The Autumn 2017 issue of the society’s journal (Evelyn Waugh Studies, No. 48.2) has been issued. The contents are posted below. The complete issue will be posted on the internet later this week:
Paul Pennyfeather and the Victorian Governess: The Rejection of Nineteenth-Century Idealism in Decline and Fall by Ellen O’Brien
Introduction: Much has been written on the disputed use of satire in Evelyn Waugh’s first novel. While critics have offered various readings of the satirical elements in Decline and Fall (1928), the novel also invites discussion of the role of parody, farce, black humour, burlesque, the bildungsroman, the picaresque and the anti-hero in creating an amusing but damning representation of society between the wars … Given the richness and variation of the textual commentary, it makes more sense, perhaps, to view Decline and Fall as a fluid, prismatic novel that draws on literary elements as and when they are required, rather than conforming to some inelastic ideal of genre … It is, perhaps, better to do without a “didactic framework,” and to allow that a text may incorporate elements of farce, satire and parody in order to comment on a wide variety of subjects, both general and specific.
Put Out More Flags and Literary Tradition by Robert Murray Davis
Introduction: Estimates of Evelyn Waugh’s Put Out More Flags have ranged from L. E. Sissman’s, that it is “a novel of breathtaking symmetry, grace, craft, and discipline,” to John Bayley’s, that even though Waugh’s books can give pleasure to the uninstructed, he is not really a novelist and lacks humor besides. While the disparity may amount to no more than the fact that Sissman is prepared to be pleased and Bayley is not, it may be useful to step back from theoretical principles that on the one hand seem at best implied and on the other over-determined and instead to employ E. M. Forster’s inclusive definition of a novel as “prose fiction of a certain length.” That will enable us to look at what Waugh’s novel seems to be doing, and how, and thereby to place it in a series of broader historical and literary contexts.
Fictional Counterparts: Commando General: The Life of Major General Sir Robert Laycock KCMG CB DSO, by Richard Mead. Reviewed by Donat Gallagher
A Slow Build: Evelyn Waugh’s Satire: Texts and Contexts, by Naomi Milthorpe.
A PERSONAL NOTE
I Owe It All to Brideshead by David Bittner