Friday, 24 February 2012

Dylan Thomas & Evelyn Waugh

From 'On Evelyn Waugh' by Joseph Epstein
New Criterion, April 1985

In his biography, Christopher Sykes reports Waugh’s strong aversion to Dylan Thomas, who used to appear from time to time at evenings at Cyril Connolly’s house. Waugh asked Connolly, in fact, never to invite him when he knew that Dylan Thomas was to be there. The reason, as Sykes explains, is that in Thomas—who dressed in checked suits resembling Waugh’s, whose language was like Waugh’s made up of parody and fantasy, who like Waugh again was small and portly, and who like Waugh still again was often drunk (though Waugh was not, like Thomas, a boisterous drunk)—in Thomas Evelyn Waugh saw a caricature of himself. “He’s exactly what I would have been,” Waugh told Sykes, “if I had not become a Catholic.”

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