July DINNER - Decline and Fall (Evelyn Waugh)

  • July 22, 2012 · 6:15 PM
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Subtitled "A Novel of Many Manners, " Evelyn Waugh's 1928 notorious, immensely successful first (published) novel lays waste the "heathen idol" of British sportsmanship, the cultured perfection of Oxford, and the inviolable honor codes of the English gentleman.

The novel "displays not only all of its author's customary satiric genius and flair for unearthing the ridiculous in human nature, but also a youthful willingness to train those weapons on any and every thing in his path. In this fractured picaresque comedy of the hapless Paul Pennyfeather stumbling from one disaster to another, Waugh manages the delicious task of skewering every aspect of the society in which he lived."

 

Reviews:

"The Guardian praised the book as 'a great lark; its author has an agreeable sense of comedy and characterisation, and the gift of writing smart and telling conversation, while his drawings are quite in tune with the spirit of the tale'. The newspaper also compared the superficial presentation in the novel to that employed by P. G. Wodehouse. Arnold Bennett hailed it as 'an uncompromising and brilliantly malicious satire' and the writer John Mortimer called it Waugh's 'most perfect novel...a ruthlessly comic plot.'" - wikipedia

Note about the length - the paperback edition seems to be at least 60 pages longer than the hardcover - the paperback must have much bigger type or more white space?  My older hardcover edition is under 200 pages (100 pages shorter than the current paperback).

About the Author:

"Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966), known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer. His best-known works include his early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), his novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) and his trilogy of Second World War novels collectively known as Sword of Honour (1952–61). Waugh is widely recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century.

The son of a publisher, Waugh was educated at Lancing and Hertford College, Oxford, and worked briefly as a schoolmaster before becoming a full-time writer. As a young man, he acquired many fashionable and aristocratic friends, and developed a taste for country house society that never left him. In the 1930s he travelled extensively, often as a special newspaper correspondent; he was reporting from Abyssinia at the time of the 1935 Italian invasion. He served in the British armed forces throughout the Second World War, first in the Royal Marines and later in the Royal Horse Guards. All these experiences, and the wide range of people he encountered, were used in Waugh's fiction, generally to humorous effect; even his own mental breakdown in the early 1950s, brought about by misuse of drugs, was fictionalised." - wikipedia

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** NOTE : I WILL BE EMAILING MEMBERS ASKING YOU TO CONFIRM YOUR "YES" RSVP A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE MEETUP, WITH YOUR REPLY DUE NO LATER THAN 24-36 HOURS BEFORE THE EVENT SO WE CAN GET A PRETTY ACCURATE HEADCOUNT. PLEASE REMEMBER TO CHANGE A "YES" RSVP TO A "NO" IF YOUR PLANS CHANGE, SO MEMBERS ON THE WAITING LIST HAVE A CHANCE TO READ THE BOOK. AND REMEMBER TO SEE THE "ABOUT US" PAGE FOR THE NO-SHOW POLICY, IT'S STRICTLY ENFORCED. THANKS

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  • rachel

    Hi guys, just a reminder to confirm per my email Wednesday - I'm still waiting to hear from 4 of you. Thanks!

    July 21, 2012

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