Online Waugh Events: NYPL and Others

–The New York Public Library has announced an online event next week. This will be part of their series Avant-Garde Reading Room. Here are the details from their website:

Please join us online for our short story discussion on Tuesday, May 26th at 6 pm. This time, we’ll be reading Evelyn Waugh’s “Excursion in Reality”.

A novelist is recruited to rewrite Hamlet for the motion pictures–but to update it in terms of language. In the process, of course, with studio committees what they are, the play loses much of its actual being. Meanwhile, the novelist’s fickle relationship with his girlfriend is put on hold, as he becomes wrapped up in a completely other affair.

Evelyn Waugh’s short fiction reveals in miniaturized perfection the elements that made him the greatest satirist of the twentieth century. For anyone who enjoys the taste of elegant prose laced with sparkling wit, Evelyn Waugh’s short stories deserve a place that is both prominent and permanent in one’s well-stocked storehouse of vintage literature. Cutting, indeed cruel at times, but always interesting, he zeroes in on the upper and upper middle classes of the interwar years. Cruelty can, in fact, be rather fun!

The story was first published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1932, appearing in both the New York (July) and London (August) editions. It had a different title in each edition. The current title was adopted in the 1936 UK collection Mr Loveday’s Little Outing and Other Sad Stories and used again in the postwar American collection Tactical Exercise. The story is also included in the Complete Stories. 

The participation instructions are provided here. According to the webpage the participant list is full but you may place yourself on a waiting list.

–Another online book event has also been announced. Joseph Pearce, Roman Catholic writer and educator, has posted notice of an online discussion of Brideshead Revisited to be lead by him. Here’s the posting:

Due to the popularity of the “Thursdays with Thursday” book club on The Man Who was Thursday, which begins next week, we’ve decided to offer another five-week book club, which we’re calling “Revisiting Brideshead” in which I’ll be leading a discussion of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel, Brideshead Revisited. This will meet at 8pm on each Thursday from July 16 until August 13. This will also be limited to only 50 participants so please do consider signing up soon – and tell your friends! Here’s the link:

Here are the details:

Special Note: This Book Club is for Adults Only.

Day and time: Thursdays, 8:00 PM Eastern Time (7:00 Central 6:00 Mountain 5:00 Pacific)

Dates: July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, and August 13

Price: $17 per person for all 5 weeks

Seating is limited to 50

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh is one of the greatest and most popular novels ever written. It is also one of the most Catholic. Waugh described its theme as “the operation of divine grace on a group of diverse but closely connected characters”. Joseph Pearce has taught this novel many times at college level, always including it on the syllabus for the senior level Twentieth Century Literature course for English majors. Join him as he revisits Brideshead.

–The UK-based digital radio station Classic FM has posted a notice about the Brideshead Revisited theme song. Here is an excerpt from their announcement:

One of the greatest TV series ever gave us one of the finest theme tunes too.[…]

Geoffrey Burgon’s Bafta-nominated score is at once expansive, regal and melancholic, with wistful oboe and trumpet, matched with horns that conjure up the pomp of Brideshead and the demise of Lord Marchmain and his family. The soundtrack album sold more than 100,000 copies, won a gold disc, and brought Burgon an Ivor Novello award.




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