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The problem of charm

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  • miketee02
    It has been remarked by others that the idea of charm seems to be close to central to Waugh s Brideshead. The word itself crops up too often to be merely a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 19, 2006
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      It has been remarked by others that the idea of 'charm' seems to be
      close to central to Waugh's Brideshead. The word itself crops up too
      often to be merely a coincidence. There is a voice crying in the
      wilderness about this charm and its dangers. The voice is of course,
      that of Anthony Blanche. Blanche sees things very clearly, certainly
      as far as Ryder's artistry is concerned. He claims that this
      aesthetic acuity is due to his being cosmopolitan, rather than just
      English. One of the things he sees is that 'charm' is a peculiarly
      English thing. He can't possibly mean that other nationalities are
      NOT charming - can he?
      Is there not, in fact, much more Englishness in Blanche than he
      himself realises? Otherwise, e.g., why attend Oxford, an English
      university rather than, say, the Sorbonne? More importantly, what
      IS 'charm'? It has been pointed out that charm can mean the weaving
      of spells as well as graciousness and good manners. Does that mean
      the English are the only ones who can cast spells? Is there really
      nothing good to say about charm, as Blanche seems to imply? Or are
      there different kinds of charm, rather as there types of e.g., pride -
      vain, puffed up as opposed to pride in a job well done.
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