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Konsulen (1973)

af Graham Greene

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2,120297,448 (3.82)91
I en lille, hed by i et hjørne af Argentina bliver nogle englændere midtpunkt i en kærlighedsintrige og et revolutionært guerilladrama.
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Engelsk (24)  Spansk (2)  Hollandsk (1)  Hebræisk (1)  Svensk (1)  Alle sprog (29)
Viser 1-5 af 29 (næste | vis alle)
A non-official British Consul who has been existing relatively unnoticed in a small town in Argentina is kidnapped accidentally by Paraguayan rebels who had intended to kidnap the American ambassador to Argentina. Doctor Eduardo Plarr, as a friend of the Honorary Consul, Charley, and also a friend to the rebels from before he left Paraguay, is torn between his past allegiances and his present connections. To make matters more complicate Plarr is also having an affair with the Consul’s young wife Clara, a former prostitute, who is now pregnant, perhaps with Plarr’s child.
While this novel was not as satisfying for me as many of his other books, this was still an enjoyable novel. This book continues to explore the theme of Catholicism, looking at the essence of Catholicism, whether marriage, rituals, etc., are vital to the religion, or whether when stripped of all these outward elements of the religion there is a core of belief which remains worthwhile. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
2.5

Perhaps it's because I'm in a bitter and miserable mood, but this felt like a particularly bitter and miserable novel. It isn't unlike Greene's other work: An affair, a political misunderstanding, guilt, catholic symbolism, miserable people doing miserable things and the whole thing lined with dark, British wit. This is typical Greene from front to back. The set-up is solid and there are some great lines and scenes, but I generally found the characters to be too unlikeable and unsympathetic. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for the usual moping.

I'm finding it more and more baffling that a line is drawn between Greene's "entertainments" and his "serious" novels, because I can hardly see a difference most of the time. None of his "thrillers" are page-turners and all of his books (that I have read) are lined with sub-text and asides and indulge to some extent. The Honorary Consul is particularly heavy-handed at points and not something I would put into the same camp as, say, The Ministry of Fear, The Third Man or Our Man in Havana (all of which are among his better-paced and more "exciting" efforts). I've seen The Honorary Consul dumped into both categories; but I think such a divide is futile, dismissive of some of Greene's best novels, and somewhat patronising towards other author's works that would be considered less "literary" by comparison. ( )
  TheScribblingMan | Jul 29, 2023 |
“A voice announced the station and the news bulletin, and news of Charley Fortnum took first place. A British Consul – the speaker left out the qualifying and diminishing adjective [honorary] – had been kidnapped. There was no mention of the American Ambassador…. The omission lent Charley a certain importance. It made him sound worth kidnapping.”

Set in northern Argentina in the early 1970s, a group of rebels mistakenly kidnaps Honorary British Consul Charley Fortnum, mistaking him for the American Ambassador. They demand the release of political prisoners in return for his safety, not realizing that he is not important enough to give them much leverage. Protagonist Eduardo Plarr is a local doctor whose father is English, and mother is Argentinian. He grew up in Paraguay and attended school with one of the kidnappers, ex-priest León Rivas. Plarr is having an affair with Fortnum’s wife, a former prostitute. He has not heard from his father, believed to be a political prisoner, in many years.

The kidnappers end up together in a hut with Charley and the doctor. The reader is drawn along to find out what happens to Charley. It does not look good for him. The British government officials do not appear to be very concerned and do not want to succumb to extortion. Though Plarr claims to not love or care for anyone, he takes extreme actions out of compassion.

“Doctor Plarr thought: the desperadoes! That is what the papers would call them. A failed poet, an excommunicated priest, a pious woman, a man who weeps. For heaven’s sake let this comedy end in comedy. None of us are suited to tragedy.”

Primary themes include love, justice, and faith. As in many of Greene’s books, there is much discussion of religion. The story is full of irony. Despite being full of rather unlikeable people, this novel inspires deep thinking and, possibly, even hope.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
An atheist doctor? A former priest with wavering faith? An exotic, isolated setting with whiskey sodden British expats? Check all these. In “The Honorary Consul” the local characters are as vivid as the expat Brits, something not always the case with Greene. (Although, I think he did a good job in his African novels of not assuming to know what the African characters were thinking.) Two of the three Englishmen here aren’t really expats at all. Born in Paraguay to a British father and local mother, Doctor Plarr is our atheist. Born in Argentina to British parents, Charlie Fortnam is the honorary British consul in a small town on the Paraná river in Northeast Argentina. The only other Brit in town is Doctor Humphries, a grumpy teacher of literature whose background we are not sure of, but he was probably born in England. I found it true even in the early 21st century that Anglo-Argentinians held fast to a 'colonial era' English accent and customs, like five o’clock gin and tonics, not maintained among British descendants in my part of the world. So the idea of a locally born Englishman not quite fitting in that Greene introduces rings true.

