–On Tuesday, 20 April 2021, Yuexi Liu, Assistant Professor of English at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University will make a presentation on the subject: “Narrating Difficult Histories: (Inter)Wartime Border Crossing in Hemingway, Waugh, and Isherwood.” Here’s a summary from the notice:
The (inter)wartime border crossings in A Farewell to Arms (1929), Vile Bodies (1930), and Down There on a Visit (1962) reveal difficult and often lost histories of deserters, violations of freedom of expression, and persecutions of sexual minorities. Drawing on extensive archival material, including literary manuscripts and historical British Government records, to shed new light on the three novels, this talk demonstrates how border controls in Europe attracted urgent attention in the shadow of war and how customs, at the forefront of national security, were consequently relied upon as an ever crucial institution responsible for protecting the nation states and their citizens from ‘undesirable aliens’. Hemingway, Waugh, and Isherwood criticised the injustice and violence of the border control policies and practices that failed to balance the self-interest of the nation states and humanitarian concerns. Narrating the difficult histories of the shadow and experimenting with comedy and satire to narrate violence, all three writers themselves crossed borders.
Yuexi is a member of the Evelyn Waugh Society and co-editor of its journal Evelyn Waugh Studies. She is completing a monograph entitled Exterior Modernism: Evelyn Waugh and Cinema. The presentation on Tuesday is scheduled at 530-7pm local time at the University (near Shanghai), HS436. Details are available at this link.
–Cornell University Press has recently published a book entitled Dynamic Form: How Intermediality Made Modernism by Cara L Lewis. Chapter 4 is on the subject: “Bad Formalism: Evelyn Waugh’s Film Fictions in the age of Cinemechanics.” Here is the introductory paragraph from that chapter:
Writing in his diary at the age of twenty, in July 1924, Evelyn Waugh guiltily observes the gap since his last entry: “More than a week has passed but I cannot quite remember how. I went out with Adrian one evening and overdrank myself with Terence another and I have been to many cinemas.” At the time, Waugh had just come down from Oxford, and the hazy fog of this entry, in which too much alcohol and too much cinema going blend together, is a characteristic affect of his student years and his early twenties. His diaries from this period are filled with similar notes of debauchery, as when, for instance, he and his friends pooled their efforts in the summer of 1924 in order to make a twenty-minute film called The Scarlet Woman . Their production metamorphoses into reckless consumption: “The week before was hectic with cinema work and extremely expensive. Looking back on it I think the money was ill spent. The film cost us each £6, the hire of the dresses and taxi fares added heavily, and on Saturday night I gave a dinner to Elsa Lanchester which cost £4. [. . .] We were all a little drunk. Terence put on the cinema and I was quite disgusted with the badness of the film. Elsa and I discovered that we were born on the same day and fought all over the floor for a pound note which eventually became destroyed.” [Footnotes omitted.]