Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Love Among the Ruins: A Romance of the Near Future" by Evelyn Waugh

Love Among the Ruins:  A Romance of the Near Future" by Evelyn Waugh (1953)

Recently Winstonsdad's Blog  announced an interesting reading project, Waugh Wednesday, which involves reading a work by the English author Evelyn Waugh (1903 to 1966-UK).    Waugh's best known works are the novels Decline and Fall and Brideshead .   (There is some background information on Waugh in my post on his 1936 short story, "Bella Fleace Gave a Party", a very funny gentle satire of the English upper crust.)    This post on "Love Among the Ruins-A Romance of the Near Future" (8 pages) is in support of Winstonsdad's great reading project.

"Love Among the Ruins-A Romance of the Near Future" is an interesting, kind of oddish Dystopian story set in England in the near future.   As the story opens the central character in the story, Miles Plastic, is nearing his release from prison.  He was a convicted arsonist.   It seems life is so bad on the outside that many people prefer prison to freedom.    Miles listens to lots of classical music in prison and is a lover of Tennyson.   There are some very funny descriptions of life in prison.   

When Miles gets out he gets a job at a euthanasia center.   There are a lot of interesting, thought provoking things in this story.   For example, women who wish to become professional ballerinas have to undergo sterilization as it is thought giving birth to a child erodes their abilities.   One of the biggest problems as the euthanasia center is the large number of people trying to sneak in for service!    You have to convince a government bureaucrat of the terrible life you have before you can be allowed to undergo  euthanasia.
The government also selects people who seem to have an attitude of some negative sort to undergo the process.   The drama of the story happens when Miles falls in love with a lady who has changed her mind about the process but it seems you cannot change your mind.   What happens next provides the development of the story.  

I would classify this as a fun story worth reading for the delightful prose style of Waugh and for his satirical touches.   

You can read this story online HERE

Mel u


wecallupon said...

I love his humour it is something people miss sometimes ,I ll look forward to getting to this story ,many thanks for supporting the project ,all the best stu

Mel u said...

Stu-my pleasure-if I can find more stories on line I will participate again!-great project-

Suko said...

This does sound like a fun story. I will read it soon--thanks for the link.