On the occasion of announcing the winner of the Sunday Times EFG short story award, the paper has issued a list of the 100 best short stories. These are selected by 9 Sunday Times “culture writers” who are named at the conclusion of the list. There is no more than one story per writer, and a Waugh story is among those selected:
Bella Fleace Gave a Party by Evelyn Waugh (1932)
An elderly aristocrat in an Irish country house of fading splendour decides to throw a grand society ball: Waugh’s skewering at its sharpest.
Waugh’s story first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar (both London and New York editions) and was first collected with other Waugh stories in Work Suspended and Other Stories (1948). It is currently available in The Complete Stories. Others selected from the same period include “Landlord of the Chrystal Fountain” by Malachi Whitaker (1934), “Green Tunnels” by Aldous Huxley (1928), “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton (1934), “A Clean, Well-Lighted Room” by Ernest Hemingway (1933), “The Crime Wave at Blandings” by P G Wodehouse (1936) and “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz” by F Scott Fitzgerald (1922).
The Daily Telegraph last week selected the 60 best British TV shows of all time. The selection was made by five journalists named at the beginning of a slide show presentation and is described as “highly subjective.” The 1981 Granada TV production of Brideshead Revisited is #32 (although whether that is a ranking or merely a random number isn’t clear). The production is described as “sumptuous… and excessively faithful to its source material,” as well as “leisurely and literary.” It has also become “the benchmark for TV costume drama.”