The setting seems to be based on Formosa (I've got that wrong it was Corrientes a bit further south), capital of the oppressively hot Formosa province - a million miles away from the cosmopolitan capital Buenos Aires, where Doctor Plarr’s Paraguayan mother grows fat on dulce de leche. I don’t know how long Greene was in Argentina, the novel is dedicated to Victoria Ocampo, an Argentine writer he stayed with. He refers vaguely to the political troubles in Argentina in the early 70s, the period just before the return of Perón. (Quickly followed by his death, his wife taking over and the subsequent military dictatorship.) Over the Paraná river is Paraguay - under control of the American backed dictator, General Stroessner. In a muddle up Charlie gets kidnapped by Paraguayan rebels hoping for an exchange of prisoners; the American Ambassador was the real target. The British government isn’t eager to get involved, Charlie is a sixty year old ‘honorary’ consul and alcoholic - worse still he has recently married Clara, a young prostitute - not a becoming image at all. He lives by growing maté and importing cars and then selling them on - flaunting the diplomatic rights he doesn't actually have.

The intellectual conversations at Clara’s (former) brothel between Plarr and local writer Doctor Saavedra are amusing - and Saavedra comes off as a joke, a man obsessed with machismo - until we see that he lives in poverty and Plarr gives him grudging respect for devoting his life to literature. Greene’s idea of Argentine machismo is accurate in its knife fights, but also seems mixed up with the Mexican version which is more pervasive than the Argentine one.

The kidnappers are known to Plarr, who is involved because his British father is a political prisoner in Paraguay. Plarr lacks the faith and personal morality of the head kidnapper, his ex-classmate former priest Rivas, but is a doctor committed to the poor - he resembles Dr. Colin the atheist doctor treating lepers in Greene’s “A Burnt Out Case”. In both novels Greene seems to be debating with himself the merits of the man of faith and the practical man who tries to save lives rather than souls. The saving of souls is a much more tortuous business because it raises the possibility of personal damnation? The pace never drops off much in this book - it didn’t get bogged down in Catholic theology and moral debate (although there is certainly a sufficient amount of these). There is a fair deal of humour too. I was just in the right mood for this novel - so a subjective five stars. ( )
  FEBeyer | Oct 25, 2021 |
El cónsul honorario (en inglés The Honorary Consul) es una novela del escritor británico Graham Greene.

La novela se desarrolla en la década de 1970, en la ciudad argentina de Corrientes, en el Litoral de la República Argentina, donde el narrador, hijo de un diplomático inglés y una señora paraguaya, se desempeña como médico y se conecta con la pequeña comunidad de residentes británicos.

Las descripciones permiten al lector un acercamiento muy vívido a aquella zona del litoral, a los enfrentamientos políticos y, como suele darse en las novelas del autor, al enfrentamiento interno de un cura católico entre su fe y su actuación en el mundo.

Un gran amigo y un conocido de la niñez del narrador planean el secuestro del embajador norteamericano, de visita por la ciudad, para usarlo como eje de negociación de la liberación de algunos presos políticos. Sin embargo, por un error en la ejecución, terminan tomando prisionero a una figura menor, un cónsul honorario británico.

Involucrado en el asunto no solo por haber provisto datos pertinentes a los secuestradores sino también por el amorío que sostiene con la mujer de quien termina siendo capturado, el personaje principal queda atrapado en una red de lealtades traicionadas y sostenidas de difícil escapatoria.

El autor se inspiró en el secuestro auténtico del cónsul paraguayo Waldemar Sánchez ocurrido en marzo de 1970 mientras Greene estaba de visita en Argentina.

Michael Caine, Richard Gere, Bob Hoskins, Joaquim de Almeida y Elpidia Carrillo fueron algunos de los actores que participaron en la película The Honorary Consul (1983), filmada en escenarios naturales de la ciudad y el puerto de Veracruz, así como en la región de Los Tuxtlas, México.
  ArchivoPietro | Nov 16, 2020 |
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Pigott-Smith, TimNarratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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I en lille, hed by i et hjørne af Argentina bliver nogle englændere midtpunkt i en kærlighedsintrige og et revolutionært guerilladrama.

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