It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
The pen is mightier
David Pryce-Jones explores the novels of Evelyn Waugh and his special relationship with the author.
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Evelyn Waugh was one of those characters that English literature throws up now and again, who put a special stamp on the times, like Dean Swift or Dr. Johnson. About the best that most writers can expect from posterity is cultural embalming, probably in the form of a monograph written by some academic paid to read books nobody else is reading. Almost fifty years after his death, Waugh remains a presence because the spirit of comedy in his books is pure and irrepressible. A reissue of his fiction by Little, Brown and Company attests to the lasting nature of his works.
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 March 2013, on page 9
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