Graham Greene’s real and imaginary French Riviera


  • François Gallix Sorbonne University



After living mostly in residential districs : St James’s street, Albany in London, bd. Malesherbes in Paris, Capri where he had bought a house why did Graham Greene decide to spend almost twenty years, from 1966 to 1990, in the small French provincial town of Antibes ? The first answers, given by Greene himself are part of those “clouds of smoke“ that he created all his life so as to remain out of the public eye : health problems (he had had a bad pneumonia in Moscow, but had recovered long ago and lived until the age of eighty-six), the proximity in Juan les Pins of Yvonne Cloetta, the French married woman he had met in 1959 and who was his last loving companion.
The reality is to be found in Greene’s answer to a letter from Evelyn Waugh, written in January 1966 to congratulate him for being made a Companion of Honour by the Queen and to thank him for sending him an inscribed copy of his novel, The Comedians. Greene wrote back on January 5th : “1965 was bad for me too. Someone like Jones [in The Comedians], claiming a CBE did away with all my savings so I’ve had to leave England and establish myself in France.“

Biografia autore

François Gallix, Sorbonne University

François Gallix is Emeritus Professor of XXth century British Literature at the Sorbonne. He has presented many contemporary British authors, including Alan Sillitoe Peter Ackroyd, David Lodge, Julian Barnes, Jonathan Coe, Graham Swift, Hanif Kurleishi and has published several books and articles about them. His research now concentrates on the works of Graham Greene. He has recently discovered and published in The Times and in The Strand a detective novella by Greene. He has edited two volumes on Greene, published by Robert Laffont (2011).




Come citare

Gallix, François. 2012. «Graham Greene’s Real and Imaginary French Riviera». Altre Modernità, n. 7 (maggio):225-32.



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