Journalism and Dystopia: Two Foreign Book Articles

Works by Evelyn Waugh feature prominently in articles on two foreign language weblogs. In Spanish, the books blog entitled¬†“Regina ExLibris” vigorously recommends Waugh’s novel Scoop (in Spanish Noticia Bomba!):

…in Noticia Bomba! Waugh¬†distills all his wit and talent for satire with a hilarious story that pulverizes the sound of the press and the war correspondents…¬†and he knows about the subject, because he was a war correspondent. But here he raises a wonderful comedy of entanglements, in which a tabloid mistakenly sends to cover a war in a remote country a columnist of botanical issues. It’s hilarious, really. AY, YOU HAVE TO READ IT!

In Italian, Luca Fumagalli has posted on Radio Spada an article about Roman Catholic dystopian novels (“Dark prophecies and terrible futures in Catholic fiction”).¬†These include well known examples such as R H Benson’s The Lord of the World¬†(1907) and The Dawn of All (1911) as well as G K Chesterton’s The Flying Inn (1914, in Italian, L’osteria volante). Also mentioned are the Father Elijah novels¬†by Canadian Michael D. O’Brien published between 1996 and 2015 and Park: A Fantastic Story¬†(1932) by poet John Gray. In addition, he discusses two dystopian works by Evelyn Waugh:

The same satirical and grotesque coloring [on display in these other books] comes back in two dystopian tales written by Evelyn Waugh. In the story ‚ÄúOut Of Depth‚ÄĚ (1933). he recalls how a middle-aged American, Rip Van Winkle, after having met a mysterious magician, is thrown forward in time by five centuries. He finds himself in a London reduced to ruins, where the vegetation has now taken over and the population is forced to live in straw huts and mud, practicing agriculture and fishing. The dominant class consists of a group of black Catholics, barricaded on a military base. After waking up from what seemed like a dream, Van Winkle decides to return to the faith he had given up in his youth. Love Among the Ruins, published as a book in 1953, instead refers to Brave New World by Huxley. The novella, much more complex than the previous one, however, deals only marginally with religious issues, narrating the misadventures of a former pyromaniac who wanders in a dystopian and fake egalitarian Britain.

The translation is by Google with edits. Both of Waugh’s dystopian tales are available in The Complete Stories.

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