Green then talked his way into a French artillery. Before being discharged, was a member of the Allied occupation force in Germany. From to Green studied in Paris and at the University of Virginia. His fascination with American society soon turned into feelings of displacement and in-betweenness.
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Later he described those years as "some of the saddest of my life. He left the university without graduating and moved back to France, where joined the literary scene. The work was inspired by stories he had heard from his American relatives. It gained a critical success both in France and in the United States. Green's first name Julian was changed to Julien in the late s by his first publisher. Until , his residence was on Rue Cortambert. The autobiographical L'autre sommeil was about homosexual awakening of the protagonist, and combined the experiences Green had in both the United States and France.
With Le Visionnaire , The Dreamer and Minuit , Midnight , Green entered into a world of dreamlike battle between good and evil, passion and reason. Some critics have seen that these novels are not traditional anti-bourgeois novels, although they picture French provincial life in critical light. Metaphysical boredom becomes the source of revolt, not social facts.
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In Green converted to Roman Catholicism for the second time. First time was after which he became a Buddhist. Green's early religious tensions are seen in the title of his first publishd work, Pamphlet contre les catholiques de France Between the years and , he lived in the U. During the war he prepared radio programs in French for the Allies. He published little, aside Memories of Happy Days , an elegiac memoir of his childhood and youth. During this period Green examined the question, is the release of sensual passion confused with the liberation of the spirit.
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Some critics connected Green's "puritanism" to his American ancestry, some, on the other hand, to Jansenism. Green's Journal , together with Personal Record focused on the author's intellectual and social interests, without being solely a journal intime , an instrument of self-exploration. Although Green was bilingual, he wrote mainly in French. Green's only major work written in English was Memories of Happy Days Most of Green's plays, which often explored the theme of self-discovery, were written between and In Demain n'existe pas the lead character was homosexual.
Sud , South was the basis of a opera, composed by Kenton Coe. It takes place the weekend before the start of the U. Civil War and features a triangle of a transcendentalist girl, Lieutenant Ian Wiczewski, the Yankee lieutenant she loves, and Eric Mac Clure, the Confederate officer he loves.
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At the end Mac Clure kills Lt. He pays constant attention to the state of his soul and of his religious life. At solitary attendance at 6 a. At last the priest came to let me in. He was yawning, which rather shocked me, for I had become absurdly austere once again. Very discreetly, he drew on the rope of the bell-pull and the little bell rang timidly as if to call the few Catholics in the neighborhood without disturbing the slumber of the Protestants. Then Green sees Mark for the first time: Because of someone I had only seen for only three or four seconds, I was now enslaved.
It needed an effort to get back to my room, and once I was there I lay down facing the wall.
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Love, I could see only too well, brought unhappiness. There was no longer any question of reading, working, or praying. Because there is no place in the present-day world for a young man who loves another.
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- CHASTE BUT ILLICIT-THE FIRST LOVE OF JULIAN GREEN.
No one would understand. And that was the strangest thing in all this.
In my own mind, love could only be pure. Desire was something quite different. Desire was a sin.
All kinds of forbidden notions about this stranger were already beginning to loom in my mind. Only an hour beforehand, I had felt almost happy to be alive, in spite of feeling an exile. Now I was suffering and there was nothing I could do about it. Eventually Green will talk to Mark and spend time with him, and it is not giving away anything to say that nothing, as used to be said, happens. But everything has really happened:. I only discovered many years later what was going on there every day and night. There is a great deal to be said about the effects of my blindness for it prolonged the end of my childhood and encouraged a late development which it was difficult to catch up with, yet it also helped to preserve many qualities which I would otherwise have lost: I would be lying if I wrote that I did not regret it.
I cannot pretend that a shameful lament for the passionate delights of which my youth deprived me did not well up from the darkest regions of my soul.