April 25th, 2009 / 8:16 pm
Power Quote

Power Quote: Evelyn Waugh

cindy-sherman

“Women are an enigma,” said Grimes, “as far as Grimes is concerned.”

— Decline and Fall (1928)

I’m tempted to think ‘meta-fictional,’ though Waugh has excised himself from the enterprise. Referring to oneself in the third person, as Grimes has done, is not exclusively the domain of literature or the schizophrenic.¬†Waugh is outside of the joke here, and it’s not between the reader or the words. The joke — the brilliant joke — lies between Grimes and the very syntax with which he is rendered. “Women are an enigma, as far as I’m concerned,” would be the natural and un-Waugh way to go. The objective assertion of “said Grimes” is completely undone when said Grimes (geez this is getting complicated), within that very assertion (Waugh’s), attempts to assert himself what he, Grimes, is saying. In short, a fictional character has tried to write himself in the same sentence. And no, I’m not high on caffeine; I’m low on vitamin D. I’ve been home all Saturday looking for quotes.

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6 Comments

  1. drew

      i just finished the loved one by waugh. his books are hysterical.

  2. drew

      i just finished the loved one by waugh. his books are hysterical.

  3. Jonny Ross

      Or you take away the quotations and the ownership clause and it becomes a thought narration.

  4. Jonny Ross

      Or you take away the quotations and the ownership clause and it becomes a thought narration.

  5. Jimmy Chen

      i’m confused but i trust you

  6. Jimmy Chen

      i’m confused but i trust you