Evelyn Waugh


Press releases and media coverage for the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project, and for Evelyn Waugh himself.

Waugh's views on Spain

Letter by Nicholas Rankin, published in the Times Literary Supplement, 11 July 2014. The letter quotes Waugh's pro-Franco and anti-Ethopian comments. Our Essays, Articles and Reviews editor Don Gallagher has submitted this response:

Sir, – May I belatedly, from 12, 000 miles away, point out that selective quotation is a miserable trick (July 11)? Waugh did say: ‘If I were a Spaniard I should be fighting for General Franco.’ But he went on: ‘As an Englishman I am not in the predicament of choosing between two evils.’ And context shapes meaning. Waugh did write – ‘goodness the Ethiopians are lousy and I hope the organmen gas them to buggery’, which in isolation reads as sadly tasteless and regrettable. But the letter to Diana Cooper in which it occurs (September 1935) is written in a style of remote fantasy, for amusement, and in no way expresses opinion. Read the end of the same letter where Waugh fantasticates the scandal of Count Vinci, Signor Falconi, and the British Minister’s daughter beyond recognition and you will see that Waugh’s black humour spared no one.

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