Two Hitchenses on Waugh

Articles on Waugh by brothers Christopher and Peter Hitchens have recently been resurrected on the internet. These are Christopher’s essay “The Permanent Adolescent” which originally appeared in The Atlantic magazine for April 2003 and was later collected in Arguably. This is now available on YouTube as read out by an anonymous British-accented reader. The other is Peter’s article: “The Second World Waugh – some thoughts on ‘Put Out More Flags‘ and ‘The ‘Sword of Honour‘ trilogy” which originally appeared in his Mail on Sunday weblog for 17 April 2013. This was recently quoted by David Lull in the Books Inq. weblog.

Another blogger considers what Waugh can teach us about fatherhood. This is Fr. Michael Rennier on

[Waugh’s] entire family was awash with fathers and sons bickering, imposing and rebelling in turn, and wishing that their fathers would disappear. Waugh himself came from a long line of bad fathers. He understood his flaws clearly, though, and in his novels doesn’t shy away from discussing the complexities of fatherhood.

The article then considers the examples of Gervase Crouchback from Sword of Honour, Lord Marchmain from Brideshead Revisited and Waugh’s own father Arthur from A Little Learning. He concludes:

A father doesn’t need to be perfect, but all a child wants is for him to be there and to give unconditional love. Do that, and you’ll be a hero. But choose to ignore your child and he may one day satirize you mercilessly in his novels.

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