Wednesday, June 6, 2012

England Made Me

The bronze doors slid apart and Krogh was in the circular courtyard.  Krogh was surrounded by Krogh’s.  The cold clear afternoon sky roofed in the cube of glass and steel.  The whole lower floors one room deep were exposed to him;  he could see the accountants working on the ground floor, the glass flashing primrose before the electric fires.  He noticed at once that the fountain was completed; the green shape worried him as he was not often worried;  it accused him of cowardice.  He had pandered to a fashion he did not understand; he would much preferred to have set in the fountain a marble goddess, a naked child, a nymph with concealing hands.  He paused to examine the stone; no instinct told him whether it was good art or bad art;  he did not understand.  He was uneasy, but he did not show his uneasiness. His high bald face,  like a roll of newspaper, showed at a distance only bold headlines;  the smaller type, the little subtleties, obscure fears, were invisible.

      He grew aware of being observed;  he was watched through the glass by an accountant over his machine, by a director from his chromium balcony, by a waitress drawing the black leather blinds in the staff restaurant.  The day faded quickly above his head, the lights began to go on behind the curved glass walls while he dallied beside the green statuary.
    Krogh mounted the double doors of Krogh’s.


  1. The photograph directly above minds me of the hood of an imposing King Cobra if I was to ever meet one face to face.

  2. I can easily see that. To me, it's a lot like looking down the throat of the creature and seeing it sort of inside-out. Thank you for writing. England Made Me (aka The Shipwrecked) is a favorite of mine. Although clearly "typically Graham Greene," it has a quality that is also uniquely unsettling among his works, which is really saying something. Please visit again and write again. It's nice to meet you. Curtis