Charles Ryder as Character Model

Charles Ryder from Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited appears as a character model in two recent articles. In a Roman Catholic newsblog ( he is compared to the hero of a recent Hollywood religious film called Risen, based on the origins of Christianity;

Wisely, writer-director Kevin Reynolds begins by giving us a hard-bitten, cynical protagonist — a figure as little disposed to believe in miracles as his worldly minded modern counterpart, Charles Ryder, the religion-averse narrator of Evelyn Waugh’s classic 1945 novel “Brideshead Revisited.” Where Ryder, an artist, is impeded by his pleasure-loving sophistication, Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), the Roman tribune at the heart of “Risen,” is too battle-weary and blood-soaked to entertain any easy hopes for the world. So the execution of Jesus (Cliff Curtis), which he witnesses almost accidentally, makes little impression on him.

It takes actual evidence of the Resurrection to convert Clavius, just as Charles must witness for himself Lord Marchmain’s sign of the cross before converting. 

Charles also gets a mention in the Buenos Aires Herald‘s  review of a recent novel based on the plot of The Great Gatsby. The new novel, entitled Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy, is reset in London among the wealthy Russians now resident there. The narrator’s acceptance by the wealthy Londoners is compared to that of Charles by the Flytes: 

What is never clear is why the narrator, Nick, who has neither status nor wealth, is adopted by the rich, even after his services to them have ended, as companion and confidant — a kind of pet. It’s just a given fact (useful for the advancement of the narrative), precisely as happened with narrator Charles Ryder in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.

One could argue that Charles Ryder was more than a narrative advancement device in Brideshead, but then Nick Carraway in the original Gatsby wasn’t much more than that.

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