The Department of English Studies at Durham University has issued the details of a seminar later this week on the works of Evelyn Waugh:
Join the next Inventions of the Text seminar, where Dr Jason Harding will do something that one is not supposed to: explain a joke – specifically the humour of Evelyn Waugh. The seminar takes place in the Department of English Studies, 26th May, starting at 17.30. Postgraduates and staff from all relevant humanities departments across the UK are welcome.
This paper attempts to do what we are told we should not do: explain a joke. More precisely, it seeks to employ a close attention to Evelyn Waugh’s language to establish an anatomy of the art of his early satiric fiction, dissecting a series of farcical, comic, satirical and tragi-comic episodes. It ends by contemplating the grim smile of nihilism at work in his oeuvre withering all humane values.