Monday, November 29, 2004

Tom Wolfe's new book, I am Charlotte Simmons, has been getting mugged by reviewers, so it's refreshing to come across a well-spoken defense like this one in the Wichita Eagle. I'm particularly grateful for the author's use of an Evelyn Waugh quote, in reference to Rudyward Kipling, whom Waugh said was "conservative in the sense that he believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defenses fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms."

What a perfect description of Waugh himself, among others.

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