Threads of Consciousness

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Threads of Consciousness

Or, how I got from there to here without much thinking about it.

One of the physical therapy gals in the North Mall II rehab facility carries her husband's not especially common family name of "Wormold," but one not unknown to me.

I immediately "flashed" (as we used to call it) on one "Jim Wormold," the protagonist of Graham Greene's dark and satirical Our Man in Havana, which in turn was brought to the screen by Carol Reed in 1959 with Alec Guin­ness as the vacuum cleaner retailer-turned-spy in pre-Revolutionary Cuba.

In reading a sampling of the film's customer reviews, I happened on one by an idiot named Darryl Burton who opined:

"What a bore. Don't waste your time or money on this sad movie. I can't believe this was remade years later."

Aside from our obviously differing aesthetic sensibilities, I couldn't believe that a remake had slipped beneath my radar, and set about to track it down.

Whew! There hadn't been either a remake or a sequel, notice of which had escaped me, so ol' Darryl was forever consigned to the Morons-with-Modems discard pile.

But my research explorations uncovered a wealth of heretofore unknown (to me) infor­mation about author Greene (1904-1991).

I was intrigued to learn that in his later years, having moved to the Côte d'Azur, a series of events which had touched him personally led him to become a crusader against the public corrup­tion which was pervasive in the region.

(A contemporary account of one aspect of his battle may be found in "On the Rivi­era, A Morality Tale by Graham Greene.")

What especially caught my attention was the 1982 "pamphlet" Greene published entitled (hearkening Émile Zola's celebrated 1898 letter) "J'Accuse – The Dark Side of Nice."

In it he chronicled the travesties he saw while residing in the Riviera's capital city, with em­phasis on not just the organized crime which infested civic government, but the judicial and police corruption which abounded under gov­ernmental protection.

(Graham, mon frère!)

His writing on the subject was not ignored... by the subjects, led by Jacques Médecin, a second generation Mayor (1966-1990) of Nice!

Greene's efforts provoked a libel action, one which he lost... it's never what one "knows," but what one can substantiate.

Vindication, though, came three years after the author's death when Médecin was convicted and sentenced to prison on multiple counts of corruption and criminality in 1994.

So better delayed than not at all... Greene went to his grave as popular and honored as ever, though not by a Nobel Prize which had been thrice proposed but never awarded.

That grave, incidentally, is in Corsier-sur-Vevey cemetery in Switzerland, close by those of two other British-born notables, Charlie Chaplin and the often-nominated, never-Os­car'd James Mason.

And that's what happens with free association musings, Internet access and interludes of hypergraphia.


1. Coach K said...

You use the term "idiot" way too often. It's not cool.

O, well... while I stopped concerning myself with "cool" over half-a-century ago, I'll otherwise take your admonishment under advisement.

2. Coach K said...


3. Lucinda Boyle said...

Why would you think anyone is interested in wandering aound in your subconscious?

Hey!, I'm a writer, it's my blog and I have the luxury of writing about whatever I want. If'n you (and Lulubelle1956) are less than transfixed by my subject matter, pass by and come back another time... or don't.

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