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Decline and Fall (Anglais) Broché – 24 novembre 2011

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

With his distinctive dark wit, Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall is a masterful social satire sending up the social mores of 1920s England, edited with an introduction by David Bradshaw in Penguin Modern Classics. Expelled from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. Hi colleagues are an assortment of misfits, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul. Taking its title from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Evelyn Waugh's first, funniest novel immediately caught the ear of the public with his account of an ingénu abroad in the decadent confusion of 1920s high society. Evelyn Waugh (1903-66) was born in Hampstead, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). In 1939 he was commissioned in the Royal Marines and later transferred to the Royal Horse Guards, serving in the Middle East and in Yugoslavia. In 1942 he published Put Out More Flags and then in 1945 Brideshead Revisited. Men at Arms (1952) was the first volume of 'The Sword of Honour' trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; the other volumes, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender, followed in 1955 and 1961. If you enjoyed Decline and Fall, you might like Waugh's Vile Bodies, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'The funniest book I have ever read'Julian Symons, The Times 'His first, most perfect novel ... a ruthlessly comic plot'John Mortimer, Guardian 'Concocted of cruelty, bigotry, pederasty, white slavery, violence, madness and murder, Decline and Fall is fundamentally playful and side-splittingly funny'David Bradshaw

Biographie de l'auteur

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), is considered chief chronicler of the 'Bright Young Things' (the aristocratic and fashionable circles of the 1920's) and is one of the century's most accomplished and funny novelists. Waugh is also widely regarded as the foremost social satirist of his generation. His other works, including VILE BODIES, SCOOP, THE LOVED ONE, and BRIDESHEAD REVISITED are also published in Modern Classics.

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Par msokolo le 18 février 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The wreck of England after FWW. When a South American Madam you're in love to, marry the Home Ofiice Secretary, what is left? You just become a priest. A real "page turner" in a lost style and a quintessential British Humor. An early novel from Waugh, a real "Chef d'oeuvre".
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9da75b4c) étoiles sur 5 85 commentaires
84 internautes sur 89 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d901318) étoiles sur 5 wait until you are "old enough" 4 mars 2006
Par Glenn Becker - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It's not uncommon that the books we're assigned in high school or even college sail by the larger portions of our young brains. Not only are, ahem, "other things" clamoring for our attention when we are that age but for a great number of us, it isn't the ideal time to be turned on to subtlety. We're too raw. For example, even though I enjoyed the poetry of Wordsworth in undergraduate school, I was told by my professors that I would only truly come to appreciate him once I'd gotten a little older.

Which brings me to Evelyn Waugh, and the novel Decline and Fall. I can certainly remember ... well, not /hating/ the book when I read it for a class in the Comic Novel, but now that I return to it a few decades later, well, sheesh, the thing has me in stitches!

Waugh is definitely a "deadpan" humorist. It may seem strange to claim that "deadpan" actually covers a wide range of styles, but it does. There's the literal (!) deadpan of Buster Keaton. There's the deadpan camera of Jim Jarmusch. There's the kinda-stoned but hysterical deadpan of MST3K's Joel Hodgson. And then there's the deadpan of Evelyn Waugh:

"My boy has been injured in the foot," said Lady Circumference coldly.

"Dear me! Not badly, I hope? Did he twist his ankle in the jumping?"

"No," said Lady Circumference, "he was shot at by one of the assistant masters. But it is kind of you to inquire."

I can still recall my professor's joy when she read this passage to us. I doubt most of us "got it" past the point of a distracted snicker or two. Wow, though, do I get it now. It's subtle, but it's also like a cannon disguised as a lemonade stand.

To be sure, this novel requires that you allow yourself to ease into the rhythms and language and concerns of English school life, which may seem a bit alien to many of us. But once you are there, it is a delight to just relax, get to know Waugh's stable of eccentrics and then let the laughs wash up, out of and over you.

Although this book is lighter than air, the satire also cuts deeply, and as a result I find Waugh far more satisfying than, say, P. G. Wodehouse, who on the surface travels through similar realms. If you are overstressed, overtired or fear you have lost your sense of humor at the already-worn horrors of the 21st century, there are worse remedies than turning to this delightful novel.
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d901720) étoiles sur 5 School ties 9 juillet 2005
Par A.J. - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Evelyn Waugh's first novel "Decline and Fall" pops like a cork from a bottle of champagne. While many authors take years and volumes to find just the right tone, the 25-year-old Waugh, who had just published a biography of Dante Rossetti, seems to have had his literary concept perfectly in mind from the start and hit the ground running with this raucously funny yet astonishingly mature debut.

The hero (although Waugh would disagree with the term) is Paul Pennyfeather, a divinity student at Scone College, Oxford, who as the book begins is expelled for "indecent behavior" of which he is actually innocent, and is promptly disowned by his guardian over the shame educed by this incident. Now, in need of money, he searches for a job, and the only one he can get is a teaching position at a small boys' school located in a Welsh castle called Llanabba.

