For someone who managed both business and literary careers, Henry Green’s achievements are remarkable. Blindness, published in 1926 when Green was twenty-one years old, announced the arrival of a novelist whose artistic poise was illustrated throughnarrative daring and an unusual sense of characterization. Successive novels continued to impress critics and reviewers, though some either misunderstood or disliked Green’s highly individual technique. “Prose,” Green stated in Pack My Bag, “should be a long intimacy between strangers with no direct appeal to what both may have known.” He continued by writing that this intimacy should build slowly and encompass unexpressed feelings that “are not bounded by the associations common to place names or to persons with whom the reader is unexpectedly familiar.”
Friends and fellow writers such as Garnett, V. S. Pritchett, W. H. Auden, Evelyn Waugh, Christopher Isherwood, and John Lehman recognized Green’s talent. Several have published articles on his work. Although Green is less known in the United States, Terry Southern, Eudora Welty, and John Updike have paid homage to him in interviews and articles. As critical theory has developed to encompass precisely those narrative strategies articulated by Green in 1939, it seems likely that his literary stature, already assured, will increase.