Joseph's Reviews > Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
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Aug 26, 10

bookshelves: fiction
Read from August 01 to 19, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 2

I'm trying, and failing, to imagine whatever might have compelled anyone to try to teach this book in a high school English class. I still have the copy of Brideshead Revisited that I was using in my 1993 English class, and while I have vague memories of not liking the book, my handwritten notes make it perfectly plain that I wasn't even remotely ready to read the book.

To be totally truthful, there are still parts of the novel I don't totally understand. For whatever reason, the social mores of a hundred years ago are far more incomprehensible than those of four hundred or a thousand years ago. But to expect a high schooler to think critically about lost innocence and the betrayal of one's youthful ideals seems more than a little ridiculous.

Reading it now, I appreciated Waugh's work a lot more. Humorous and melancholy, his writing reminds me of both what it was like to be young, imagining a sort of everlasting omnipotence, and what it's like to be older, regretting not only that loss, but having been foolish enough to believe in it in the first place.
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