One of the reasons I’m not blogging very much at the moment is because I’m working my way through the TV version of Brideshead Revisited. It really is probably the most perfect screen adaption of any novel ever. The only possible fault is Anthony Andrews’ Sebastian. He’s a bit too spoilt and self pitying.
My favorite characters are Cordelia (with her pig Francis Xavier and her black Cordelia babies) and the elder Mr Ryder: “Your friend who was ill. Did he die?” “No father.” “I’m so glad. I worried so much about him…” Mr Ryder is up there with Jane Austen’s Mr Bennett or Mr Woodhouse as comic father figures, and the grotesque Anthony Blanche counts as one of the most uniquely hilarious and revolting fictional characters every created.
The scenes in Venice, Oxford and Brideshead capture the book perfectly, and each character is played to precision.
Waugh referred to Brideshead as he was writing it as his G.E.M (Great English Masterpiece) One of the best things about the book is that it portrays very flawed Catholics (as well as a few saints) with total realism, and conveys Catholicism as something that is first of all true–and not primarily attractive for superficial reasons.
I could say more, but I must prepare RCIA for this week. It’s on confession.