Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Last night I went to see the new film version of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited at the arts cinema in Huntington on Long Island.
I first read the book more than 30 years ago and was amazingly impressed by it.
I had quite forgotton the bit set in Marrakech.
Lo and behold, the whole sequence where Charles goes down to Morocco to find Sebastian is set in the Bahia Palace, one of my favorite places and one that loyal readers of this blog will be aware I have photographed every square inch of. It was within walking distance of the little house on derb Djedid.
So I sat there going "Ooh......Ooh...... look at that!" and so on in an irritating manner.
But it was wonderful to look at it again.
Anyway back to Brideshead. I do recommend you to see it - though this version seems rather sadder than I recall it.
Here Sebastian is presented as less charming and more doomed from the word go.
Of course, most of us will go just to drool at Oxford, Venice and Marrakech which dazzle us much as they dazzled Charles Ryder.
The choice of the Bahia Palace was a stroke of genius; it is so very dilapidated and decaying and so enchantingly beautiful -I think we are heading to heavy metaphor territory here.
Thinking decadence and decay, you might read or see Thomas Mann's Death in Venice.
La Grand Meaulness by Alain Fournier is wonderful on theme of ordinary people being seduced by beautiful places.