Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited: Sites of Memory and Tradition

Authors

  • Carlos Sánchez Fernández Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26754/ojs_misc/mj.20226848

Keywords:

Brideshead Revisited, sites of memory, communities of memory, tradition, English Catolicism

Abstract

In this article, it is my intention to analyse two theoretical notions related to space, namely Pierre Nora’s idea of the site of memory and Gaston Bachelard’s thoughts on space and the house, as applied to Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited (1945). I base my analysis on the symbolic value of the English country house with regard to the interwar English aristocracy and upper classes as depicted in this novel; that is, as a site of memory. I consider the point of view of three characters: Charles Ryder, the novel’s first-person narrator, Lord Sebastian Flyte, Ryder’s intimate friend, and Lord Marchmain, Sebastian’s father, who triggers the novel’s sudden and unexpected ending through his deathbed conversion to Roman Catholicism, his family’s creed. My conclusion links the decline of aristocratic and Christian ideals with the disappearance of communities of memory and their traditions after the Second World War.

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Published

2022-06-13

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Section

ARTICLES: Literature, film and cultural studies