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Evelyn Waugh (1903 - 1966)

Related: 1903 - black comedy - satire - British literature - author


Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (October 28, 1903 – April 10, 1966) was an English writer, best known for such satirical and darkly humorous novels as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust, and The Loved One, as well as for more serious works, such as Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy, that are influenced by his own conservative and Catholic outlook. Many of Waugh's novels depict the British aristocracy and high society, which he savagely satirizes but to which he was also strongly attracted. In addition, he wrote short stories, three biographies, and the first volume of an unfinished autobiography. His travel accounts and his extensive diaries and correspondence have also been published.

American literary critic Edmund Wilson pronounced Waugh "the only first-rate comic genius the English have produced since George Bernard Shaw," while Time magazine declared that he had "developed a wickedly hilarious yet fundamentally religious assault on a century that, in his opinion, had ripped up the nourishing taproot of tradition and let wither all the dear things of the world." Waugh's works were very successful with the reading public and he was widely admired by critics as a humorist and prose stylist, but his later, more overtly religious works have attracted controversy. In unpublished notes for an essay on Waugh George Orwell declared that Waugh was "about as good a novelist as one can be while holding untenable opinions." Conservative commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. found in Waugh "the greatest English novelist of the century." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Waugh [Aug 2006]

The Loved One (1947) - Evelyn Waugh

  1. The Loved One (1947) - Evelyn Waugh [Amazon US]
    The Loved One is an odd little story about a love triangle among people who are unusually comfortable handling dead things. Dennis, a poet/pet mortician, is not entirely forthcoming about his occupation with Aimée Thanatogenos lest she, as a beautician of human cadavers, despise him for it. Aimée, for her part, is torn between her attraction to Dennis and her respect for Mr. Joyboy, who is what passes for a stud among morticians. Joyboy courts Aimée by manipulating into smiles the faces of the corpses he works on that are headed for her cubicle.

    Waugh's macabre novella pokes fun at the ceremonial nonsense with which we shroud death, packaging that manages to render the inevitable obscene. It's amusing, if not a "wickedly funny" satire as promised in the blurbs, and would perhaps be more successfully humorous on film. -- bk_mom for amazon.com

    The Loved One (1965) - Tony Richardson

  2. The Loved One (1965) - Tony Richardson [Amazon.com]

    See entry for Tony Richardson

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