The Spiritual Splendors of Weakness and MyopianGraham Greene: The Human Factor;nSimon and Schuster; New York.nby Mary Ellen FoxnAs Lshenden, James Bond andnGeorge Smiley, those notable protagonistsnof the novel of espionage, are waynstations signaling the changing naturenof the genre. Somerset Maugham’s alternego was an amateur who nonethelessncarried out his patriotic obligationsnduring World War I in accordance withnthe strictest professional code. Bond, annamalgam of science fiction with the postnWorld War II sexual pop scene, seems tonhave been created just for the movingnpicture screen. Ian Fleming’s hero, muchnless of a literary personality thannMaugham’s Ashenden, was a reactionnto the realities of the Cold War with itsnabsolute moral and ideological positionsnput into a comic strip aesthetics andnseasoned with a middle-aged writer’snlibidinous imagination. Yet, whethernreality is comprised of the consequencesnof minutiae or a glamorous, action-packednnever-never-land, duty to king and countrynwas unquestioningly, even enthusiasticallynperformed. This seems like a fairyntale compared to today’s spy novels. Thenworld of John Le Carre, which is chronologicallynmuch closer to Bond than tonAshenden, is a grubby little universenfurnished with grubby little files andnpeopled with grubby little bureaucratsnliving in grubby little bed sitters. Thenmost complete and significant turnabout,nhowever, has been a reevaluationnof purpose and a questioning of principles.nThe novel of espionage—a predominantlynBritish product—appears now to be anvery British way of coping with politicalnfactualities and the national attitudesntoward them.nGraham Greene’s The Human Factornis a continuation of both the author’snown literary tradition and that of thenDr. Fox, Yale 74, is a literary critic.n8nChronicles of Culturengenre. It further developsthe deromanticizatiohnof the secret agent as a deskboundncode cracker and paper pusher, whonincreasingly questions the necessity ofnmaintaining loyalty to the home office.nGreene delved into the platitude, shabbinessnand cheapness of the allegedly romanticnprofessions and vocations longnbefore Le Carre did. He produced, innthis respect, literary achievements ofnmagnitude. His Catholicism, or rathernthe never-ending substantiation of hisnconversion, brought into imaginative usenwith a writing acumen and intensitynunrivaled in contemporary world literature,nhelped him to create an uniquenbody of work. The Human Factor remainsnwell-grounded in the same intellectualnand stylistic tradition. It is annalloy of Greene’s Catholic literary sensibilityndealing with important moralnproblems, which has produced ThenPower and the Glory, The End of thenAffair and The Heart of the Matter, withnhis “entertainments” such as This Gunnfor Hire, The Ministry of Fear andnThe Confidential Agent. However, andifference must be registered. ThenHuman Factor is also an ideologicallynobnoxious book with disturbingnmoral implications.nM aurice Castle, outwardly drab,ngreying, dependable, works for the Britishnsecret service, processing African intelligence.nWhen a leak is discovered, henis—incomprehensibly, considering hisnbackground—the last to be suspected.nThe superiors in his department focusntheir distrust on a younger and morenflamboyant colleague and ultimately—nand unconvincingly, to this readermurdernhim to prevent further damages.nThey are unaware that underneathn”I’m-1 in in.! r; f’.icl’-r i>; an ili-gani w ork . . . Ii ‘s a iiiarvclous IK) el. crystallinen.UK! iindi-rMated. lliai tenJerh. criully. almost icgR-ifully n-tiises to giaiilynour roinanlic tix.cidrions.”n~cn:sifi’chn”(iraliain Greem- sliouk! long since li.ixc 1H’I-II aciordet! ilii- obel Hri/e. I leni^ ‘itiic-grit’s’ KitiR-aii-. wheihiT Slockliolni accepts him or no.”n— The Sew Refiuhticn”I’aniotisin haslragnicnied into love . . . (Jraliani Greene com iniiistoi-nrichnThe Wav U’l- I.ivi- Now.”n— /;«/«/?•«•n”The world’s most gracefully gifted and pr.u-riced sior teller o|ierarin,i; al li:llnjiowi-r.”n— Kirktis Reviewsn•Prob.ihly the best espionage noi-l ever wrilien.”n-r/vnone dois nol have t(i auiei- uilli ivcrMliing in tlii.>- book to eWo il.”n— Chietii>r> IribuHi liiit>le Wiir/iJnnn