Waugh Evelyn – Il caro estinto
Il caro estinto
The Loved One was written as a result of Evelyn Waugh’s trip to Hollywood in February and March 1947. In Hollywood, Waugh enjoyed meeting Charlie Chaplin and Walt Disney (“the two artists of the place”) but complained about the accommodations, the quality of food and the lack of wine at meals, the relaxed dress and informal manners, and the small talk of service workers – “the exact opposite of the English custom by which the upper classes are expected to ask personal questions of the lower”. His trip to Hollywood was successful, however, in a literary way. He wrote “I found a deep mine of literary gold in the cemetery of Forest Lawn and the work of the morticians and intend to get to work immediately on a novelette staged there.” Forest Lawn’s founder, Dr. Hubert Eaton, and his staff gave Waugh tours of the facility and introduced him to their field. Waugh also had a copy of Eaton’s book “Embalming Techniques”, which Waugh annotated with marginalia. As Waugh felt that the eschatological or apocalyptic implications he had intended in Brideshead Revisited had escaped many American readers, he was determined to highlight eschatological aspects of American society in The Loved One.