Roundup: Letters and A Lecture

BBC Radio Four Extra has announced the rebroadcast of a 1996 adaptation of Waugh’s novel A Handful of Dust. This will be contained in two one-hour episodes. The first is broadcast on Tuesday, 24 October at 0500 repeated at 1500 and 0300, The second will air on Wednesday, 25 October at the same times and both will presumably be available on the internet thereafter. Here is the BBC’s description:

Brenda Last embarks on an affair that is the talk of London society. But there are tragic consequences for all those involved…Starring Tara Fitzgerald and Jonathan Cullen. Evelyn Waugh’s novel was first published in 1934. Dramatised in two parts by Bill Matthews.

Here’s a link.

–The following letter was posted in the New Statesman in response to its 8 September article by Will Lloyd. This was entitled “Evelyn Waugh is laughing at you.” See previous post:

“Depth of Feeling

The piece on Evelyn Waugh by Will Lloyd (Critic at Large, 8 September) might also have contrasted his letters and diaries, showing his morning and evening feelings.
Peter Bottomley MP, House of Commons”

–An auction house in Savannah, GA is offering for sale 4 letters from Evelyn Waugh. Here’s the description:

Four Articles, four articles, autograph card signed with initial, postmarked July 25, 1961, thanking Aubrey Ensor for writing; autograph letter signed, two pages, April 18 [1950], thanking Count Bompiani for luncheon and gift of publications; an autograph letter signed to Count Bompiani, letter of thanks; and an autograph letter signed, one page, unnamed recipient, matted.

Count Bompiani apparently translated at least one of Waugh’s works into Italian. This was Unconditional Surrender which Waugh refers to by its Italian title: Resa incondizionata. Copies of the letters and details of the auction can be found at this link.

–The University of Oklahoma has announced that the following lecture will take place on its campus at 4pm on 27 October.

Rader Lecture

David H. J. Larmour, P. W. Horn Distinguished Professor of Classics, Texas Tech University

“No Sense of an Ending: Satire in Juvenal, Evelyn Waugh and Martin McDonagh.”

Bizzell Library LL104

Details are available here. Here’s an excerpt from Professor Larmour’s c.v. posted on the Texas Tech University website:

…He has particular interests in Greek athletics & the Roman arena, Greek and Roman satire, lyric poetry, narrative theory, and comparative literature. Although grounded in classical philology, his research takes in display and representation of the body in text and space; the ideological underpinnings of competition, exile, memory and nostalgia; and the re-imagining of the classical past in the modern era. He also looks at how the physical borders of empires, and their accompanying mental categories, shape our understanding of the past, who we think we are, and whither we are headed…

His latest book, The Arena of Satire: Juvenal’s Search for Rome (Oklahoma 2016), looks at the connections between satire and the Roman arena, styling the satirist as a literary version of the gladiator who wounds, slices and dismembers his victims, while himself ending up as just one more performer in the imperial spectacle of power and powerlessness. The book also treats the “modern Juvenalians” of the 20th century and Prof. Larmour is now engaged in writing a follow-up monograph on these writers (including Evelyn Waugh, Viktor Pelevin, Martin McDonagh and Michel Houellebecq) and a survey of the genre of Juvenalian Satire in modern times. Other projects include a long-term investigation of the psychology of contested “border-zones” of the Roman Empire and other imperial powers in mainland Europe and beyond…

The full text of the c. v. is available here.

–A newspaper in Franklin County, Maine reviews a new book (Starling House by Alix E Harrow) in which coming of age is one of the principal themes. Here’s an excerpt:

What is coming of age? The prosaic idea of it as simply a transition into adulthood has no literary resonance. Certainly transition is present—the shedding of one state to attain another—but the traits of the transition are subtle and various.

We should first note that the nature of coming of age in adult novels and young adult novels are decidedly different. In the inveterately adult The Loved One, Evelyn Waugh describes it as follows: “He was adding his bit to the wreckage; something that had long irked him, his young heart, and was carrying back instead the artist’s load, a great, shapeless chunk of experience; bearing it home to his ancient and comfortless shore; to work on it hard and long.” This sense of having shed romanticism for artistry is the inverse of the young adult understanding of having attained a solid basis for romance.

The quote is taken from the closing lines of Waugh’s novella summarizing the reflections of Dennis as he returns to England.

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