Waugh Scholar at Oxford Literary Festival

Barbara Cooke, lecturer at Loughborough University and Executive Editor of the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project will appear at the upcoming Oxford Literary Festival. Her subject will be Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford which is also the title of her new book published by the Bodleian Library to be released in the same week (US edition to follow in May):

Dr Barbara Cooke looks at the importance of Oxford to the novelist Evelyn Waugh and how it was portrayed in various forms in his novels. Cooke looks at the prose and graphic work Waugh produced as an undergraduate, his love for places such as the Botanic Garden, the Oxford Union and The Chequers, and Oxford’s portrayal in works such as Brideshead Revisited and A Little Learning.

Dr Cooke is also co-editor of the recently published volume 19 of the CWEW: A Little Learning and is at work on volume 14: The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. Her presentation is schduled for Sunday, 18 March at 10:00am in the Bodleian’s Weston Lecture Theatre on Broad Street (next door to Blackwells). Ticketing and other details are available at this link.

Dr Cooke will also present a paper on Waugh at the 3rd International Conference of the French Society for Modernist Studies, 13-16 June 2018 at the Paris Sorbonne University. The theme for the conference is “Modernist Objects”.  Her title is “‘They nicked the edge and tore straight’: materiality, process and vocation in the aesthetic philosophy of Evelyn Waugh.” Here’s the introductory paragraph to the abstract:

Throughout his career Evelyn Waugh privileged the idea of the book as a material, aesthetic object. From designing student modernist magazines to suggesting he illustrate his own, he took a sustained interest in the way his works appeared. In this paper, I will examine the vocational continuity Waugh drew between the process of book-writing and making, the pleasure he took ‘from my earliest memories […] in watching things being well done’ (A Little Learning, 1964) and the work of the Catholic priest as master craftsman, a former of ‘shape[s] in chaos’ (‘Out of Depth’, 1933). As his early works make clear, for Waugh “chaos” was inextricably linked with interwar social conditions; traditional Catholicism represented the antidote.

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