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Labels: A Mediterranean Journal (20th Century Classics)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  77 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Evelyn Waugh chose the name "Labels" for his first travel book because, he said, the places he visited were already "fully labelled" in people's minds. Yet even the most seasoned traveller could not fail to be inspired by his quintessentially English attitude and by his eloquent and frequently outrageous wit. From Europe to the Middle East and North Africa, from Egyptian p ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published February 2nd 1995 by Penguin Classics (first published 1930)
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Dec 19, 2013 Nigeyb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently I have fully begun to appreciate the writing genius of Evelyn Waugh. I always realised he was good, but now I am starting to understand more fully his greatness. Throughout 2013 I have read, or reread, a number of his books, along with the splendid Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne. Having read all of his fiction, bar Sword of Honour, which I am poised to start, I was keen to sample some of Evelyn Waugh's non-fiction.

I am delighted to report that "Labe
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Dec 26, 2015 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as goldfinch-in-juice  ·  review of another edition

The only label I don’t like/object to is the label “label”. Take the following For Instance ::

Radio DJ :: So tell us, What kind of music do you play?

Band Member :: We don’t like to label our music. We just play what we feel.

Radio DJ :: But surely you can characterize your music. Is it Baroque or Romantic or Classical or Jazz or Be=Bop or Dixieland or Swing or Big Band or Soul or Blues or R&B or RockaBilly or Florida Death Metal or Gutenberg [sic!] Melodic Death Metal or Norwegian Black Metal
Dec 19, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 1930, “Labels” is Evelyn’s Waugh first travel book, which was followed in 1931 by the more well known “Remote People.” In both location and style, this is a more tentative – but certainly not a less enjoyable – book. Called “Labels” because all the places visited on his trip were fully labelled in travellers minds, it is obvious that Waugh is not off the beaten track. Indeed, he travels by train or on cruise ships, meets groups of tourists and often joins them on excursions. During ...more
Douglas Dalrymple
Feb 27, 2015 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I told him to drive me to the cathedral, but he took me instead to a house of evil character."

Waugh made a tour of the Mediterranean by ship in 1929 with noteworthy stops in Monaco, Naples, Sicily, Port Said, Cairo, Istanbul, Venice, Split, Algiers, Barcelona, and Gibraltar. All these places, or most of them at any rate, had been visited and visited, and written and written about, by just about every literate man, woman and child of the past hundred years. Everything, Waugh figured, had already
Mark Colenutt
Aug 23, 2013 Mark Colenutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not strictly a book on Spain as it touches other countries at the time. However, the great writer did visit Spain and left behind some surprisingly acute observation for such a short stint. For reason alone I recommend this publication to any Hispanophile keen to expand and compare their observations and learning of the country.

It is a gem of a book and its premise is masterly, namely to visit those countries in the Med that have already been 'labelled' as 'This' or 'That' and discover if such e
Andrew Darling
Sep 15, 2015 Andrew Darling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Evelyn Waugh was a young man, only twenty four and still apparently undecided on the direction his life should take, when his first book was published – a biographical study of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Five months later came his first novel, the exquisite Decline and Fall. Both books were well received, Decline and Fall especially so. In the same year, 1928, Waugh married his first wife, also named Evelyn (thereafter known in the Waugh circle as ‘She-Evelyn’). The public recognition h ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Katherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
*3.5 stars.
“...with his arrival begins the ignoble trade of manufacturing special trinkets for tourists, horrible paperweights of local wood or stone, ornaments of odious design, or bits of cheap jewellery for him to take back as souvenirs” (34-35).
“...he knows the exaltation of rising before daybreak and being overtaken by dawn many miles from where he slept…” (35).
“I still said no, and he went on to suggest other diversions rarely associated with Sunday morning” (44).
"I do not see how imitativ
Evelyn Waugh went to Paris and then took a Mediterranean cruise, visiting Egypt, the Holy Land, Crete and various Aegean islands, as well as Constantinople, Algeria and a few other places. Since none of these places were at all unfamiliar to his better-off readers, Waugh was obliged to present his travelogue as a personal memoir less concerned with the scenes through which he passed than with his own reactions and feelings to them, and to the whole business of travel as it obtained in 1929.

Maelle Picut
Jun 19, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waugh's wit remains as fresh as ever. A fun, quick read!
Nov 03, 2009 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is fun. Waugh travels around the Mediterranean in the late 1920s, during the early days of mass tourism. His comments on the places and process are often witty. His immaturity shows at times, and he spends far too long in one boring place (Port Said - he originally intended to write a whole book about the place and couldn't bear to "kill his baby"), but it's still a pleasure.
De Ongeletterde
Een leuk, onderhoudend reisboek, mij eigenlijk aangeraden door Paul Theroux in diens boek "De zuilen van Hercules"
Het boek bleek uiteindelijk niet zo makkelijk vindbaar, maar ik kocht het een jaar of zo geleden en nu dus eindelijk ook gelezen ;)
Jeroen Kraan
This was somewhat of a disappointment after Scoop. Waugh's wit is still present to some degree, but Labels has really become too dated to appreciate today, unless you have some specific interest in the mediterranean around 1930.
Seth Holler
Nov 19, 2012 Seth Holler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 30, 2007 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Entertaining description of travels through inter-war Europe.
Jul 11, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Englishman travels the Mediterranean. Lots of fun!
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Bright Young Things: "Labels: A Mediterranean Journal" by Evelyn Waugh 52 15 Jan 06, 2014 01:27PM  
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  • Journey Into Cyprus
  • Malaria Dreams: An African Adventure
  • Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars
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  • Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
  • On the Shores of the Mediterranean
  • Stalin's Nose: Across the Face of Europe
  • Travels: Collected Writings, 1950-1993
  • Travels in the Congo
  • Mediterranean Winter: The Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia and the Peloponnese
  • A Writer's House in Wales
  • The Inland Sea
  • The Southern Gates of Arabia: A Journey in the Hadhramaut
  • On Persephone's Island: A Sicilian Journal
  • The Gates of Damascus
  • African Silences
Evelyn Waugh's father Arthur was a noted editor and publisher. His only sibling Alec also became a writer of note. In fact, his book “The Loom of Youth” (1917) a novel about his old boarding school Sherborne caused Evelyn to be expelled from there and placed at Lancing College. He said of his time there, “…the whole of English education when I was brought up was to produce prose writers; it was al ...more
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“Every Englishman abroad, until it is proved to the contrary, likes to consider himself a traveller and not a tourist.” 9 likes
“He took a large tablet of beet sugar (an equivalent quantity of ordinary lump sugar does equally well) and soaked it in Angostura Bitters and then rolled it in Cayenne pepper. This he put into a large glass which he filled up with champagne. The excellences of this drink defy description.” 0 likes
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