Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Jun 6, 2012

Brideshead Revisited: Dream of Lost Nobility

Filed under: Reading — admin @ 12:39 am

During the week of 4/23 when my daughter was with her school team in Albuquerque, NM, I read the novel Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. The book was chosen by Time magazine as one of the one hundred best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.

The novel touches many themes, like Catholicism, old English nobility, wasted youth, etc. What strikes me most is the feeling of emptiness in the lives of members of this decedent noble family.

It reminds me of sayings like “young and foolish” or “young and stupid.” The youthful years seem to be the time for idleness and purposeless and drifting away like rootless weeds.

The young characters in the novel remind me of the main characters in Chinese novel The Dream of Red Chamber, who never have to make a living and who fool away their lives as if there were no tomorrow.

To be honest, I didn’t finish the 340-page novel, even if the language is rather beautiful. I must be too realistic or practical to indulge in any dream of lost nobility.

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