By Evelyn Waugh
Despatched down from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather embarks on a sequence of surprising adventures that commence in a minor public college and lead to one among HM prisons. during this, his first and funniest novel, Evelyn Waugh instantly stuck the ear of the general public together with his account of an ingenu in another country within the razzmatazz of Twenties excessive society.
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Additional info for Decline and Fall
D) And in the same book: Anyone who still judges ‘in this case everybody would have to act like this’ has not yet taken ﬁve steps toward self-knowledge. Otherwise he would know that there neither are nor can be actions that are the same; that every action that has ever been done was done in an altogether unique and irretrievable way, and that this will be equally true of every future action . . Yes, my friends, regarding all the moral chatter of some about others it is time to feel nauseous.
Could Nietzsche be imitating philosophy for satiric eﬀect? For laughs? If Nietzsche parodies philosophy through close-cleaved imitation, he would further several of his intellectual goals. He would undercut philosophy’s pretensions to absolute truth by sounding cocksure of himself while exposing grounds for doubt; would protect his own positions from charges of dogmatism by subverting the authority of all philosophers (himself included); and would stake a claim as one of the more ingenious stylists and original thinkers in Western history: a person who seriously pursued philosophy while he mocked it.
Higgins, Comic Relief: Nietzsche’s Gay Science (Oxford University Press, 2000), 123–26. Nietzsche’s ﬁrst known public use of the quotation appears as the lead for an essay on Diogenes, when he was a student in Leipzig in the mid 1860s. The subtitle: How One Becomes What One Is 45 and such bad taste to those who have nothing else to do but drag the past a few steps further through time and who never live in the present – which is to say the many, the great majority. We, however, want to become those we are – human beings who are new, unique, incomparable, who give themselves laws, who create themselves.
Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh