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Graham Greene and Cuba: Our man in Havana

Hulme, P (2008) 'Graham Greene and Cuba: Our man in Havana.' New West Indian Guide, 82 (3-4). 185 - 210. ISSN 1382-2373

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Abstract

Graham Greene?s novel Our Man in Havana was published on October 6, 1958. Seven days later Greene arrived in Havana with Carol Reed to arrange for the filming of the script of the novel, on which they had both been working. Meanwhile, after his defeat of the summer offensive mounted by the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, in the mountains of eastern Cuba, just south of Bayamo, Fidel Castro had recently taken the military initiative: the day after Greene and Reed?s arrival on the island, Che Guevara reached Las Villas, moving westwards towards Havana. Six weeks later, on January 1, 1959, after Batista had fled the island, Castro and his Cuban Revolution took power. In April 1959 Greene and Reed were back in Havana with a film crew to film Our Man in Havana. The film was released in January 1960. A note at the beginning of the film says that it is ?set before the recent revolution.? In terms of timing, Our Man in Havana could therefore hardly be more closely associated with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. But is that association merely accidental, or does it involve any deeper implications? On the fiftieth anniversary of novel, film, and Revolution, that seems a question worth investigating, not with a view to turning Our Man in Havana into a serious political novel, but rather to exploring the complexities of the genre of comedy thriller and to bringing back into view some of the local contexts which might be less visible now than they were when the novel was published and the film released.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2012 14:19
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 10:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1865

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