and sigh again.
i adored this book, brideshead revisited by evelyn waugh, the first time i read it, a lifetime ago.
in re reading it over these past few weeks, i fell in love with it again a million times over.
the imagery and the romaticism with which evelyn waugh wrote captured my imagination as a teenager. yes, a teenager. which explains how i missed so many important details in my first reading. like complete relationships and the power they held for Charles and Sebastian and Julia. when i was a teen, it was all about the lost luxury and the craziness of youth…
as an adult? about the heartbreaking relationships you have and how they shape your choices.
and how they shape you.
‘Perhaps’, I thought, while her words still hung in the air between us like a wisp of tobacco smoke – a thought to fade and vanish like smoke without a trace – ‘perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond – language scrawled on gateposts and paving stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us’
if you have not read this book? and you are a lover of words and loss and love?
i was entranced, 24 years later.
there were sections i read over and over again, just to wrap myself in the language of evelyn waugh.
which is ironic, as i read a copy of the book that included a preface written by evelyn waugh in 1959, taking on his own “passionate sincerity” with a gently critical eye.
of course there was the BBC production of brideshead revisited, which i feel i must watch again now…perhaps even own.
however, the literary version, with the description of the trip back to england on the boat, the images of sebastian’s self destruction and the reaction of his mother, the inevitable separation of Charles from…well… i will leave those to you to discover, in quiet moments.
it took me ages to get through this small book. and i enjoyed every languishing moment of it. i would rush forward, propelled by the emotion of the moment…only to return to the beginning of the moment to relish in it again.
to add to the history of the book, read the vanity fair article on evelyn waugh and his relationship with the lygon family.
so…onto to number 4 in my project. it is not chosen as of yet. it will likely be a very different read from what i have just finished…
i am not ready to shrug off brideshead quite yet.