaky The second one is concerned with my knowledge of Latin focusing on some functional ones related to my field of study, that is, I have known only those Latin phrases or abbreviations used in academic circles, for example via, Nota bene, i.e., et al cf., etc itself The third one is about its religious terms and formidable ecclesiastical Latin which are absolutely Greek to me, for instance Opus Dei p 107 , the Mass p 180 , Communion p 181 , etc and the following In partibus infidelium p 19 , Esto mihi in Deum protectorem et in locum refugii p 101 , Et intoibo ad altare Dei, qui laetificat juventutem meam p 180 , etc However, Regarding him as one of those rare authors, I still admire, respect and enjoy reading his arguably unique, brilliant and unsurpassable writing style in terms of the impact acquired from special word usage in which, I think, his readers would learn and apply in writing or speaking English, for example It was a day when the heat stood and quivered on the dry fields, p 3 The Mayor put his hand for a moment on Father Quixote s shoulder, and Father Quixote could feel the electricity of affection in the touch p 38 They killed one bottle of wine while they waited and a second with their meal, p 48 etc.To continue .
- Mass Market Paperback
- 221 pages
- Monsignor Quixote
- Graham Greene
- 15 September 2017 Graham Greene