End-of the-Month Roundup

–The Gale Group Publishing Company, which makes a speciality of marketing and distribution of digital historical archives, has posted on the internet several articles from its archive of The Listener magazine. One of these is a 1979 article by Graham Greene entitled “Remembering Evelyn Waugh” about his friendship with  Waugh and an appreciation of his work. This is attributed to BBC Radio 3 which suggests that it was read first by Greene over that outlet. It is an interesting and thoughtful essay and contains some heartfelt descriptions of Greene’s relations with Waugh, who he felt at the time was under-appreciated. This was only a few years before the broadcast on ITV of the serial dramatization of Brideshead Revisited turned things around.

–The Swindon Link has an article about the more recent film adaptation of Brideshead. This identifies the top five films that used Wiltshire as a location setting. It is surprising to find Brideshead among them:

Evelyn Waugh’s iconic 1945 novel was finally adapted for the big screen after a long and lengthy production process. Starring Emma Thompson and Matthew Goode in this classic story of love triangles, scandal, and debauchery among England’s upper classes, the film opened to rave reviews in 2008, despite failing to break even at the box office. Almost the entirety of the film was shot within Wiltshire, despite Castle Howard in North Yorkshire being used in exterior shots for Brideshead Castle.

–An article in Dialogo Chino, a “newsletter for the latest news & analysis on China, Latin America and the environment”, is entitled: “China extends its reach into Guyana”. This opens with a reference to Evelyn Waugh:

The Rupununi savannah of southern Guyana is one of the most biodiverse regions of South America, home to jaguars, Harpy eagles and the world’s largest ants. It is also one of the most remote. British writer Evelyn Waugh set the final scenes of his 1932 novel A Handful of Dust in the Guyanese grasslands when he needed an isolated location from which his protagonist had no hope of rescue or escape. With Chinese investment that isolation could soon be a thing of the past.

Chinese investment also followed Waugh’s footsteps in Abyssinia where among other things they recently rebuilt the railway that carried Waugh to Addis Ababa from Djibouti in the course of his travels. A better source for background information about the Rupununi region can be found in Waugh’s travel book Ninety-Two Days where he offers a detailed description of his visits to some Jesuit missions and farmers in that remote area which he used as the basis for the conclusion of his novel.

–A recent article in CityMetric also cites Waugh’s work. CityMetric is an internet publication started by the New Statesman “with the goal of creating an urbanism magazine site that would take complicated and technical ideas from the world of city planning, and make them accessible to a mainstream audience.” The article of interest to our readers related to tourism and how cities are responding to it. In the course of the article, the impact of travel writing is discussed:

In the 1970s, travel writer Paul Theroux wrote of the snobbery around travel, dating this attitude back to Evelyn Waugh’s When The Going Was Good in 1946, and to the writings of American botanist and geologist William T. Brigham. Brigham wrote in 1886 that: “Old travellers know how soon the individuality of a country is lost when once the tide of foreign travel is turned through its towns and by-ways.”

The online edition of the article is headed by the display of an anti-tourism demonstrator in Barcelona, one of the cities Waugh helped to popularize in his travel book Labels.

–The paperback edition of Ann Pasternak Slater’s book entitled Evelyn Waugh in the “Writers and their Work” series is now available from the publishers in both the UK (Liverpool University Press) and the USA (Oxford University Press). See earlier posts.


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