Thursday, September 30, 2010

Readings: The Paris Review Interviews #2

I chose, for some reason, to next read the interview with Evelyn Waugh. I suppose the fact that Waugh is so often cited by Catholics on blogs as being among their favorite "Catholic" novelists, was the impetus. The Waugh interview is extremely short. It is, in fact, so short that the interviewer, a person improbably named "Julian Jebb," is rather apologetic about it in his introduction.

Unfortunately, Waugh does not get into his Catholicism very much. Nor does he get very deeply into much of anything else. This being the case, I've decided upon the following quote, which is a response to the question, "Do you think it just to describe you as a reactionary?":

An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition. Even the great Victorian artists were all anti-Victorian, despite the pressures to conform.

Of Americans Waugh had earlier opined, "I don't think what they have to say is of much interest, do you?" Just a bit after the central quote above, when asked why his novels contain so very few working class characters, Waugh replied, "I don't know them, and I'm not interested in them." Evelyn Waugh: Catholic to the bone.