“Mr Waugh’s Cities” Posted on Internet

A link to Prof Frank Kermode’s essay from Encounter magazine for November 1960 has been posted on the internet. This is entitled “Mr Waugh’s Cities” and is about Waugh’s views on religion as reflected in his fiction up to The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. The essay is also a review of the revised edition of Brideshead Revisited which was published by Chapman and Hall earlier that year. The revised edition only appeared in the USA a few years ago.

Waugh was unhappy with the essay and wrote a letter about it to Encounter which was published in the next issue. This was accompanied by a brief response from Prof Kermode saying that he had not intended to distress Mr Waugh by what he had written and apologizing for having done do. Here’s a separate link to that correspondence. The essay and an excerpt from Waugh’s response were reprinted in Martin Stannard’s Critical Heritage volume on Waugh (p. 279).

There is no explanation for a link to this particular article having been posted, which seems odd since the Unz Review has made the entire archive of Encounter magazine available on the internet for free access by anyone. According to Google, the link was posted on Easter Sunday which may be a clue.

Frank Kermode (1919-2010) was Professor of English Literature at UCL, Cambridge and Columbia, and this essay was his first of several writings about Waugh. Perhaps most notable among these others is his introduction to the Everyman edition of the Sword of Honour trilogy.

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