27 August 2008

The Thing

'So you see we're a mixed family religiously. Brideshead and Cordelia are both fervent Catholics; he's miserable, and she's bird-happy; Julia and I are half-heathen, I am happy, I rather think Julia isn't; mummy is popularly believed to be a saint and papa is excommunicated-- and I wouldn't know which of them was happy. Anyway, however you look at it, happiness doesn't seem to have much to do with it, and that's all I want. ... I wish I liked Catholics more.'

'They seem just like other people.'

'My dear Charles, that's exactly what they're not-- particularly in this country, where they're so few. It's not just that they're a clique-- as a matter of fact, they're at least four cliques all blackguarding each other half the time-- but they've got an entirely different outlook on life; everything they think important is different from other people. They try and hide it as much as they can, but it comes out all the time. It's quite natural, really, that they should. But you see it's difficult for semi-heathens like Julia and me.'
Eveyln Waugh, Brideshead Revisited


Ken said...

Exactly! Catholics are called to be ... different! I recently re-read Brideshead for, oh, the 20th time, preparing for that abomination of a movie that just came out, and this quote above was one of the 1,000 I remember so clearly that stand out each time I read it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Such a great book. Such a great television miniseries. Such a travesty of a film adaptation this summer.

StGuyFawkes said...

I've not seen the movie but I gather the recent adaptation failed to understand anything Waugh was saying with regards to the Faith.

Evidence of this failure (and the general failure of liberal Catholicism) can be found at the CAN website for youth, where some "bright young thing" reviewed the recent movie and understood not one thing about Waugh's intent. Please everyone take a look at the following link to find how easy it is to misunderstand Waugh.