I finished Brideshead Revisited.
This is my first Evelyn Waugh,
apparently his stuff is usually,
biting and satirical.
Brideshead, is a sweeping novel,
and deals with multiple themes.
The downfall of British aristocracy,
the influence of faith in our lives,
the nature of sin,
love in all it’s forms,
the powerlessness of man in the face of war.
A book that must be read,
slowly and with attention,
no throw away trash.
It took the better part of a week to get through,
not because I didn’t like it,
or contemplated giving up,
it was the complexity of the themes,
and of the characters.
I really don’t think this novel is for everyone,
but I am glad I read it.
I enjoyed the layers and trying to figure it out.
The narrator is Charles Ryder.
At the start of the novel,
Ryder is a captain in the army,
his unit is moved to an estate and,
he realises that it is,
the estate of his friends the Flytes.
In the second part,
which is flashback,
Charles meets Sebastian Flyte at Oxford.
They become friends,
almost more than friends.
Sebastian is a strange and intriguing man,
he carries around a teddy bear named Aloysius,
he has a love/hate relationship with his mother,
and with his church,
the Catholic Church,
he drinks way too much.
Charles and Sebastian,
share a special love for each other,
they are not lovers,
there is a strong homoerotic feeling.
In the final part,
Charles becomes involved with Julia,
I hesitate to say more,
about the plot,
actually there isn’t much plot,
it’s more about feeling and atmosphere,
ideas and theology,
a representation of a world that no longer exists.
Brideshead, should be a slow read,
a savoured one,
for a sunday afternoon when you have time and,
are in the mood for something,
Worth your time,
if you are interested in British society,
as it was between the wars,
and in the nature and meaning of sin.
I think I will be grappling with it’s meaning for some time.
Maybe a re-read candidate for next year.