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Evelyn Waugh: A Biography Paperback – June 2, 1992
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It should have been called "record of a friendship" or some such.
On the other hand, it's a great read and should be devoured by any and all who admire Waugh.
I saw a contradiction in that sentence. Novels then, are all to be considered `serious' - or just the novelist? Evelyn was hilarious, uproariously rude, pedantic, dogmatic, deeply religious, prudish and a true English eccentric. I enjoyed this portrait of his talented wit, courage and privileged life. It seems amazing that simultaneously there were so many great authors in England - craftsmen Evelyn called them, like himself - the entire Greene family, Connolly, J B Priestly and Somerset Maugham, Orwell, Morton, Betjeman ... this wealth of art is the reason I suppose that fiction was and is given such respect.
But in closing his most enjoyable biography Christopher Sykes writes that "Evelyn's anti-reviewer goading may strike some readers as petty." This reader was so stuck .. then the next sentence offered me reassurance that my questioning and doubting on the importance given to novels is not unique ..."It is to do with the long-surviving notion (against which Jane Austen's strictures have had no effect) that fiction is essentially trivial.
This is a wonderful life about a great character, written with style and structured to present interesting descriptions of both the author and his craftsmanship.