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Old 12-22-2019, 11:12 AM   #91
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Last night I watched the second movie version of The End of the Affair, starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore (free on Pluto TV; the original Van Johnson-Deborah Kerr version isn't free, alas).

Can't say I liked the characters any more in the film version, but there were some interesting changes, a couple of which worked better. I'm not going to use spoiler tags, as the film hews fairly close to the book at first, but if you're a real stickler, be advised.

The Smythe character and the priest have been conflated; this made more sense to me, that Sarah would go to a priest after her vow to examine her feelings and beliefs, rather than some random anti-religion speaker she heard one day. The priest's face has no blemish; it's now Parkis's son who has a large birthmark on his cheek, which disappears after Sarah kisses it.

The huge shift comes in the last section, after Maurice has read Sarah's diary. Maurice and Sarah rekindle their affair, which for me undercuts any reading of the story as a journey of faith. They are planning a future, but then Henry (who has hired Parkis) pops up with test results from Sarah's doctor that she's dying (she'd been coughing throughout the film, a quite obvious Bad Omen), so here there wasn't an untreated bad cold from being out in the rain but some underlying disease (though it does rain in the movie--a LOT). Maurice moves in with Henry and Sarah for the last months of Sarah's life; Sarah gets to look all pale and pitiful; Maurice rages and Henry suffers. The film ends with Maurice departing the crematorium, meeting Parkis and his son, and seeing that the boy's birthmark is now gone.

So there's little real growth in Maurice, unless it comes after the end credits roll. There's less reason to see Sarah as good and holy, because of the renewed affair with Maurice; indeed, one could see her death as punishment for breaking her vow, which makes her kiss "miracle" rather inexplicable. The movie also seems to make Maurice's survival of the bombing more miraculous--here, he's lying on the staircase bleeding, and she is able to check for signs of life and finds none, he's dead; in the novel, with him being under a door, it's much easier to believe that she thought he was dead when he wasn't because she couldn't check too easily.
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Old 12-22-2019, 12:37 PM   #92
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Heads up that these links are about Greene, and are not specific to the book. But it’s interesting that the views expressed in these articles are as divided as the opinions within the club.

The Daily Mail article blasts him as a fraud, while the The New York Times portrays a man of (uneasy) faith.

So collectively I guess we are what I think Issybird has called mainstream? .

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-darkness.html

https://www.nytimes.com/1983/04/03/b...am-greene.html
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Old 12-23-2019, 06:28 AM   #93
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Thanks for these links Victoria. The Daily Mail article is pretty vicious, isn't it, and the interview is interesting though of course we have no way of knowing how much we can trust his responses to the questions.

For the former article, I had the idea that the Daily Mail was "on the nose" as they say in terms of serious or trustworthy journalism, and I found this article: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2017/...le-source.html - so it is worth always considering the reliability of the source!
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:21 AM   #94
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Bookpossum, your reaction was enough for me to unblock ads (temporarily) so I could read the article. My goodness, they don't hold back, do they. I ended up skimming as the article seemed to repeat itself a lot. The article might be an ad for a biography, given the signature line - I wonder if it was paid for. I can only hope the book provides more references. I am a little surprised they weren't nicer about him, the description seems to have him matching everything that the Daily Mail celebrates.

No idea whether it's factual about Greene, but it's about where I see Bendrix headed.

Thanks for the links, Victoria.
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:55 PM   #95
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Wow & oh dear! Thanks Bookpossum - it’s clearly just a rag! ( Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way for me to delete the post. I hope at least the NYT may be of interest.)

Last edited by Victoria; 12-23-2019 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:31 PM   #96
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Wow & oh dear! Thanks Bookpossum - it’s clearly just a rag! ( Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way for me to delete the post. I hope at least the NYT may be of interest.)
Oh, no need to delete it at all. Who knows whether there was any truth in it at all. It was masquerading as a review of the book of Greene’s letters, but clearly much of it came from elsewhere. The opening section was hardly a topic on which Greene wrote a letter for example, which then leads me to wonder where the rest came from!

And indeed, the transcript of the interview was interesting to read, so a good find.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:15 AM   #97
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Bookpossum, your reaction was enough for me to unblock ads (temporarily) so I could read the article. My goodness, they don't hold back, do they. I ended up skimming as the article seemed to repeat itself a lot. The article might be an ad for a biography, given the signature line - I wonder if it was paid for. I can only hope the book provides more references. I am a little surprised they weren't nicer about him, the description seems to have him matching everything that the Daily Mail celebrates.

No idea whether it's factual about Greene, but it's about where I see Bendrix headed.

Thanks for the links, Victoria.
Apologies gmw. I realised I had unintentionally ignored your comment to me in answering Victoria's response.

I get the impression that the journo used the publication of Greene's letters as an excuse to write this really scurrilous piece about him. I did have a look for reviews of the volume, and it sounds to be very interesting and well edited by Richard Greene (who isn't related).

You can see where the term "gutter press" came from!

Christmas Day is due to start shortly here, so best wishes for Christmas to everyone!

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Old 12-24-2019, 10:51 AM   #98
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No drama, Bookpossum, I hadn't said anything startling.

I had not checked out the book when I made my previous post, just noticed it was the only reference offered. It is interesting to see that the book sounds like a serious work. I am slightly curious to know how much justification for the article's content exists in the letters ... but not enough to want to read them.

Merry Christmas all. I should head to bed, I don't want to keep Santa away - I asked him to bring some rain.

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Old 12-24-2019, 12:50 PM   #99
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Thanks Bookpossum & gmw

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a lovely holiday.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:41 PM   #100
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The Daily Mail story may have been scurrilous and over-the-top as far as painting an accurate picture of Graham Greene, but, boy, did a lot of it seem to apply to Maurice Bendrix. (As did the NYT story as well.)

Combined, the two pieces confirmed my dislike of Greene's novel and made me disinclined to read anything else of his.
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Old 12-24-2019, 06:01 PM   #101
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It would be a dull world if we all liked exactly the same things!

I saw an article in the Guardian book section the other day listing the top ten books about adultery. The End of the Affair was number 1, though I don’t know if it was supposed to be in any particular order. Anna Karenina was in there too of course.
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:20 PM   #102
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It would be a dull world if we all liked exactly the same things!

I saw an article in the Guardian book section the other day listing the top ten books about adultery. The End of the Affair was number 1, though I don’t know if it was supposed to be in any particular order. Anna Karenina was in there too of course.
Of course I had to look. (A side rant is how you only see the articles that show up in your feed. I look at the Guardian every day and yet I missed this.) Fun article, as Guardian lists about books tend to be.

I'll make just one general comment about the Daily Mail, that they hate Meghan Markle, too.

I do want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas! Santa's still on his way to those of us in the western hemisphere. One more sleep.
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