Evelyn Waugh's Finest Novel (JOHN K. HUTCHENS,NY Times)

site dedicated to the works of the English novelist Evelyn Waugh(1903-1966)

‘Decline and Fall’ was Evelyn Waugh’s first published novel. First published in 1928, its humour and satire seem a little dated now – though such arguments can be levelled at almost any book published that long ago.

For once, an adaptation caught Waugh's inner voice, that singular interwar fruity whine of pomp, self-pity and high intellect, the all leavened by an utterly redemptive sense of the absurdity of the human condition, particularly Waugh's own. Crucially, this was achieved without resort to the artifice of narrative voiceover, à la Brideshead. Wood just picked his quotes very cleverly. In episode one (of three), 's beleaguered Everyman is sent down from Oxford (with an achingly unfair whiff of un-trouser-edness) and reduced to teaching in the boondocks, where every pupil is as damaged, yet at least 10 times as smart, as the masters. He soon alights on the ultimate piece of time-wasting for his spoilt charges, "an essay on self-indulgence. There will be points for the longest, irrespective of any possible merit."

EW 1. British Broadcasting Corporation. "The Novel Today: Evelyn Waugh's Army Trilogy The Sword of Honour," [radio script]. (1964, Feb. 6).

Evelyn WAUGH and Randolph CHURCHILL, to whom the novel is dedicated.

In this piece of literary criticism the author examines an issue that arises in Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies." At issue is an analysis of a conversation experienced by three characters in the novel in which they discuss the behavior of the current generation of young adults of the period,...

decline and fall evelyn waugh analysis essay - Samhain …

The article offers a critical analysis of the book "Brideshead Revisited," by Evelyn Waugh. A criticism regarding the fractal approach adopted by Waugh in the novel is discussed. An analysis of the character of Sebastian Flyte in the novel is presented. The symbolic representation of the...

Decline and Fall, by Evelyn Waugh | The Sheila Variations

Desmond MacCarthy was a literary critic who since 1928 had been the editor of the monthly review Life And Letters. He commissioned Waugh to write an essay on Ronald Firbank for the March 1929 issue, and in 1931 published the first chapter of Black Mischief in the magazine. Sykes describes MacCarthy at this time as Waugh's "influential admirer". Waugh seemed happy to repay his patronage in nepotism and so, for a short time in 1932, Waugh employed MacCarthy's daughter Rachael as his secretary.
A fine association copy of the author's brilliant first novel, described by Connolly as "anarchic and experimental, surely one of the wittiest and most original of first novels."

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Little, Brown and Company were reissuing all the works of Evelyn Waugh in hardcover, paperback, and ebook. I’ve always been a fan of the British novel, but, to my shame, I’d never gotten around to reading any of Waugh’s novels.

Evelyn , quoted by Frederick STOPP in Evelyn Waugh, Portrait of an Artist, London, 1958, pp. 194-5.

decline and fall evelyn waugh essaydoes spelling count …

It is hard being “objective” about 5-star books: they move me to a state of excessive emotion and it is nearly impossible being critical when you have a muddled head. But I’ll try and so tell you that Evelyn Waugh’s prose comes naturally from him; there is no element of contrivance or superficiality that marks his language. His characters are tangible and alive and one knows them and feels to have lived a life with them when the book ends. Though there are parts where his narrative does slightly suffer especially when Julia and Charles find themselves in noisy rooms, and the cacophony of voices is not as delicately presented as one would have liked. Even so, the narrative flows smoothly, diving and wading, surfacing and again submerging in Charles’ memories, trying to recount the glorious and the impassioned days of his life. We are there all the way with him. Waugh never leaves us behind.


Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh and David Bradshaw

Hooper is a coming officer of lower-class origin. Waugh’s contempt for his mediocrity, which he believes to be characteristic of his class, intensifies his regret for the vanishing glories of the English aristocracy. That men born in families famous for their past achievement should make way for the beneficiaries of a potential Welfare State is utterly unacceptable to the author. This menace is felt throughout the narrative and acts as an incentive to Ryder’s recollection of a better world. The wish to recall and immortalize an ideal way of life before it was finally destroyed for the sake of Hooper is an important motive in the novel. A comparison between two passages, one which alludes to Ryder’s youth, the other to Hooper’s, makes clear Waugh’s excessive idealization on the one hand, his exaggerate contempt on the other. Here is Ryder remembering the idyllic time he spent at Brideshead as a young man:

"Essay" (story fragment) In Evelyn Waugh, Apprentice: The Early Writings, 1910–27, ..

Fortunately, says Waugh in a later edition of the novel, society hasn’t altered as quickly as he feared it would: “the English aristocracy has maintained its identity to a degree that then seemed impossible. The advance of Hooper has been held up at several points.” Hooper stands for the stupid, vulgar and ignorant masses who threaten the civilized world. Ryder would gladly ignore that common herd and retire to Brideshead “the rest of the world abandoned and forgotten.”

Waugh's first novel Decline and Fall ..

Though Tony is a weak and pathetic victim, Waugh does not spare him either, because he is blind to the real significance of traditions and tolerant of the invasion of his house and the disintegration of his home by modern savages. Like Waugh’s earlier heroes, the characters in this novel are indifferent to moral values: just as his house is fake Gothic, so Tony’s rules of conduct are based on a conventional but unreliable moral code. He is as responsible as Brenda for the collapse of his world. Yet here as in his earlier novels, Waugh’s attitude is ambivalent. Tony is satirized for being romantically attached to a tradition cut off from its actual roots, but he is also the last representative of a civilized way of life destroyed by modern savagery. Waugh is hard on him because he allows that way of life to be destroyed through lack of faith and because he is not equal to his duty as a keeper of the values of Western civilization.