Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
originally published in 1945
I’m rarely at a loss for words but Brideshead Revisited has thoroughly stumped me. I cannot put my finger on how I feel about this book. It took me the better part of half a year to read, so… that is certainly a point against it – but I also found it remarkable? I think it’s worth noting that my expectations going into this book were all wrong; I neither expected nor needed this to be an explicit romance between Charles and Sebastian, but I did expect Charles’ and Sebastian’s relationship (in whatever form) to provide this novel’s framework, and I couldn’t help but to find it occasionally aimless as a result – though that isn’t really a fair criticism. I also felt a bit “right book, wrong time” syndrome-y about this; I didn’t feel like I was in the right headspace to engage with it exactly the way it deserved (notably on a theological level). But that said, I did find it worthwhile and certain passages quite arresting. I think this book captures the feeling of nostalgia in a poignant and special way – it left me aching for a time that I never lived through. I’m definitely going to want to revisit this one day when I can give it the attention it deserves.