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Thread: Brideshead Revisited / Evelyn Waugh

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    Brideshead Revisited / Evelyn Waugh

    Any other fans of Brideshead Revisited / Evelyn Waugh? Brideshead Revisited is probably my favorite novel. The story and theme of the book are very meaningful to me. I want to read more Waugh. I've read "The Loved One" as well. Still haven't seen the famous television version of Brideshead Revisited, though. I saw the movie they made a few years ago and hated it...don't remember exactly why, I think it was because they turned the novel into a love story and missed the whole point that it's about God's grace acting in the world.

    We saw few strangers. There was the agent, a lean and pouchy colonel, who crossed our path occasionally and once came to tea. Usually we managed to hide from him. On Sundays a monk was fetched from a neighbouring monastery to say mass and breakfast with us. He was the first priest I ever met; I noticed how unlike he was to a parson, but Brideshead was a place of such enchantment to me that I expected everything and everyone to be unique; Father Phipps was in fact a bland, bun-faced man with an interest in county cricket which he obstinately believed us to share. ‘You, know, father, Charles and I simply don’t know about cricket.’ ‘I wish I’d seen Tennyson make that fifty-eight last Thursday. That must have been an innings. The account in The Times was excellent. Did you see him against the South Africans?’

    ‘I’ve never seen him.’

    ‘Neither have I. I haven’t seen a first-class match for years not since Father Graves took me when we were passing through Leeds, after we’d been to the induction of the Abbot at Ampleforth. Father Graves managed to look up a train which gave us three hours to wait on the afternoon of the match against Lancashire. That was an afternoon. I remember every ball of it. Since then I’ve had to go by the papers. You seldom go to see cricket?’

    ‘Never,’ I said, and he looked at me with the expression I have seen since in the religious, of innocent wonder that those who expose themselves to the dangers of the world should avail themselves so little of its varied solace.

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    Registered User hawthorns's Avatar
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    Huge fan of Waugh. If you have not yet seen the original with Jeremy Irons, you're in for the treat of your life. Many (including me) believe it's maybe the best adaptation ever done--take a look at the amazon reviews. The story got a little depressing in the latter stages, but that's just my personal sentiment talking. I'm tempted to read it again

    While the whole thing is on youtube, I'd recommend you purchase this immediately:

    Best money you'll ever spend

    http://www.amazon.com/Brideshead-Rev...3133922&sr=1-5


    My favorite scene: (5:20--6:20)
    The way music, memory, military backdrop, and impending tragedy converge is fantastic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1S3L...2090F8A7A9DBAA

    Nickolas Grace was amazing as Anthony Blanche:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P6W7...eature=related
    Last edited by hawthorns; 03-30-2012 at 03:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawthorns View Post
    Nickolas Grace was amazing as Anthony Blanche:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P6W7...eature=related
    I find his character diabolical in the novel. And I mean diabolical literally...I get the sense that Waugh uses him as a sort of devilish tempter; not innocently decadent like Charles or Sebastian, but more sinister.

    Really want to see the movie.

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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    How is Waugh pronounced?
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    How is Waugh pronounced?
    Like saw but with a W.

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    Definately see the version with Jeremy Irons, it was fantastic!! I have not read the book, maybe I will put it on my future list. It's nice to have a Bostonian on the forum!! My husband is one.

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    Registered User hawthorns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Cardona View Post
    I find his character diabolical in the novel. And I mean diabolical literally...I get the sense that Waugh uses him as a sort of devilish tempter; not innocently decadent like Charles or Sebastian, but more sinister.

    Really want to see the movie.
    That was my initial impression of him too, especially after his early attempts to cozen Charles into abandoning Sebastian. However, the more character analysis I read the more I'm convinced he was--although not strictly 'honorable'--a well-intentioned literature tool employed to foreshadow later events and their symbolic significance. Anthony’s comments about the Flytes turn out to be true, Julia is admittedly a semi-heathen like her brother, the history regarding Lord and Lady Marchmain’s marriage is confirmed, and Charles concludes that Lady Marchmain is as manipulative as Anthony said. In fact, to me she came off as more diabolical and cold-hearted than anyone else (but it's been a while since I read it). Furthermore, Anthony's subtle warnings about how "charm" might impact Charles' art manifests itself in the form of a somewhat disastrous first showing. Finally, at the end Lord Marchmain asks him if he is to be an artist, at which time Charles' separation from both art and that effete life are complete.

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    Registered User Veho's Avatar
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    Brideshead Revisited is fabulous. I've also read Waugh's Decline and Fall; it certainly doesn't have the depth and impact of the former but it's funny.
    "...You are not wrong, who deem
    That my days have been a dream;
    Yet if hope has flown away
    In a night, or in a day,
    In a vision, or in none,
    Is it therefore the less gone?..." E. A. Poe

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    Registered User Prince Smiles's Avatar
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    Ah, Evelyn Waugh, one the great Edwardian novelists.

