It is truly difficult to convey the admiration I have for this man.
And he would have hated me for it.
Requiéscat in pace.
A fascinating interview with Evelyn Waugh from the BBC TV archives. Introduced by Joan Bakewell.
NB: Despite what the video info seems to say, this is not the same as the famous Frankly Speaking radio interview (‘the most ill-natured interview ever broadcast’), an excerpt from which can be found here.
Evelyn Waugh at Georgetown the night of February 10th, 1949. Left to right are Rev. Gerard F. Yates, S.J., Waugh, Rev. J. Hunter Guthrie, S.J. (who was shortly to become President of Georgetown), and Rev. Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. Waugh lectured twice in a crowded Gaston Hall.Evelyn Waugh at 100: A Centennial Symposium, will be held on October 24, 2003 in ICC Auditorium. From the Georgetown University Archives.
Leicester Galleries recently sold a painting attributed to Bruno Hat, Still Life with Pears (1929), for £18,750. Hat was supposed to be a German artist, but the exhibition was a hoax. Evelyn Waugh wrote the introduction to the catalogue, “Approach to Hat.” The text appears on the web site of the Leicester Galleries, along with an image of the painting and an explanation of the hoax.
In a recent interview, James D. Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, noted the literary influences on his memoir The Double Helix: “Watson said he had modeled the book’s tone on fiction—primarily Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (which inspired Watson’s original title for The Double Helix—”Honest Jim”), and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.”
EVELYN WAUGH STUDIES
Vol. 42, No. 2
Evelyn Waugh’s first literary vocation was not novelist but art critic.
In Brideshead Revisited, Waugh utilizes the Aesthetic tradition of art-for-art’s sake, which mistakes art for life and significant form for significance, as an ironic lens that shows how younger characters, far from inhabiting a golden age, perch on a bubble ready to burst.
The author’s decision to introduce a passage of art criticism into a heart-to-heart between lovers, although perhaps a bit strange, might be a simple allusion to another narrative that happens to be a painting. Yet Hunt’s painting also holds for Waugh a deeper atmospheric appeal: it resonates with his thematic interest in the feminine, decorative indoor world as a space of abdication from responsibility and reality. (That Waugh mentions Ruskin more favorably in this passage does not present a real contradiction. It might be better to speak of Ruskins; few other critics have been so divided into conflicting elements.) The reality that Charles and Julia have been trying to ignore is not politics or public affairs, but sin; as far as the novel is concerned, sin exists in individuality as well as in the wider world.
The allure of surface is hard to resist, however. Soon after, Charles lightly compares the evening landscape with the backdrop for a play. Julia’s response this time is colder: “Why must you see everything secondhand? Why must this be a play? Why must my conscience be a Pre-Raphaelite picture?” (291). Conversion is a continual process: even when he draws close to insight, with Ruskin’s text as assistance, Charles remains susceptible to the error of valuing life for the sake of art rather than life for the sake of art: a professional hazard of being an artist, perhaps. Brideshead is a sort of reverse Künstlerroman, the story of an artist’s gradual turn away from a false art, with the true only implied; Sebastian and Julia Flyte are not artists, yet at significant moments they correct Charles’s eye. Recall the wording when Sebastian turns Charles away from Clive Bell’s Art; “my eyes were opened” combines the imperative of visual education with echoes from Scripture.
Evelyn Waugh’s Downton Abbey-esque country house, Piers Court, near Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire (via Flavorwire » 15 Famous Authors’ Beautiful Estates)
LibraryThing states that 2,752 books are in the finished catalog, but this number is considerably less than the 3,500 books said to exist in the Evelyn Waugh collection at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin. Comments are solicited from LibraryThing explaining how their EW cataloging team arrived at the number they did.
Excerpts from the thread at LibraryThing:
It was an interesting project. One noteworthy observation — Waugh had a copy of just about all of Graham Greene’s books (32 titles), most of which were inscribed to him by Greene. Yet, Greene, whose library was just entered a couple of months ago, had none of Waugh’s books.
Surprising to see that Waugh, even though he claimed to be a big fan, only had one P.G. Wodehouse novel (plus a couple of volumes of his autobiographical writings and one of the early children’s books). Did he borrow them from the servants, perhaps?
It should also be noted that the library holds no book by EW’s own son Auberon.
|—||Evelyn Waugh on Randolph Churchill (via randomsarahness)|
Peter Waugh’s father was Alec, Evelyn Waugh’s elder brother. He tells Patrick Barkham about the father whose love he couldn’t accept – and the uncle who scared him
The terrified boy fell in love with his Aunt Laura. “I thought Evelyn Waugh was an ogre and I was going to rescue her,” he says. “I did see him being very funny, but Evelyn was cruel. My sister once asked about the pre-Raphaelites and he said, ‘Do you know anything about painting?’ and she was only a young girl and didn’t, and he said, ‘Well, I won’t bother then.’”
The “Victorian Blood Book” from the Library of Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh, whose manuscripts and 3,500-volume library are now at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, was an inveterate collector of things Victorian (and well ahead of most of his contemporaries in this regard). Undoubtedly the most curious object in the Waugh library is a large oblong folio decoupage book known affectionately as the “Victorian Blood Book.”
Since it arrived here in the late 1960s, the “Blood Book” has fascinated everyone who has seen it. Its decoupage was assembled from several hundred engravings, many taken from books of etchings by William Blake. The principal motifs are natural (birds, animals, and especially snakes) and Christian (images of the cross, scenes from the Bible, and crusaders). Drops of red india ink and extensive commentary have been added to many of the images. The craftsmanship is exquisite, and the adhesion of the decoupages is still perfect. The book bears an inscription by one John Bingley Garland to his daughter Amy dated September 1, 1854.
All 41 plates of the book can be seen here.
( via )