English Novelist, Biographer and Journalist
Evelyn Waugh, fully Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh
English Novelist, Biographer and Journalist
He lit his cigar and sat back at peace with the world; I, too, was at peace in another world than his. We both were happy. He talked of Julia and I heard his voice, unintelligible at a great distance, like a dog's barking miles away on a still night.
I did not know it was possible to be so miserable and live but I am told that this is a common experience.
I said to the doctor, who was with us daily. 'He's got a wonderful will to live, hasn't he?' 'Would you put it like that? I should say a great fear of death.' 'Is there a difference?' 'Oh dear, yes. He doesn't derive any strength from his fear, you know. It's wearing him out.
I'm one of the blind alleys off the main road of procreation.
I've always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from His mercy. ... Or it may be a private bargain between me and God, that if I give up this one thing I want so much, however bad I am, He won't quite despair of me in the end.
Aesthetic value is often the by-product of the artist striving to do something else.
But I saw today there was one thing unforgivable - like things in the school-room, so bad they were unpunishable, that only mummy could deal with - the bad thing I was on the point of doing, that I'm not quite bad enough to do; to set up a rival good to God's.
EVELYN WAUGH: How do you get your main pleasure in life, Sir William? SIR WILLIAM BEVERIDGE: I get mine trying to leave the world a better place than I found it. WAUGH: I get mine spreading alarm and despondency and I get more satisfaction than you do.
He was gifted with the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich.
I do not believe the expenditure of $2.50 for a book entitles the purchaser to the personal friendship of the author.
I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I'm old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.
In the dying world I come from, quotation is a national vice. No one would think of making an after-dinner speech without the help of poetry. It used to be the classics, now it's lyric verse.
I've always had two principles throughout all my life in motion-pictures: never do before the camera what you would not do at home and never do at home what you would not do before the camera.
But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.
Even on that convivial evening I could feel my host emanating little magnetic waves of social uneasiness, creating, rather, a pool of general embarrassment about himself in which he floated with log-like calm.
He was talking very excitedly to me, said the Vicar, about some apparatus for warming a church in Worthing and about the Apostolic Claims of the Church of Abyssinia. I confess I could not follow him clearly. He seems deeply interested in Church matters. Are you quite sure he is right in the head? I have noticed again and again since I have been in the Church that lay interest in ecclesiastical matters is often a prelude to insanity.
I don't believe that people would ever fall in love or want to be married if they hadn't been told about it. It's like abroad: no one would want to go there if they hadn't been told it existed.
I think there's almost nothing I can't excuse except perhaps worshiping graven images. That seems to be idiotic.
Instead of this absurd division into sexes they ought to class people as static and dynamic.
Julia used to say, 'Poor Sebastian. It's something chemical in him.' That was the cant phrase of the time, derived from heaven knows what misconception of popular science. 'There's something chemical between them' was used to explain the overmastering hate or love of any two people. It was the old concept of determinism in a new form. I do not believe there was anything chemical in my friend.
All day the head had been barely supportable but at evening a breeze arose in the West, blowing from the heart of the setting sun and from the ocean, which lay unseen, unheard behind the scrubby foothills. It shook the rusty fringes of palm-leaf and swelled the dry sounds of summer, the frog-voices, the grating cicadas, and the ever present pulse of music from the neighboring native huts.
But these young people have such an intelligent, knowledgeable surface, and then the crust suddenly breaks and you look down into the depths of confusion you didn't know existed.
Every Englishman abroad, until it is proved to the contrary, likes to consider himself a traveller and not a tourist.
He wasn't a complete human being at all. He was a tiny bit of one, unnaturally developed; something in a bottle, an organ kept alive in a laboratory. I thought he was a sort of primitive savage, but he was something absolutely modern and up-to-date that only this ghastly age could produce. A tiny bit of a man pretending to be whole.