Roundup: Eating with Waugh

The Daily Telegraph has a profile of the London fish restaurant Wilton’s on Jermyn Street in St James’s. It is to fish what Rules is to meat, and Waugh is associated with both of them. According to the Telegraph:

The St James’s restaurant, one of the oldest in London, will mark recently turning 275 with a commemorative plaque unveiled by Sir Nicholas Soames on May 10. Like many politicians, Sir Nicholas has been coming to Wiltons for years – “it must be 50 now,” he says – and like many regulars, including the royal ones, it was a taste he inherited. It was a “natural home from home” for his grandfather, Sir Winston Churchill, “an oyster specialist and a huge fan of champagne.”… The private club feel was certainly appreciated by Princess Diana, who often lunched there, as did Lord Carrington, Henry Kissinger and Evelyn Waugh. … There’s nowhere else like it, says Sir Nicholas. “Claridges and the Connaught both got rid of wonderful restaurants over the years but Wiltons has resisted every idiot whim to change or allow the quality to slip, which is very reassuring for people like me who have been coming for years.”

Another London restaurant with a Waugh association is Bellamy’s in Mayfair. According to Architectural Digest this Mayfair restautant is one of 6 chosen by the Queen when she eats out:

In 2004, three Annabel’s alumni established this French brasserie (which was named for the club in Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour books). The Queen discovered Bellamy’s in 2006—and she has, since, returned for the caviar and the smoked-eel mousse.

The Independent has an article about the Open Syllabus Project that accumulates data on assigned texts from college syllabuses throughout the English-speaking world. It was this data base which produced the recent gaffe in a Time magazine article misidentifying Evelyn Waugh as a female novelist. According to the Independent:

The Open Syllabus team point to Time magazine’s mistake in adding Evelyn Waugh to its list of the “100 Most-Read Female Writers in College Classes” as perhaps the result of the author of Decline and Fall being “one of the losers in literature canon change, and that as a result very few people under 40 have read him or, accordingly, been corrected on his gender during college”.

Finally, a reference to Waugh opens an article by John Broening in the New English Review about John Jeremiah Sullivan, described as a “gifted disciple” of novelist David Foster Wallace:

Can you create a work of art with little or no empathy? That’s easy. The answer is yes. The novels of Evelyn Waugh come to mind, in which there are few likeable or even vaguely sympathetic characters, in which death is a farce, filial love is an illusion, and romances are transactional unions between two dim, inattentive, and narcissistic people…To turn the question around, is there such a thing as an excess of empathy, and can it be a hindrance to the creation of a work of art? The writings of the journalist and essayist John Jeremiah Sullivan beg the question.

Most of the essay (entitled “The Empathist”) is devoted to Sullivan’s writings about Wallace as well as musicians Axl Rose and Michael Jackson.  
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