Pico Iyer's Fascination with Graham Greene

Interview

Friday, March 02, 2012

Graham Greene wrote more than two dozen novels between the 1920s and the 1980s — downbeat bestsellers set in sketchy places. Many of which were made into movies, including the The Third Man, The Quiet American, and Our Man In Havana.

For 25 years, the writer Pico Iyer has felt an almost mystical connection to Greene, whom he never met. He chronicles that obsession in The Man Within My Head. An avid traveler, Iyer first felt a kinship in his twenties, when he was visiting places like Cuba and Bolivia. "It was like being in a very lonely place and suddenly realizing I had a companion,” Iyer remembers. Born in England to Indian parents, Iyer's family moved to California in the 1960s. He tells Kurt Andersen that he’s always lived his life as a foreigner, a trait he shares with the writer. “Greene never seemed comfortable in any category,” Iyer explains. "I share that sense of not wanting to inhabit any category.”

    Music Playlist
  1. Hole in the Ocean Floor
    Artist: Andrew Bird
    Album: Break it Yourself
    Label: Mom + Pop Music
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Theme
    Artist: Anton Karas
    Album: The Third Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Label: Jackpot Records
    Purchase: Amazon

Guests:

Pico Iyer

Produced by:

Michele Siegel

Comments [6]

Josh from Studio 360

@Mary Beth Yale - that was Patty Larkin's "Traveling Alone" off her 2008 album "Watch the Sky"

Mar. 06 2012 10:48 PM
Mary Beth Yale from Austin, TX

What was the song the preceded the story about Pico Iyer? It was about traveling alone and I loved it.

Mar. 06 2012 08:33 PM
Jenny from Studio 360

Hi bayer -- That's the theme from "The Third Man" -- here's the recording we used: http://www.amazon.com/Original-Motion-Picture-Soundtrack-Version/dp/B006MXSJOI

Mar. 05 2012 04:20 PM
bayer

what was the music at the end of Pico Iyer segment about Graham Greene?

Mar. 05 2012 11:41 AM
Davanna from Florida

Great interview. I love Graham Greene. The love stories imbedded in his novels are just beautiful too. I think of him as the ultimate romantic. His books have to be some of the most beautiful books ever written in the English language. Or maybe any language.

Mar. 04 2012 03:53 PM
barent

i don't understand, the need to see rationalism and synchronicity,as warring polar opposites. it's such an unnecessary conceit,that goes hand in hand, with the predominant[and very limited,i think], notion of secular materialism.

Mar. 04 2012 01:44 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.