Category Archives: Vile Bodies

John Ivan Simon (1925-2019): R. I. P.

John Simon, one of America’s great critics of theatre and film died in November the age of 94. His death was widely noted, and this obituary excerpted from the New York Times is fairly representative: In a style that danced … Continue reading

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Reading Dickens in the Jungle, et al.

–An article has been posted on Academia.edu entitled “Reading Dickens in the Jungle: A Handful of Dust and Mr Pip.” This is by Alessandro Vescovi, professor of English at the Università degli Studi di Milano (University of Milan). It previously appeared … Continue reading

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Year End Roundup

—The Australian has a story headed by a photo of Evelyn Waugh.  The story is by Greg Harrison and is entitled “Our prime ministers need a holiday–and time to read a novel for pleasure.” After noting his disagreement with those who … Continue reading

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Socialites to Socialists: Inez Holden and Nancy Mitford

Two books in the news were written by or about two of Waugh’s friends and fellow writers: Inez Holden and Nancy Mitford. As explained in reviews of those books, both progressed from upper-class to left-wing political views: –Novelist and critic … Continue reading

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Early November Roundup

–The Daily Mail reprints extracts from the gossipy personal diaries of journalist and biographer Kenneth Rose. These are from the second volume entitled Who Wins, Who Loses? covering the period 1979-2014: March 29, 1982. Geoffrey Warnock [Oxford vice-chancellor] tells me … Continue reading

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Samuel Hynes (1924-2019) R.I.P.

Another veteran American literary scholar and critic died earlier this month at Princeton . This was Samuel Hynes, WWII veteran fighter pilot and retired Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University. He was 95. His best known critical work … Continue reading

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Harold Bloom (1930-2019) R.I.P.

The American literary critic and Yale Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom died earlier this week at the age of 89. There are several notices but perhaps the best are those in the New York Times. One is by Dinitia … Continue reading

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Waugh Appears in Danish Trilogy

The current issue of The Spectator contains a review of  translations of a Danish writer who describes a meeting with Waugh in Copenhagen in the 1940s. This is Tove Ditlevsen and the books are entitled The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood, Youth, … Continue reading

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Early September Roundup

–Waugh biographer Selina Hastings has reviewed D J Taylor’s recent literary history Lost Girls in the Literary Review. See earlier posts. Her review concludes with this: In Lost Girls, Taylor presents a colourful portrait of this fascinating, sophisticated and highly … Continue reading

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Late July Roundup

–The latest issue of The Oldie has an article by David Horspool comparing the WWII novels of Lev Grossman (Stalingrad), recently published for the first time in a complete English translation, and Joseph Heller (Catch 22), recently adapted into a … Continue reading

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