    This is how I would approach his works, and I don’t expect anyone to follow my advice:

    Start with the Sword of Honour trilogy, then Brideshead, then Decline and Fall, then anything else your can lay you mitts on by him.

    Then jump to his great friend, Nancy Mitford and read, “The Pursuit of Happiness” and “Love in a Cold Climate”.

    Switch to Jessica Mitford and read, the autobiography, “Hons and Rebels”.

    Back to Nancy and Evelyn for, “The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh”.

    Then why not treat yourself to a slice of Max Beerbohm, “Zuleika Dobson”?

    Finally present a lit match to a fat Cohiba or Montecristo (unfortunately not available to the good denizens of the United States), and in true Edward VII fashion, rest on those laurels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Smiles View Post
    Ah, Evelyn Waugh, one the great Edwardian novelists.
    ??? "Edwardian" refers to the reign of Edward VII, who died in 1910. Waugh was writing in the middle decades of the 20th Century.

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    Registered User Prince Smiles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranzS View Post
    ??? "Edwardian" refers to the reign of Edward VII, who died in 1910. Waugh was writing in the middle decades of the 20th Century.
    Evelyn Waugh was born in 1903, was he not Edwardian ? Are you defined by the period you were born in, or the period you were primarily active in?

    Yes, Edward VII gave up the ghost in 1910, but the Edwardian period is often stretched longer, up to 1920.

    Waugh wrote Decline and Fall in 1928, so maybe I'm stretching it rather too taut!

    He had that wonderful Edwardian feel about him, did he not?
    Well, I do beg your partridge then old chap, how does 'Inter-bellum Novelist' grab you?

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    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    The movie just slavishly copies the TV adaptation- and fails. The 1981 Jeremy Irons adaptation is definitive.

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    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    I say Prince, " Inter-bellum Novelist!" What! Can't have language like that here, even if a chaps a bounder.

    P.S. You are bang on with the "Sword of Honour" trilogy for the hors d'ouvre, followed by "Brideshead Revisted" for the meat & veg. Might I suggest "Scoop" or "Black Mischief" for pudding. Makes such a change from Spotted Dick.

    Your obedient servant.

    M.

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    Cool I'm a Waugh fan, but there are too many superlatives here....

    Brideshead Revisited was a good adaptation of the novel, made by Masterpiece Theatre, I believe. But there were many great adaptations by MP. Probably the best .... yes, better than brideshead ... was I,Claudius.

    I think its best to start with Waugh's earlier comedic novels and progress upward through Sword of Honour starring James Bond in the movie adaptation.

    I have Folio Society editions of Scoop, Black Mischief, and Brideshead Revisited in excellent condition if anyone is iterested in buying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MANICHAEAN View Post
    I say Prince, " Inter-bellum Novelist!" What! Can't have language like that here, even if a chaps a bounder.

    P.S. You are bang on with the "Sword of Honour" trilogy for the hors d'ouvre, followed by "Brideshead Revisted" for the meat & veg. Might I suggest "Scoop" or "Black Mischief" for pudding. Makes such a change from Spotted Dick.

    Your obedient servant.

    M.
    Manichaien,
    hoc est bellum!

    Only jesting. Sincerest apologies are in order for my errant labeling , I do hope that I haven’t affected your sensibilities.

    Sir, the desert items on your menu are met with much relish and approbation.
    A nice “Scoop” will certainly hit the spot after our main vittles.

    Waugh’s novels are such fun, easy reading. You can polish off Scoop in two sittings. In this light, I prefer not to sit slack jawed in front of the silver screen when his work is so accessible, no matter how accomplished an actor Jeremy Irons proves to be.

    Actually, one can enjoy Jeremy without the visuals, hence engaging one’s imagination; which is why we read books instead of watching movies all the time and posting on IMDb is it not?

    -There is available a fine audio book recording of Jeremy reading Brideshead.

    I advocate, Read-Along-With-Jeremy and enjoy one of the greatest love stories of the “20th Century” narrated to you exclusively.



    A standalone platitude to mull over: Movies, like music videos strip you of much imaginative input.



    The following is completely ex mero motu, and should taken with that pinch of sodium chloride:

    It pains me to see our Evelyn, who was born an Edwardian, who dressed as an Edwardian, wrote Edwardian prose, and acted as one, shoved in amongst the 20th Century novelist crowd.

    Send him back I say! Send him back! While we are at it, let’s prune a few more: Kipling (born 1865 - Dickens was still alive), E.M Forster (1879), Somerset Maugham (1847).

    Why is Oscar Wilde, born 1854, classed as 19th Century but Somerset (1847) 20th?

    And I am sure Mr. Waugh would not mind me bowing out of any conversation concerning him with, OPI, Oremus Pro Invicem

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