Ceci n’est pas Graham Greene—a mystery solved

About four months ago, I stumbled across a picture which was incorrectly identified as being Graham Greene. I recently had someone (via Hacker News, of all places) identify the mystery individual as Artur Lundqvist, a member of the Swedish academy.

Now, this is especially ironic given Greene’s storied history with his non-receipt of the Nobel Prize in literature. It was largely considered to be the result of a personal dislike of Greene on the part of several members of the Swedish Academy, and wondering if Lundqvist was part of said “cabal,” I did a Google search on “Graham Greene Artur Lundqvist” and turned up a 1980 article in the Washington Post in which the question was put directly to Lundqvist. Lundqvist offered a number of excuses, none of which was particularly compelling: “I think his work has declined.” “Greene is too popular.” “He doesn’t need the money.” Overall, he came across as peevish and defensive. I suspect that if anything, this particular interview may have resulted in whatever small chances Greene might have had of receiving the Nobel in his last decade of life vanishing.





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