"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
"The tweedy, fogy types who make an affectation of Waugh are generally fondest of his almost camp social conservatism: his commitment to stuffy clubs, 'home' rather than 'abroad,' old clothes, traditional manners, ear trumpets, rural hierarchy, ancient liturgy, and the rest of it. Their master ministered very exactly to this taste in the undoubted self-parody that adorns The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold and is titled 'Portrait of the Artist in Middle Age.'
His strongest tastes were negative. He abhorred plastics, Picasso, sunbathing, and jazz—everything in fact that had happened in his own lifetime. The tiny kindling of charity which came to him through his religion sufficed only to temper his disgust and change it to boredom. There was a phrase in the thirties: "It is later than you think", which was designed to cause uneasiness. It was never later than Mr Pinfold thought.
"His face eventually grew to fit this mask, but Waugh had been very much 'of' the Jazz Age, and brought it hectically to life, most notably in Vile Bodies and Brideshead. Sexual experiments, fast cars, modern steamships and aeroplanes —these, plus a touch of experience with modern warfare, gave him an edge that the simple, fusty reactionaries did not possess."