If this is going to be a weekly post, it really needs a catchy title. Unfortunately, I’m not a headline writer for the New York Post, so this is what you get. Reader suggestions are welcome.

This week’s update presents a story by and several articles about Evelyn Waugh. Christopher Hitchens notes that “Waugh wrote as brilliantly as he did precisely because he loathed the modern world.” Is that the essence if Waugh’s brilliance? Check out pieces below and decide f or yourself. I also found Waugh’s “Love Among the Ruins” online, and present it as an example of his short fiction, though its online presence might have irritated Waugh, to say the least.

A plethora of links to news, reviews and opinions from the publishing world fill out the post. And, continuing last week’s trend, I round out this post with a bit of poetry.


Short Fiction:

Criticism and Commentary:

And after reading these secular takes on Evelyn Waugh, check out a different perspective on the man and his work.

A quote from Waugh, which Pearce includes in his brief article, linked above:

“Today we can see it on all sides as the active negation of all that Western culture has stood for. Civilization – and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe – has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance. The loss of faith in Christianity and the consequential lack of confidence in moral and social standards have become embodied in the ideal of a materialistic, mechanized state . . . It is no longer possible . . . to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis upon which it rests.”

News and Reviews:


“An Almanac for Evening” by Jack Matthews

Originally appeared in August 28, 1962 issue of National Review

The wonder is that the thoughts of men
do not flap and stutter from their heads
each evening when the sun sets. What memory
of dawn saves a man’s hope and keeps the heart
spilling out its old arterial chant?
What memory is convincing in the red shadow
of that palsied light about to pale in the cinders
of the west? Our grandfathers stiffened
and fell from the sky and arose as fathers
towering like trees above our wobbly heads
and they crash one by one in the forests
of evening and we arise and the pulse of earth
beats in her old, slow meter and father
and sun pass through us like thoughts
in the mind of a girl, as she throws jacks
like stars on the sidewalk and bounces a ball
in orbital perfection from her careful hand.