In my post on Graham Greene’s analysis of Shirley Temple’s charms, I mentioned how Greene had to flee to Mexico to avoid libel charges. The other day, Girl Scouts were selling cookies by the Farmers’ Market.
“With an epidemic of childhood obesity,” I remarked to Larry, “you’d think the Girl Scouts could find something else to sell, like dried fruit and nuts.”
“I bet they’re glad they didn’t hire you as their marketing consultant,” Larry replied. “You’d have them sell dried seaweed. Of course, it wouldn’t really matter what they sold if they just dressed like Shirley Temple.”
I hope that by repeating this here, we won’t be forced into an unplanned trip to South America–I don’t think either Larry or I have a novel in us!
I’m making scones. Larry is reading me snatches from the NY Times, including this from the Book Review: “When Shirley Temple Black died at 85 on Feb. 10, The Times’s obituary made brief note of her connection to Graham Greene. In a review of the 1937 film ‘Wee Willie Winkie,’ Greene wrote that Temple’s ‘infancy is her disguise, her appeal is more secret and more adult. ‘He unwisely continued: ‘Her admirers — middle-aged men and clergymen — respond to her dubious coquetry, to the sight of her well-shaped and desirable little body, packed with enormous vitality, only because the safety curtain of story and dialogue drops between their intelligence and their desire.’
In his memoirs, the film director Alberto Cavalcanti said Greene fled to Mexico, where he wrote “The Power and the Glory,” rather than face a possible prison sentence in a libel case inspired by the review. Cavalcanti wrote: “Very likely Shirley Temple never learned that it was partly thanks to her that, during his exile, Graham Greene wrote one of his best books.”
Continue reading “Living with Larry”