From Anatolia to Catalonia

A Turkish website which looks like a promotional books blog ( has posted a brief introduction and excerpt from the Turkish translation of A Handful of Dust (in Turkish Bir Avuç Toz). After a plot summary, the introduction continues:

A Handful of Dust, a unique blend of tragedy, comedy and grimace, is [considered] … one of the most important novels of the century by leading critics such as Frank Kermode and Alexander Woollcott. “Evelyn Waugh examines the problems of an alienated generation, describing the veiled barbarism that comes from the unraveling of bonds that hold society and isolated individuals together.” We present Chapter 1 from A Handful of Dust.

From the other end of the Mediterreanean, a print/online Catalan language newspaper published in the Balearic Islands ( has an article by Marina P. De Cabo about fictional journalists. This opens:

From the irony of the pen of Oscar Wilde, who wrote that the difference between literature and journalism is that “journalism is unreadable and literature is unread”, to the not always reliable honesty of Ryszard Kapuscinski, who described journalism as a wonderful school of life, via the point of view of the poet Roger Wolfe, who, referring to the profession, advises: “Launch the shit and wash your hands”: there are numerous authors who have pronounced on the profession, and not few fictional characters that have exercised it. Nothing is farther from the intent of this article than to establish an indefinable canon of reporters created through the written word. The intention is more toward offering a taste of imaginary journalists to outline the ways in which literature has focused on the vocation. As a true reflection of reality, there are some ethical and corrupt and vicious ones. What is offered is not exhaustive but a good representation.

After discussing such fictional journalists as Henrietta Stackpole (from Henry James’ Portrait of  a Lady) and the cartoon strip characters Tintin and Lois Lane, this Waugh creation is offered:

Lord Copper. The plot of the novel “Noticia bomba!”[Scoop], one of the most celebrated works by the British writer Evelyn Waugh, deals with irony, not without criticism of the journalistic issue. The narration centers on a terrible confusion: they send the wrong person to cover the war of Ishmailia; Instead of a famous novelist, the assignment is given to a columnist specializing in nature stories. From that point on, fun is assured. The work is based on the author’s work experience, specifically on the work he did to cover the invasion of Abyssinia by Mussolini.

The list continues with several other examples, including novelist Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe and cartoon character Brenda Starr. The translations are by Google with edits.




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