REVIEWSrnThe DisplacedrnPersonrnby Jeffrey MeyersrnGreene on Capri: A Memoirrnhy Shirley HazzardrnNew York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux;rn151 pp., $22.00rnThe depravit)- of Tiberius, or thernsalacit}’ of Suetonius,” wrote AnthonyrnBurgess, “had left its mark on an islandrnall sodomy, lesbianism, scandal andrncosmopolitan arhness.” For the last 150rnyears, writers have been attracted to thernnatural beaut}’ as well as the lechery ofrnCapri — 20 miles across the bay fromrnNaples, four miles long, and with a permanentrnpopulation of 12,000. HansrnChristian Andersen, lyan Turgeney, TristanrnCorbiere, Axel Munthe, CerhartrnHauptmann, Booth ‘larkington, lyanrnBunin, and Rainer Maria Rilke, amongrnothers, yisited the island.rnJoseph Conrad, who spent time onrnCapri in 1905, said the air was too stimulatingrnand complained of the hot w inds,rnviolent contrasts, and sexual deprayit):rnToo much ozone they say: too excitingrnand that’s why no lung patientsrnare allowed to come here. . . .rnThis place here, this climate, thisrnsirocco, this transmontana, thesernflat roofs, these sheer rocks, thisrnblue sea —are impossible. . .. Thernscandals of Capri —atrocious, unspeakable,rnamusing, scandals international,rncosmopolitan and biblical.rnD.H. Lawrence lived on Capri for twornmonths in 1920, hated the place, andrncalled it “a stewpot of semi-literar)- cats.”rnThe Australian-American novelistrnShirley Hazzard met Graham Greene inrnthe Gran Gaffe in Capri in the late 1960’srnwhen she supplied the last line of a poemrnby Browning that he’d begun to quoternbut eorddn’t quite complete. Her slightrnbut charming, engaging, and handsomelyrndesigned memoir of Greene suggestsrnwhat it was to be habitually in hisrncompany, to walk with him in arnstreet, to exchange opinions, literature,rnlaughter, and something ofrnone’s self; to observe his moods andrnresponses, suffer his temper, andrnwitness his attachments; to see himrngrow old.rnHer book belongs to the same valuablerngenre of personal recollections as MaximrnGorky’s Reminiscencefi of Tolstoy, Chekhovrnand Andreyev (1919) and J.R. Acklerley’srnE.M. Forster: A Memoir (1970). Hazzard,rnremembering “long and well, andrnwithout prompting, what is truly interesting,”rnrarely made notes after her talksrnwith Greene, though she occasionallyrnrecorded precise details of an eveningrnspent with him. Her st}’le is usually vividrnand elegant. But Greene would have disapprovedrnof her lapses: into cliche (“thernSecond World War convulsed the globe;rncalling populations to arms”), Jamesianrnponderosity (“In certain enkindledrnmoods, the inconsequential suppositionrnof a shared opinion might be angrily repelledrnas importunate”), or unnecessar}’rnobfuseation, as when she describes anrnItalian publisher who “was killed — apparcnth^rnb’ an explosive device related tornFeltrinelli’s own clandestine adventures.”rn(In fact, he blew himself up whilerntrying to destro}’ a pylon.) And Hazzard’srnobservations at times retjuire more substancernor elucidation. Her list of greatrnLooking for a good book?rnSupport Chronicles by purchasing books, CDs, and other itemsrnthrough the link and search engine on our website:rnwww.chroniclesmagazine.orgrnChronicles will receive between 5 and 15 percent on every purchase.rn19th-century fictional heroines excludesrnAnna Karenina. She remarks that Greenernliked the name of the Sicilian wine Corvo,rnwhich means “crow” in Italian, withoutrnexplaining that it reminded him ofrnFrederick Rolfe, Baron Corvo, whom hernadmired as a writer and called “so amazinglyrnunreasonable.” She was baffledrnwhen Greene enigmatically comparedrnhimself to Flaubert, though both authorsrnhad a penetrating vision of evil in thernwodd.rnIn 1948, Greene bought his house onrnAnacapri, // Rosaio (the rosebush), withrnall its contents, for the bargain price ofrn£3,000 —his proceeds from the film ofrnThe Third Man. The house, with a finerncultural pedigree, had been a refuge forrnthe Czech politician Jan Masaryk and forrnthe writers Gorky, Norman Douglas, andrnFrancis Brett Young. After the GreatrnWar, it had been sold to the novelistrnCompton Mackenzie, who had invitedrnLawrence to Capri. Greene’s austere studio,rninside a walled garden, had an old divan,rna chair, a table, and a portable fypewriter.rnIn that refuge within a retreat onrnan island, he faithfully wrote his daily 350rnwords, breaking off—like Hemingway—rnat the point where it would be easier tornresume the next day.rnOn Capri, the habits of the restlessrnwanderer were as regular as those of ImmanuelrnKant. He wrote in the morning,rntook a walk in the late afternoon, and inrnthe evening had a drink in tire piazza andrndinner at his fa’orite restaurant. And yet,rnhe told Hazzard, Capri “isn’t really myrnkind of place.” When asked, “what isrnyour kind of place?” he cryptically responded,rn”well, not Antibes”—where hernhad a flat on the sea front. Spirituall}’ andrnphysically a displaced person who lovedrnthe intoxication of motion, he was boredrnby the tame, overeivilized Florence andrnRome, much more at home in Paragiun^rnor Phnom Penh. II Rosaio was originallyrna refuge for Greene and his Americanrnmistress, Catherine Walston, who heldrnhim “in thrall between rapture and thernrack for fifteen years . . . brought him tornthe verge of insanity and suicide,” and inspiredrnthe heroine of The End of the Affair.rnBv the time Hazzard met him,rnGreene had another mistress, the FrenchrnYvonne Cloetta, who —unlike Catherinern— idolized him. Hazzard does notrnmention that both women were marriedrnand had several children, which conve-rn.30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn