Swiss Publisher Completes Reprints of Waugh Fiction

The Swiss publisher Diogenes Verlag has completed the republication in German of all of Waugh’s fiction (including collected stories). The project was brought to conclusion in March to mark the 50th anniversary of Waugh’s death. It began in 2013 with Brideshead Revisited (Wiedersehen mit Brideshead) and ends, appropriately, with Sword of Honour (Ohne Furcht und Tadelliterally “Without Fear and without Reproach.”) This last volume includes a translation of Waugh’s 1964 preface, explaining the recension of his War Trilogy, that was missing from the original German version published in 1981. The text of the novel is the original translation by Werner Perterich.  A review of the novel by the German Press Agency (dpa) has appeared in German newspapers, including the Muenstersche ZeitungThe review ranks the book with Brideshead, The Loved One and Handful of Dust. Here’s the conclusion (edited Google Translate version; comments or corrections would be appreciated):

It is the wonderful mix of British and black humor that makes the book both serious and entertaining. In literature, as in art generally, it is nothing new to come across the horrors of war expressed satirically. In Waugh it happens more casually that  Crouchback’s participation in the war with noble objectives has the opposite effect.

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3 Responses to Swiss Publisher Completes Reprints of Waugh Fiction

  1. Mark Pinkerton says:

    Not sure what the effect is opposite to.

    • Jeffrey Manley says:

      I think he means the effect of the war was opposite to what Guy intended when he joined the fight since the Communists ended up on the winning side. When he joined, he saw it as a sort of crusade against both the Communists and the Fascists who were allies in 1939.

  2. Bruce Gaston says:

    It’s quite poorly written, in my opinion. (The second sentence is missing a main verb – the translation has supplied one to make the meaning clearer.)

    The final sentence means “In Waugh it happens more casually that the noble aims of Crouchback’s participation in the war turn into the opposite – which is not less effective.”

    I think Jeremy is right about the sense of it: the originally noble aims of the war being perverted.

    Whether the final clause (the “effective” part) refers to the aims or more generally to the effect of the novel is, on the other hand, not clear from the German either.

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