Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

More Waugh

I said I wouldn't read any more Waugh, but Scoop was to hand. It's very funny. Perhaps- laugh for laugh- his funniest book. And then I read The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold- which is something quite different- a lightly fictionalised slice of autobiography from late in his career- almost a confession.  It says on the cover that it's funny, but that's not how it hits me. Pinfold- who is Waugh by another name- goes on a cruise, takes too much chloral and starts hearing voices. The voices play on his insecurities and kick his public persona- a consciously-created piece of fakery, "as hard , bright and antiquated as a cuirass"- all about the ship. It's an astonishing book for such a private man to have written. 

I saw Michael Hordern in a dramatised version once- in Manchester about thirty years ago. It was a star vehicle- a couple of hours of Hordern doing his- admittedly entertaining- Michael Hordern act- bimbling and bumbling and twitching and bitching. It wasn't very good. The book, on the other hand, is tremendous.

And now I'm going to re-read Helena.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 14 comments