Pinfold Features in Article on Hallucinatory Literature

A recent article in a U.S. academic journal opens with a reference to Waugh’s late, autobiographical novel The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. This is in an article by John Foxwell of Durham University entitled “Enacting Hallucinatory Experiences in Literature: Metalepsis, Agency and the Phenomenology of Reading in Muriel Spark’s The Comforters.” The article appears in the journal Style (v. 50, n. 2) published by Pennsylvania State University and is available online to those with subscriptions to Jstor or Project MUSE.

The opening line is from a letter of Evelyn Waugh to Alan Barnsley, identified in the article as Sparks’ agent, who had sent him a proof copy of The Comforters: “The mechanics of the hallucinations are well managed.” The full text of the letter may be found in Letters, p. 477. It is dated 29 October 1956 and addressed to Gabriel Fielding, which was Barnsley’s pseudonym. It was apparently written just at the time Waugh was himself “engaged on a similar subject,” presumably Pinfold, which was published in 1957. Waugh offered a blurb for the book’s dust wrapper and advertising: “brilliantly original and fascinating.”

If any of our readers are able to access the full text, they may wish to comment on anything  of interest it may have to say about’s Waugh’s writing on this subject.

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