A Burnt-Out Case (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) by Graham Greene

By Graham Greene

Querry, a world-famous architect, is the sufferer of a bad assault of indifference: he not unearths which means in artwork or excitement in existence. Arriving anonymously at a Congo leper village, he's clinically determined because the psychological similar of a "burnt-out case", a leper who has undergone a degree of mutilation. even though, as Querry loses himself in paintings for the lepers his affliction of brain slowly methods a remedy. Then the white group unearths out who Querry is...

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Example text

Those are the interminable nights. In a way you know this seemed a night when things begin. I've never much minded physical discomfort. And after about an hour when I tried to move my hand, he wouldn't let it go. His fist lay on it like a paper-weight. " Doctor Colin asked. "Odd to me. I've needed people often enough in my life. You might accuse me of having used people more than I have ever loved them. But to be needed is a different sensation, a tranquillizer, not an excitement. Do you know what the word Pendélé' means?

Above the noise of the insects, but the absurd name which sounded like an invocation in a church received no response. His own presence here was hardly more explicable than that of Deo Gratias. The thought of his servant lying injured in the forest waiting for the call or footstep of any human being would perhaps at an earlier time have vexed him all night until he was forced into making a token-gesture. But now that he cared for nothing, perhaps he was being driven only by a vestige of intellectual curiosity.

She said nothing. She couldn't tell him, "There is no one else to speak to," about the patisserie at the corner, the day when Sister Thérese broke her ankle, the plage in August with her parents. "A lot of it is my own fault," Rycker said, reaching his second stage. "I realise that. I have failed to teach you the real values as I see them. What can you expect from the manager of a palm-oil factory? I was not meant for this life. " His vain yellow face hung like a mask between her and Africa. " He must have told her this, after drinks, at least once a month since they married, and every time he spoke she remembered their first night in the hotel at Antwerp, when he had lifted his body off her like a half-filled sack and dumped it at her side, and she, feeling some tenderness because she thought that in some way she had failed him, touched his shoulder (which was hard and round like a swede in the sack), and he asked her roughly, "Aren't you satisfied?

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