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Put out more flags: a novel par Evelyn Waugh
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Put out more flags: a novel (édition 1967)

par Evelyn Waugh

MembresCritiquesPopularitéÉvaluation moyenneMentions
1,0921414,959 (3.69)41
Upper-class scoundrel Basil Seal, mad, bad, and dangerous to know, creates havoc wherever he goes, much to the despair of the three women in his life-his sister, his mother, and his mistress. When Neville Chamberlain declares war on Germany, it seems the perfect opportunity for more action and adventure. So Basil follows the call to arms and sets forth to enjoy his finest hour-as a war hero. Basil's instincts for self-preservation come to the fore as he insinuates himself into the Ministry of Information and a little-known section of Military Security. With Europe frozen in the "phoney war," when will Basil's big chance to fight finally arrive?… (plus d'informations)
Membre:ahblake
Titre:Put out more flags: a novel
Auteurs:Evelyn Waugh
Info:London, Chapman & Hall, 1967.
Collections:Blansell Library
Évaluation:
Mots-clés:Aucun

Information sur l'oeuvre

Hissez le grand pavois par Evelyn Waugh

  1. 00
    Miss Bunting par Angela Thirkell (thorold)
    thorold: Quite apart from the appalling pun in Thirkell's title, it's pretty obvious that Waugh and Thirkell enjoyed each other's books. It's fun comparing their approaches to the wartime home-front situation.
  2. 00
    Pas un Mot à l'Ambassadeur par Nancy Mitford (shaunie)
    shaunie: Waugh goes deeper into human emotions in his best book, but the two authors are otherwise very similar and great fun. These books both move along at a cracking pace.
  3. 00
    La capitulation par Evelyn Waugh (John_Vaughan)
  4. 00
    Officiers et gentlemen par Evelyn Waugh (John_Vaughan)
  5. 00
    Grandeur et décadence par Evelyn Waugh (John_Vaughan)
  6. 00
    Sensation ! par Evelyn Waugh (John_Vaughan)
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» Voir aussi les 41 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 14 (suivant | tout afficher)
Waugh begins with two quotes from Lin Yutang's The Importance of Living. Interestingly, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank used the epigraph as a critique of President Trump's February 2018 plans to hold a "grand military parade" in Washington. Yutang's epigraph provides Waugh's title:A man getting drunk at a farewell party should strike a musical tone, in order to strengthen his spirit . . . and a drunk military man should order gallons and put out more flags in order to increase his military splendor.A second quote from Yutang applies equally to the work of Waugh and Trump:A little injustice in the heart can be drowned by wine; but a great injustice in the world can be drowned only by the sword.Yet Milbank's critique of Trump refers to the Classical Roman triumphal parades, sans the ego check:There’s only one problem with this plan, as I see it. In the Roman triumph, a slave would ride with the general in his chariot and repeatedly whisper into his ear, “Memento mori”: Remember, you are mortal. For our parading president, this could be a dealbreaker.The Evelyn Waugh Society was chuffed that Put Out More Flags got a guernsey. But here is the "dealbreaker" for comparing the theme of Waugh's story with contemporary conflicts: Waugh's characters all act like petty scammers and nepotists during the Phoney War, but by the time the conflict begins, and reality hits the first casualty, we see a change of heart as the characters step up and do their duty. Nonetheless, the period before the evacuation of Dunkirk and the ensuing Battle of Britain was remarkably un-warlike. Waugh captures this time satirically. I was confused about the theme of this work and so I turned to John Chamberlain's 1942 review in The New York Times. Chamberlain wrote:[The story] starts out as a wicked satire in the well-known Waugh manner and ends up as a morality play.I rather thought it otherwise - that Waugh was looking at human nature when there was nothing to lose, versus once the first blood is spilt. Once our first war casualty appears, everyone except the author rushes to become a commando or refuses a commission so they can serve as private soldiers. Otherwise, they are all silver-tails who try to gain obscure roles in safe office jobs. There