Thursday, July 31, 2008

57. Brideshead Revisited

by Evelyn Waugh
Rated 4 1/2 Stars

This story has been made into a movie that is just out or soon to be out so I thought I ought to read it before I decided whether or not to stir myself to go see it. I think I will pass on the movie. The theme is too cynical for me to consider it to be entertainment. However the book is beautifully written and I love the way Waugh puts the reader right into the story. That is why I gave it a high rating.

FROM AMAZON: Evelyn Waugh’s most celebrated novel is a memory drama of extraordinary richness and depth. The novel Waugh thought of as his magnum opus, it is the story of the intense entanglement of a young, middle-class Englishman, Charles Ryder, with a wealthy, eccentric Anglo-Catholic family, the Marchmains: in particular, with Sebastian, the flamboyant young man Charles meets at Oxford in the 1920s; and Sebastian’s sister Julia, who will become the great and unrequited love of Charles’s life.

Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the world of Waugh’s own youth, but it is also a story about religious and secular love, about the notions of sin and judgment, guilt and punishment and how, almost unaccountably, they can give shape to one’s life. By turns romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh’s familiar satiric exploration of English society and mores, revealing an elegiac, lyrical writer of the most lucid and profound feeling.
Post a Comment