Waugh in Lithuania

A Lithuanian online newspaper Bernardinai.lt has a review of the Lithuanian translation of Vile Bodies (Vargingi kūnai). This is an alternative online newspaper published by the Franciscan community in Vilnius but intended to be objective rather than primarily religious in its content. The book is translated by Rasa Drazdauskienė and is reviewed by Augminas Petronis. It was published in 2010 by Tyto Alba in Vilnius, as was a Lithuanian version of Brideshead Revisited (Sugrįžimas į Braidshedą) by the same translator. The review of Vile Bodies opens with this:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” – Perhaps for anyone, this saying, literally understood, is never more suitable than in its application to the Lithuanian translations of Evelyn Waugh’s books. While the covers of both books […]  appear to be warnings that the works they decorate are third or fourth rate love novels, this impression would be extremely deceptive.

“Vile Bodies” is very satirical, very funny, sometimes fantastically magical, and at the same time extremely serious. It describes the environment where Waugh himself lived for years. […] Waugh did not intend to write just a funny and ironic novel. The comic surface of the story hides questions of meaning seriously considered. When I read the book, I often laughed to tears, but suddenly was forced  to stop and get drunk. Comic events in the book are tragic, and they are comic again, and this is taking place at an incredible pace. In the case of an absurd adventurer, a celebrity-looking journalist, you laughand can’t stop until you suddenly realize that you’re reading about a suicide. The book is always laughing, shocking, laughing again and shocking again. Apparently this is E. Waugh’s talent – writing ironically and at the same time extremely seriously, and closing his books remains a great desire to enjoy everyday life.

The translation is by Google with minor edits. The Lithuanian online bookseller linked above (knygos.lt), alas indicates that the translated editions are out of stock. On the other hand, this sell-out may presage additional translations.

 

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