is one scene, however, where the author is exiled to Ireland, that reminds me of the present. Basil Seal, in his attempt to increase his tenuous status in the bureaucracy, accuses the author of being a Nazi (a situation which Basil himself orchestrated). This results in the author's exile and I watched the movie Trumbo immediately after finishing the book. To be un-American (or indeed, un-Australian) seems to be a timeless farce. Chamberlain thought the change in attitude of the elites rather absurd, that it was not "good Waugh". Yet the book remains a classic, with Bridey Heing writing for Pank Magazine in 2015 claiming that:...telling a story that is humorous without making a joke of war itself can be extremely difficult [and] Put Out More Flags is laugh-out-loud funny, and the humor being at the expense of the war industry makes that laughter cathartic. I certainly didn't laugh out loud, but I intend to read more of Waugh's work. Once I started, I barely put this book down. This is the first Evelyn Waugh novel I have read, and I have A Handful of Dust to read next. ( )
  madepercy | Dec 26, 2018 |
The general image of Britain at the beginning of the second World War is very different from the polite, quietly ridiculous society portrayed here. The story follows an aging rascal (Basil, who I came to hate), his aristocratic family, and his friend Ambrose, a flamboyantly gay writer. The talk is witty, the characters vivid, and the plot mostly serves to show how wrong all the experts where when it came time for war. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Just as acerbic as Vile Bodies but less charming; just as morally outraged as Sword of Honour but with less pathos; Put Out More Flags falls uncomfortably between two stools. It bruises its rump, and retreats into an air of umbrage that undermines the humour, frequently. It's an appropriate document of the "phony war" in that sense, embodying-not-just-depicting a lot of the pettiness and irrelevance of an interwar Britain that hadn't yet cottoned on to the fact that the war was no longer "inter." And as a result it's cool in the last pages how all that falls away (goodbye, all that!) as everyone starts to catch up and understand that they've entered a time to try their souls. A purification, but one with ironic bite when you know about Waugh's own history in the war--this book was written in 1942, after a couple of bungled attempts on his part to nobly give his all to make the world safe for patrician constitutional toffness, but when the victory still hung in the balance and he still had hopes of reaching his apotheosis. There would be more bungles, and a deeper disillusionment devastatingly chronicled in Sword of Honour, which makes this book seem small--a blinkered smallness mistaking itself for realism, the Chamberlain to Sword of Honour's (cos albeit the man was a warmonger and war criminal, a racist and a glutton, and we reject big man history and find the Allied win in the overwhelming industrial economics of the thing, he was still in some wise a titan) Churchill. ( )
1 voter MeditationesMartini | Dec 7, 2015 |
Evelyn Waugh's look at the first year of Britain's involvement in WW2 revolves around Basil Seal. Seal and his friends & family are typical Waugh characters and his depiction of the Ministry of Information was hilarious! It is an interesting look at how many Brits felt at the beginning of the war, an attitude easily forgotten in the events that followed ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 23, 2014 |
I recently read, and very much enjoyed Sword of Honour, like this book, Sword of Honour is a satirical novel about the Second World War.

The books that comprise the Sword of Honour trilogy were written in the 1950s and 1960s when Evelyn Waugh was able to put the Second World War into some kind of perspective. Sword of Honour also happens to be one of Evelyn Waugh's masterpieces.

Put Out More Flags, an earlier war novel, opens in the autumn of 1939 and all takes place during the twelve months of the war. It was published in 1942.

I have read most of Evelyn Waugh's major works now, and, as usual, the quality of the writing is a pleasure. The story follows the wartime activities of characters introduced in Waugh's earlier satirical novels Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies and Black Mischief.

