The History of Literature podcast

366 Evelyn Waugh (with Phil Klay)

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The English novelist Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was regarded by many as the most brilliant satirical novelist of his time. A self-proclaimed curmudgeon, for whom the Conservative Party was not conservative enough, Waugh converted to Catholicism in his twenties and never looked back. He resisted change in all areas of life, expressing the opinion that he wished he had been born two or three centuries earlier. At his best, he was darkly funny, using his misanthropy like a bright light to illuminate cracks and flaws in society's foundations, and using his pointed wit to skewer anyone and everyone he encountered, including himself. At his worst, he was a crazy quilt of what George Orwell called "untenable opinions," with all the racism and anti-semitism one might expect from a self-satisfied man of his era. In this episode, Jacke is joined by author Phil Klay to discuss Waugh's religion, military background, and his novel A Handful of Dust in particular. The two also discuss Klay's award-winning fiction, his writing process, what it means to be a Catholic writer in Waugh's time and our own, and the new podcast American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories, which Klay hosts. PHIL KLAY is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. His short story collection Redeployment won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times. His debut novel, Missionaries, was released in October 2020 with Penguin Press. Help support the show at or The History of Literature Podcast is a member of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate Network. Learn more at   *** This show is a part of the Podglomerate network, a company that produces, distributes, and monetizes podcasts. We encourage you to visit the website and sign up for our newsletter for more information about our shows, launches, and events. For more information on how The Podglomerate treats data, please see our Privacy Policy.  Since you're listening to The History of Literature, we'd like to suggest you also try other Podglomerate shows surrounding literature, history, and storytelling like Storybound, Micheaux Mission, and The History of Standup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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