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Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One – Conference I, Part 1

In order for a Catholic writer to reach a wide audience with his Catholic message, he must rarely mention the faith. There are many for whom the mention of religion sends them out of the room, the very ones who may most need the message most. And for those whom religion is a topic of interest, they only want something light and moving. Thus, The Loved One meets both of these obstacles: it is Catholic without saying it is Catholic and carries messages of deep religious meaning. Evelyn Waugh was invited to Hollywood to negotiate the making of Brideshead Revisited into a movie. The talks failed. While there he was taken to visit Forest Lawn Cemetery, the famous final resting place of the movie industries brightest stars. It told him everything he needed to know about Tinsel Town. It inspired the book. He sets out to make five points: Over excitement (exaggeration), the Anglo American impasse (we have nothing in common), no such thing as an American (we are all foreigners), the European raiders, and memento morte (thought of death.) He warns his readers in the beginning of the book not to read the book. Do not take his advice. Read the book.

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