Llanabba, while not quite rivaling Dotheboys Hall of "Nicholas Nickleby," is a woefully undignified educational facility, an institution of incompetence. The headmaster is a crafty curmudgeon named Dr. Fagan, the butler Philbrick is a criminal who prospers by constantly falsifying his identity, and the boys are an undisciplined and ungifted lot. The other instructors seem to have been deposited there for having failed elsewhere: Mr. Prendergast, a clergyman who has left the Church because of "Doubts," and Captain Grimes, a maimed ex-soldier ("Think I lost it in the war," he tells Pennyfeather about his missing leg) who is continually "in the soup" but always manages to extricate himself.

Romance, or rather that badinage between the sexes that passes for romance in Waugh's world, turns out to be Pennyfeather's bane, initiating his misadventures in the second half of the novel. His engagement to marry the voluptuous Mrs. Beste-Chetwynde, the widowed mother of one of the Llanabba boys, is interrupted by his incarceration for unwittingly assisting her business of procuring prostitutes, one of whom is Grimes's wife; in prison he unsurprisingly encounters some old friends who can help him break free, and by the author's grace everything comes full circle in the end.

One of Waugh's many strengths is his ability to create a multitude of humorous characters out of completely original cloth. There is a family whose names are inspired by geometry: a Llanabba boy named Tangent and his mother, the globular Lady Circumference, whose boorish manners belie her title. The indirect cause of Pennyfeather's predicament, and his eventual savior, is the young dandy Sir Alistair Trumpington, who makes a major appearance in Waugh's later novel "Put Out More Flags." And the brainiest character in the novel is Otto Silenus, a young German architect with a philosophical outlook and a radical style who is hired by Mrs. Beste-Chetwynde to renovate her celebrated country house called King's Thursday.

Silenus's concluding metaphor about life--a spinning wheel on which some people are meant to be riders and the rest spectators--is not as silly as it sounds; it seems as if Waugh's authorial impulse is to exhibit the contrast between the two types of people and observe the comical results when the boundary is crossed.
35 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d901798) étoiles sur 5 Plausible Dark Comedy 14 juin 2000
Par Eugene G. Barnes - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Waugh's gift, so apparent in this novelette, is to fill his books with incident, but to do it in such a way that it never seems gratuitous. Who else could have a drunk misfire the starting pistol at a boy's school's games, have the bullet hit a poor kid's foot, cause the kind of damage that necessitates the removal of the foot, and still have us smiling at the audaciousness of it all? So don't worry, this slim little volume is a full meal, and a very satisfying one. Waugh is also economical - characters regularly return for yet another go at having an effect upon the fate of the main character (reminiscent of "Tom Jones"). T.S. Eliot lovers will also have a pleasant surprise waiting for them: Toward the end of the book, Waugh has a character explaining the meaning of life that sounds suspiciously like a passage from Eliot's "Four Quartets." But you don't have to know that, or anything else really, to get great pleasure from reading "Decline and Fall." Make it your next book.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d901b28) étoiles sur 5 Waugh the Master 18 avril 2003
Par David A. Riley - Publié sur
Format: Broché
In this story of Paul Pennyfather's disaster of a life Waugh takes his first satirical shots at just about every establishment and class in England at the time. Pennyfather suffers almost every possible misfortune though his life, from being sent down from university for indecent behaviour to imprisonment for white slave trading. Despite being innocent of all crime Paul allows misfortune and punishment to visit him almost unprotesting. It is as though Waugh punishes him for his insignificance and his lack of substance and that is his true crime. I am a huge fan of Waugh and find the satire and cutting wit outrageously funny, but beyond the humor there are more relevant messages for the society of his time and it's establishment figures. I cannot recommend any of Waugh's novels highly enough and this, his first, is no exception.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d901c60) étoiles sur 5 Some writers should learn from the master 23 septembre 2005
Par Alysson Oliveira - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Rarely does a debutant written such a novel with perfect pitch and right tone. Evelyn Waugh is one of those few talented people who can make an unforgettable impression with their very first work, "Decline and Fall". Book after book, he proved that this one was not a fluke and all the talent he promised here was confirmed later on.

As he tells halfway through the narrative, `the whole of this book is really an account of the mysterious disappearance of Paul Pennyfeather', and its pages tells us who is and what happened to the character. He is a strange man from the beginning when he is kicked out of college because of indecent exposure -not his fault, actually - and ends up forced to work as a schoolmaster.

In his new position Pennyfeather will meet many interesting characters that eventually will lead to his fall. These people - mostly Margot and her son Peter - will change his life, mostly for worse, until he disappears - but there is more in Waugh witty narrative.

With his main character, the writer depicted those kind of people who never acts, only reacts and therefore goes through the motions of life. Pennyfeather always seems to have a supporting role in his own life, and all the events that affects him take places much without his involvement.

Waugh's talent resides, among other places, in his ability to make ordinary situations become funny with his clever approach. For most of the time we don't laugh out loud, just smile, but when the laughs come they are unstoppable. With this device, the writer is making an acid critic of his society. Many contemporary writers who are desperate to make important and strong comments about our contemporary world should read Waugh and learn something from the master.
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