Sebastian’s New Year’s Resolution

The book publisher Quirk Books has posted a list of New Year’s resolutions recommended for adoption by literary characters. Here’s the one for Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisited:

We love a good teddy bear as much as the next person, but we definitely recommend you ditch Aloysius. While we enjoy your talking to and for him, we think it gets a little creepy past elementary school age. It most certainly is not helping your game now that you are in university.

Similar advice is suggested for the heroine of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie who is told to lose the glass figurines, especially the unicorn. Becky Sharp from Thackeray’s Vanity Fair is advised:  “You have an awesome voice; we think you should make a pop album. That is the way to win money and friends. It worked for Taylor Swift, so it should definitely work for you.” And George Wickham from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is told: “It is bad enough that you break hearts, but leave sibling relationships well enough alone. Also, it is time to drop that gambling thing. Just settle down and become a nice family man. Who has a very good financial advisor.” The recommended resolutions are written by Sarah Fox.

Brideshead Revisited scores another mention in yesterday’s Daily Mail. Celebrity interviewee, ITV sports presenter Adrian Chiles, is asked what book holds for him an everlasting interest and answers:

Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. I read it before I became Catholic in 2007 but even then it fascinated me because all the key figures in a British Catholic’s life are there: the devotee, the atheist, the mad priest and the penitent.

Chiles is presenting a program tomorrow (Sunday, 3 January) on BBC2 entitled My Mediterranean. He is half Croatian and may mention in that context Waugh’s WWII connections with that country from Unconditional Surrender.

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