Put Out More Flags
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|Publisher||Chapman and Hall|
|Followed by||Brideshead Revisited|
Put Out More Flags, the sixth novel by Evelyn Waugh, was first published by Chapman and Hall in 1942. The novel is set during the first year of the Second World War, and follows the wartime activities of characters introduced in Waugh's earlier satirical novels Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies and Black Mischief. The title of the novel comes from the saying of an anonymous Chinese sage, quoted and translated by Lin Yutang in The Importance of Living (1937).
The dormant conflict of the phoney war is reflected in the activity of the novel's main characters. Earnest would-be soldier Alistair Trumpington finds himself engaged in incomprehensible manoeuvres instead of real combat, while Waugh's recurring ne'er-do-well Basil Seal finds ample opportunity for amusing himself in the name of the war effort.
Put Out More Flags is dedicated to Randolph Churchill, who found a service commission for Waugh during the Second World War.
Jonathan Raban described the novel as being "as tightly constructed — point and counterpoint — as a baroque fugue", while L. E. Sissman argues that Put Out More Flags represents a turning point in Waugh's authorial career: "Waugh somehow fuses the savage, deadly comedy of his earlier books with the ominous seriousness of his later ones".
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