things of little relevance


revisiting brideshead
March 6, 2010, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve never really understood why I love Brideshead Revisited so much—it’s one of the few books that I’ve consciously bought a second copy of. Lydia Kiesling wrote a thought piece about her devotion to the novel.

To view the progression in his oeuvre in modern terms, Waugh is like an emotionally unavailable love interest, who wounds with bitter jokes and soothes with mixtapes and your own endless optimism.  And then one day he stops messing about with humorous Tumblrs, writes the great American blog, gets a tattoo of your face, and says he wants a baby.  In sum, Evelyn Waugh is your bi-curious hipster boyfriend.  Maybe modern life has its own incomprehensible manners and modes of feeling.

Eventually she pinpoints the “love story,” if you can call it that, in Brideshead Revisited.

I think Brideshead Revisited is a love story, and one that even dares, for all its urbane weariness, to believe in the remote possibility of a happy ending. Maybe it’s my own sentimental organ getting the better of me, projecting romance and Jeremy Irons onto fallow ground.  Even if that is the case, with Brideshead Revisited, Waugh joins Philip Larkin, that other bitter wit and chronicler of loss, in proving “Our almost-instinct almost true/ What will survive of us is love.”

I don’t quite see Brideshead Revisited as a love story. If I had to enumerate why Brideshead Revisited is a great book, Waugh’s bitingly funny prose would probably be number one. Personally though, I really enjoy the debauchery that is Oxford. I love the first ten minutes of the new Brideshead Revisited movie—handsome bookish chaps on bikes. FYI: The rest of the movie is not worth watching.

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1 Comment so far
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i was looking at the millions the other day and saw that quote (“Evelyn Waugh is your bi-curious hipster boyfriend”) and i thought, this is an article written for lucy.

and the whole movie is good! not just the bicycling parts!

Comment by sasha




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