Prize-Winning Essay About “Robbery Under Law”

A review has appeared in the Mexican newspaper Milenio about an essay relating to Waugh’s 1939 book Robbery Under Law. The essay is written in Spanish by Armando González Torres and is entitled “¡País de ladrones! Evelyn Waugh y México” (“Country of thieves: Evelyn Waugh and Mexico”). In 2015, it was awarded the Malcolm Lowry Fine Arts Prize for a Literary Essay by the Editorial Fund of the State of Morelos. The review by Silvia Herrera does not cite the essay’s publication or sales data, and it is not determinable whether it appeared as a separate book or as part of another book, journal or magazine.

The quality of the Google translation is rather poor. Here’s an excerpt from Herrera’s assessment of the essay:

González Torres shows that the English novelist, despite the assignment that he had to denounce “the government of Lázaro Cárdenas communist tinge” offers in certain points a positive view of Mexico. […] The conclusion [Waugh] reaches to defend the English oil companies is categorical: “A small State, with a scarcely balanced budget, can not take on the challenge of exploring their own deposits without any income. ”

In the chapter “The ideological storms of the time”, the main contribution of González Torres is developed. There, the traits that defined the individual Waugh, especially his Catholicism, acquire epic levels, that is, more in relation to the collectivity [adquieren niveles épicos, es decir, más en relación con la colectividad]. In those apocalyptic times, in which capitalism seemed to offer no possibility of remission, Catholicism was presented as an alternative to communism and fascism. In his approach to English Catholicism, González Torres demonstrates, against prejudice, that he possesses a critical element [que en él habita un elemento crítico.]

Perhaps one of our readers with a knowledge of Spanish might want to look at the Milenio review and offer a better translation or summary of its conclusions about the essay.


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