Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Letters from a Young Lady of Leisure

Evelyn Waugh’s short stories are superb – brimming with effervescent dialogue, with a strangely attractive strain of black humour running through them. But among them, there is one perfect little story: Cruise: Letters from a Young Lady of Leisure.

Cruise is feather-light and incorrigibly frivolous. It is structural perfection, giddy delight. “Clarissa shrunk in the wash” is how Ann Pasternak Slater describes Cruise in the introduction to the Everyman edition – a description almost as delightful as the story itself.

So, in the first letter, the Young Lady of Leisure is writing about how to avoid seasickness:

The thing is not to have a bath and to be very slow in all movements.
And I’m thinking: I knew lots of people back in our college hostel who lived their lives on those principles.


Priyanka said...

Pass on when done? I will return also. Promise.

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

I want too! Just a link to the story would suffice for teh timebeing, though. Any idea where I can find it?

Quaker is a prude said...

hmmmmm, i can think of a few people too.

Quaker is a Slut said...

So can I.... so can I... :)

EvolutioN said...

i wish you blog more often!


Sroyon said...

@Priyanka & Shrabasti: Sorry, the book wasn't mine to lend. BCL property, which has now been returned. I managed to find the story online, but it looks like a dubious sort of site, the here-today-gone-tomorrow type. [link]

@Anuj & Lahiri: Why am I am not surprised.

@Evo: I blog often enough! Six posts a week, on average. Any more, and my long-suffering readers would be pleading for mercy.

EvolutioN said...

@ Sroyon

Twice a day!


Sroyon said...

You ask too much. :) And correction: six posts a month, is what I meant to write.

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Thank you thank you for the link. The story's lovely. Read some others too. :)