October 28, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mr. Waugh!

Today is the 101st anniversary of the birth of Mr. Evelyn Waugh, one of my all time favorite authors. Enoch Soames, Esq., has a complete round-up of all things Waughian and asks which is your favorite novel, character and scene.

I have to say that by far my favorite work is the Sword of Honor trilogy. (I know that's three books, not one, but hey.) It's hard to put into just a few words why, but I think it's a combination of subject matter and scope. Also, I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that Guy Crouchback has always been my favorite character. Also, shallow as it may be, I simply love the "biffing" competition between Apthorpe and Ritchie-Hook over the thunder box in Men At Arms.

Coming a close second, I think, is A Handful of Dust. But while I identify to some extent with Guy, I feel nothing but pity for poor old Tony Last. His fate leaves me full of terror and rage.

Of the, well, lighter fare, certainly Scoop is at the top of my list.

Mr. Soames notes that Waugh didn't produce any really nice female characters. I don't know - Julia Stitch isn't such a bad lot. And frankly, I can never judge Virginia Troy too harshly, since she maintains at least some sense of what's right. Not that I'd want to get mixed up with her for more than an evening myself, but still.....

Posted by Robert at October 28, 2004 09:32 AM | TrackBack

Have most of Waugh's works - including a difficult to find bibliography of them all.

I agree the Triology is excellent - but find some form of add but satisfying redemption in his 'travel' works.

I believe his son recently died in England. His last child is, I believe, married to an American and living there (here) somewhere.

I enjoy noting the markers associating Waugh, the proper Brit with Mencken, the improper American, and their (almost) once-in-a-lifetime meeting in Baltimore.

I fantacize sitting in Row 1 somewhere in a London theater as Waugh, Mencken, Twain and Churchill hurl epithets at each other over a round table.

Posted by: Yahuti at October 28, 2004 08:31 PM
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