The Spring 2018 issue of the Society’s journal Evelyn Waugh Studies is now available. This is issue 49.1. The contents and abstracts of articles are set forth below. A complete copy of this issue is available here:
Milena Borden, Waugh’s Yugoslav Mission: Politics and Religion
Abstract: In Evelyn Waugh’s only government Report, “Church and State in Liberated Croatia” (30 March, 1945), the novelist presented documentary evidence for his concerns about the alliance of Britain with the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito during the Second World War, recording the killing of 17 Catholic priests as human rights violations. In 2016, the National Archives of Croatia and the Institute for Croatian History in Zagreb confirmed, for the purpose of this article, the identities of these individuals. Their full details and what is known about their fates, as reported by these official bodies, are published here, in Appendices 1 and 2, for the first time. The article argues that Waugh’s views in his Report reflected his moral, religious beliefs and that they were vindicated by the post-Cold War history of Yugoslavia and Europe. In seeking to explain an understanding of Waugh’s political outlook, it discusses why and how he went beyond the aim of his military mission. The background research uses Waugh’s diaries, letters, political, polemical writings and biographies of him. The political and historical context rests on the history of the Second World War in Croatia, the activities of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Yugoslavia and the Vatican’s policy. It locates specific representations of this external context within two of his novels: Love among the Ruins and Unconditional Surrender, the third part of the trilogy Sword of Honour.
Toshiaki Onishi, “Just You Look at Yourselves:” Relativisation of the Authentic Image of Manliness in Vile Bodies
Abstract: In a similar vein to Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies — originally titled “Bright Young People” — is the story of the extraordinary adventures of Adam Fenwick-Symes, who becomes panic-stricken in the unconventional world of the Bright Young Things. Critics have discussed Evelyn Waugh’s satirical portrayal of the unruly and flippant group, heavily influenced by avant-garde movements such as Futurism and Vorticism and the attack on Britain’s conventional value system during the inter-war era. In the young man’s world, Adam, who has “nothing particularly remarkable about his appearance” and is deprived of his autobiography by a censor when he returns from Paris, as if predicting his tragic end, resembles Paul Pennyfeather in his lack of subjectivity… However, does his superficial personality only reveal Waugh’s satirical viewpoint of his volatile generation? Unlike Paul, an outsider to this unstable society who has the opportunity to contrive his mock funeral and a “happy ending” to escape from his hardships and live again at Oxford, Waugh portrays Adam as one of its insiders, unable to escape the chaotic situation in the final chapter, “Happy Ending”. At the battlefront, weak-willed Adam, unconsciously following the discipline of manliness, is ironically heralded as a manly hero who could be awarded the Victoria Cross on the home front. In contrast to Decline and Fall, this ironical and rather eschatological ending indicates that the novel serves to foreground the deadly function of masculine ideology’s imposition on men.
“In my beginning is my end:” A Little Learning. The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh, v. 19. Edited by John Howard Wilson and Barbara Cooke. Reviewed by Jeffrey Manley
News reports include a message from Ethiopia about the status of the Taitu Hotel; an invitation for submission of papers for the John Howard Wilson Jr Evelyn Waugh Undergraduate Essay Contest; a review of the recent London stage production The Happy Warriors; and a prospectus for Waugh-themed tours to Crete.