Evelyn Waugh’s Parthenon

A website called erenow (describing itself as a “large online library”) has posted portions of Mary Beard’s book The Parthenon (2010, revised). In the “Further Reading” section of her book, Professor Beard recommends Evelyn Waugh’s early travel book Labels. This is under Chapter 1, entitled “Why the Parthenon might make you cry”:

Walker Percy’s boredom is described in his Lost in the Cosmos: the last self-help book (London, 1984), while Evelyn Waugh came up with ‘Stilton’ in Labels: a Mediterranean journal (London, 1930).

In his book (p. 150) , Waugh offers no extended description of the well-known structure but remarks briefly that:

it is not ‘snow-white’ as I have seen it described by quite responsible observers, but a singularly beautiful tone in very pale pinkish brown; the nearest parallel to it of Nature that I can think of is that of the milder parts of a Stilton cheese into which port has been poured.


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