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Download Modern Classics When The Going Was Good (Twentieth Century Classics) epub

by Evelyn Waugh

Between 1929 and 1935 Evelyn Waugh travelled widely and wrote four books about his experiences. In this collection he writes, with his customary wit and perception, about a cruise around the Mediterranean; a train trip from Djibouti to Abyssinia to attend Emperor Haile Selassie's coronation in 1930; his travels in Aden, Zanzibar, Kenya and the Congo, coping with unbearable heat and plagued by mosquitoes; a journey to Guyana and Brazil; and his return to Addis Ababa in 1935 to report on the war between Abyssinia and Italy. Waugh's adventures on his travels gave him the ideas for such classic novels as Scoop and Black Mischief.
Download Modern Classics When The Going Was Good (Twentieth Century Classics) epub
ISBN: 0140182535
ISBN13: 978-0140182538
Category: Reference
Subcategory: Writing Research & Publishing Guides
Author: Evelyn Waugh
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Classic; New Ed edition (September 21, 2010)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1560 kb
FB2 size: 1840 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 105
Other Formats: mbr docx lit azw

I didn't know Evelyn Waugh was so intrepid-perhaps because he didn't use the travel material as much as his contemporary Graham Greene in his novels. In When The Going Was Good (1946) has parts of four travel books that Waugh wrote between 1929 and 1935. Chapter One "A Pleasure Cruise in 1929" from Labels, recounts a cruise, and the passengers are given much consideration, to Europe. Chapter two, "A Coronation in 1930" from Remote People, which recounts the coronation of Emperor (Abyssinia - now known as Ethiopia) Haile Selassie I, which Waugh reported on in 1930 as special correspondent for The Times. Chapter Three, "Globe-Trotting" also from Remote People, chronicles his travel elsewhere in Africa. Chapter Four, "A Journey to Brazil in 1932" from Ninety-two Days, is about his travels in Guiana and Brazil in South America-I was unaware of his travels here. Chapter Five "A War in 1935" from Waugh in Abyssinia, is about Waugh's exploits as a war correspondent in Abyssinia when war breaks out. Waugh used much of the African exploits in his early novel, Black Mischief (1932), and much of his writing in this book is quite charming and funny. However, he also makes some astute observations as well, for example:

To have traveled a lot, to have spent, as I have done, the first twelve years of adult life on the move, is to this extent a disadvantage. At the age of thirty-five one needs to go to the moon, or some such place, to recapture the excitement which one first landed at Calais.

There's also this:

One does not travel, any more than one falls in love, to collect material. It is simply part of one's life. For myself and many better than me, there is a fascination in distant and barbarous places, and particularly int he borderlands of conflicting cultures and states of development, where ideas, uprooted form their traditions, become oddly changed in transplantation. It is there that I find the experiences vivid enough to demand translation in to literary form.

Another entertaining and enlightening read from one of my favorite writers.
I am a Waugh fan to most of his books - some are really dated, as this one is - but it's a look back to an ordinary English upbringing that produced an extraordinary man. His Oxford years of drinking, drugs, homo- and hetero-sexual explorations might fit in with today's colleges but reading it as a long-ago history is more interesting. Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honor Trilogy, I think, are his best.
Got 15 books as a Christmas gift -all Evelyn Waugh. Trying to collect them all.. What can I say but a good read.
As expected.
After all these years, still a very interesting read.
This book is a 'Must Read' for the following lot of people:
1) Those who have an appreciation for Waugh's fiction.
2) Those who have an interest in colonial Great Britain just before the fall of the British Empire when, arguably, it was at its height.
3) Those who have traveled well beyond the "It is Tuesday, this must be Bangkok" scheme of things.
4) Those who enjoy social satire mixed with dry wit, and enlivened by a wonderful sense of the absurd.
5) Connoisseurs of the English language in its written form.
'When the Going was Good' is five travel episodes written in a period from 1929 to 1935, as abridged by the author for inclusion in this book. These episodes range from a casual, meandering cruise of the Mediterranean Sea in 1929 to reportage on the invasion of Ethiopia by Italy in 1935 presaging the Second World War. In between are the coronation of Emperor Haille Salasie Ras Tafare(the first Rastafarian), some random "Globe-trotting" beginning in Aden running through the Zanzibar coast and then down to the Congo, and finally an attempted trip from British Guyana down through Brazil.
Obviously, the really beautiful thing about any book by Evelyn Waugh is the concise, incisive, succint and often surgically precise use of the Queen's English. What makes these gems particularly precious is that they are set in conditions that were considered laughably backward and dangerously primitive even for the standards of the early part of the 20th century. Any such journey into the Dark Continent, and into the New World promises to be fraught with dangers and difficulties almost beyond description. Fortunately for the world of literature these were met by an author who was up to the task of describing these incidents in a way that makes them interesting, funny, and illuminating. Waugh has an uncanny ablity to use the slings and arrows that life sends one's way as weapons of satire and delight. Perhaps the most delightful vignette in this book filled with delightful vignettes is his description of his adventures with the well-meaning but misinformed American theological professor who is the leading authority on the Ethiopian form of Christiantiy, and who meanwhile is totally confused by its religous rites. Their time together takes them from the midst of the royal coronation to a field trip trek through wilderness to that church's holiest shrine in the company of a multi-talented fly by the seat of the pants Armenian chauffeur and an Ethipioan urchin whom they pick up along the way. Suffice it to say that the material Waugh got in that one trip was of the sort that one could write an entire short book from, and indeed this is just what he did in the novella titled 'Black Mischief.' Yes, that's correct, Waugh fans, the stuff of some of his books was captured right here on these pages during these travels and herein lies a treasure trove of details that one finds later played out in the novella mentioned above, in 'A Handful of Dust' and even 'Brideshead Revisited.' Thus, reading these accounts of his travels really helps to bring alive those other stories which you have probably read and wondered about where he got his inspiration. Finally, for history buffs, one gets to literally live the life of the colonial gentleman in the midst of these pages because Waugh, afterall belonged to the smart set and the smart set made up a significant portion, however small, of the colonial population that ran the British Empire. So, when Evelyn goes travelling, he doesn't necessarily do it with a backback upon his back trudging to and fro. No, he has a set of trunks and helpers, and old school ties that lead to introductions which in turn lead to social sitauations that develop into adventures and eventually become fodder for his travelogues. The point being that because this was the author's life, we get to witness firsthand the life of Imperial Britain as it existed in the African colonies and British spheres of influence. This is heady stuff and really a wonderful kind of social history that anyone from the avid social voyeur-ethnographic tourist to the fan of the British colonial empire should appreciate.
'When the Going was Good" is a book that I can heartily recommend, and one that I took much pleasure from reading.