- Tapa dura: 367 páginas
- Editor: Harper Collins; Edición: 1 (1 de marzo de 2010)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0060881305
- ISBN-13: 978-0060881306
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº862.114 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead (Inglés) Tapa dura – mar 2010
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Describes the life of one of Englands greatest novelists and the friendship he shared with a glamorous, eccentric, debauched and ultimately tragic family that inspired his masterpiece,
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Evelyn Waugh was one of the greatest and funniest writers in the 20th century, beginning with the jokey "Vile Bodies" all the way to the Proust like elegy of the Sword of Honour Trilogy. While this book is interesting and provides insight into Waugh's creative process of people his books with people he knew, it probably is not the final word. "Mad World" is Madresfield Court, the home of the aristocratic Lygon family and friends of Waugh for several decades.
The author has done a great deal of admirable leg work in tracking down some of Waugh's inspiration for the celebrated Marchmain family in "Brideshead Revisited." There are some similarities between Lygons and their fictional counterparts. The father was hounded out of Britain under a cloud of scandal and the son indulged in various "Arcadian antics" at Oxford, while one of the sisters was a society beauty. While I had been aware of the Lygons, I was unaware of many of the particulars of their lives and the impact they had on the creation of not just the Marchmains, but other people and characters in other works of fiction by Waugh. Probably the best moment in the book for me was the assertion that Brendon Bracken, a stalwart associate of Churchill was the model of Rex Montram. Certain passages referring to Rex betting his political career on the outbreak of World War Two now make perfect sense.
Where I think the author misses the boat with Waugh is on two small, but significant points. These do not detract from the scholarship of the work as a whole, but I think are worth pointing out just the same. Really the source for a good portion of his art was his reaction to his wife's adultery and desertion of him. This is central and marks a abrupt shift in the light mood of books such as "Vile Bodies" and "Decline and Fall." From "A Handful of Dust" down to "Sword of Honour," most of Waugh's works feature this as a reoccurring plot device. Yet in this book, whose theme is how Waugh turns the events and acquaintances of his life into literature, this important theme is ignored. Waugh believed that traditional institutions like the British aristocracy represented a bulwark against social rot. Tearing down the great London townhouses to put up blocks of flats only provides Brenda Last with a venue for her affair with John Bever.
The other problem is that I wonder just how close Waugh was with the Lygons, really. The author makes a good point that Waugh wrote to at least two of the daughters rather jokey gossipy letters. Of course Waugh did this with everyone he wrote to. While he may have appropriated some details of the biographies of the Lygons, I do not think they are as central to Waugh's inner life as Paula Byrne makes out.
That said, this is an enjoyable meditation on the creative process and well worth reading for any true fan of Waugh's writings
If you loved "Brideshead" and want to know a very good theory as to its origins, this is your book.
My only criticism is that it could have stood more rigorous editing. I think about a quarter could have been shaved off without missing it.
Fine illustrations and photos -- takes you back to that era.
I think in a way Evelyn Waugh has laid out the ordinary man's journey to and away from God. G K Chestertons remarks about Anglicans being more devoted to beauty than truth has a bitter truth to it. But Evelyn at least tried to address the aesthetic needs of those addressed by his "apology". He is doing aesthetically what Newman tried to do intellectually- present an "Apologia Pro Vita Sua".