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Feuilleton (6): A reading from Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair

Christopher Adam. Photo by: Chase Parkinson of ChaseP Photos

The opening paragraphs of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair likely resonate with anyone who has tried to tell or write a story. What’s the place where one starts, how much context does one give, how far does one look back? With Greene we get these haunting, memorable opening words: “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” To what extent is a story fiction or to what degree is it an amalgam of everything that an author has seen or experienced? On a more existential level — and The End of the Affair is certainly that — how much freedom and choice do we have over what happens in our lives, who we meet and the turns we take? Do we have a fate, or is everything reduced to free will? Is it perhaps some combination of the two? Is life a series of coincidences or is there rhyme and reason to it?

This reading captures the opening scene and gives a flavour of this dark, reflective work from 1951, set in a rainy London winter. See my full book review here.

Sound engineer: Liam Raycroft
Recorded at Viva Recording Studios in Ottawa
Photo: Chase Parkinson
Music: Brock Hewitt – Stories in Sound, License code: KWUB7SMGH4ZH6QHC.

Published inFeuilleton

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