The uncertainty and confusion of the so-called "phoney war" are brilliantly evoked, and - as is so often the case - the satire and humour are very black. Basil Seal, who readers may recall from Black Mischief, is the star of the show. His opportunism creating all manner of mischief for those he runs into, and his scam involving a troublesome family of evacuated children sums him up perfectly. To suggest this book is full of humour would be misleading: one scene involving the troubled and tragic Cedric Lyne visiting his estranged wife Angela, with their son Nigel, for once impressed by him in his army uniform, is absolutely dripping with sadness and melancholy, and demonstrates Waugh's extraordinary skill.

Overall the book felt slightly uneven and a bit rushed. There is much to admire and enjoy, however I conclude this is one of Evelyn Waugh's less successful novels (against his exceptionally high standards). It's of most interest to Waugh completists (of whom I am definitely one) and should not be prioritised ahead of his key works: (Brideshead Revisited, Sword of Honour, Decline and Fall, and A Handful of Dust. ( )
  nigeyb | Mar 8, 2014 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 14 (suivant | tout afficher)
For my money, Waugh is the greatest stylistic craftsman of the 20th century. Tone-deaf to music, he was pitch-perfect when it came to the music of the English language. I love the limpidness of his writing, its shocking clarity. Put Out More Flags is as tightly constructed — point and counterpoint — as a baroque fugue.
 
[Put Out More Flags} is the best record I have read of England in the first year of the Second War. In it, at the very height of his powers, Waugh somehow fuses the savage, deadly comedy of his earlier books with the ominous seriousness of his later ones. . . . If I'm not mistaken, Put Out More Flags is the greatest of Evelyn Waugh's great novels. As such, it deserves to be revived and reread as long as we read English
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (3 possibles)

Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Evelyn Waughauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Brabant, Georges-PhilippeTraducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Maloney, MichaelNarratorauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Spivey, NigelIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Spivey, Nigel JonathanIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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A man getting drunk at a farewell party should strike a musical tone, in order to strengthen his spirit . . . and a drunk military man should order gallons and put out more flags in order to increase his military splendour.

--Chinese Sage, quoted and translated by Lin Yutang in The Importance of Living.

A little injustice in the heart can be drowned by wine; but a great injustice in the world can be drowned only by the sword.

--Epigrams of Chang Ch'ao; quoted and translated by Lin Yutang in The Importance of Living.
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In the week which preceded the outbreak of the Second World War -- days of surmise and apprehension which cannot, without irony, be called the last days of "peace" -- and on the Sunday morning when all doubts were finally resolved and misconceptions corrected, three rich women thought first and mainly of Basil Seal.
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[Spoken by Ambrose Silk:]
"To the Chinese scholar the military hero was the lowest of human types, the subject for ribaldry. We must return to Chinese scholarship."
[Thought by Cedric Lyne:]
The great weapons of modern war did not count in single lives; it took a whole section to make a target worth a burst of machine-gun fire; a platoon or a motor lorry to be worth a bomb. No one had anything against the individual; as long as he was alone he was free and safe; there's danger in numbers; divided we stand, united we fall, thought Cedric, striding happily towards the enemy, shaking from his boots all the frustration of corporate life. He did not know it but he was thinking exactly what Ambrose had thought when he announced that culture must cease to be conventual and become coenobitic.
"No one ever suspects a soldier of taking a serious interest in the war."
"We can't go arresting people for what they say in a private conversation in a café. I've no doubt we shall come to that eventually, but at the present stage of our struggle for freedom, it just can't be done."
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Upper-class scoundrel Basil Seal, mad, bad, and dangerous to know, creates havoc wherever he goes, much to the despair of the three women in his life-his sister, his mother, and his mistress. When Neville Chamberlain declares war on Germany, it seems the perfect opportunity for more action and adventure. So Basil follows the call to arms and sets forth to enjoy his finest hour-as a war hero. Basil's instincts for self-preservation come to the fore as he insinuates himself into the Ministry of Information and a little-known section of Military Security. With Europe frozen in the "phoney war," when will Basil's big chance to fight finally arrive?

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