National Review’s Scoop Podcast

National Review has posted a 30 minute podcast devoted to Waugh’s 1938 novel Scoop. In the podcast NR’s John J Miller interviews Christopher Scalia of the American Enterprise Institute. Both participants are familiar with the book as well as Evelyn Waugh’s other works. Even to one who has read the novel several times, the discussion was refreshing, entertaining and often quite funny.

The only small misstep is they did not reveal the complete meaning of “Laku” to which the senior journalist Hitchcock is supposed to have travelled. It actually means “I don’t know” in Ishmaelian, as I recall, and appears on local maps to denote places unknown to the mapmakers. One passage they don’t discuss is William’s attempt to preserve the secrecy of his cable messages back to The Daily Beast by transmitting them in Latin and, in general, the humor inherent in journalistic telegraphese. But otherwise, in a fairly short time, they manage to give one a good idea of what the book is about and why it should be read. The podcast is episode No 146 in NR’s  The Great Books series and is available at this link.

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