Monday, March 14, 2016

Life imitating art …

… Donald Trump -- Evelyn Waugh’s Rex Mottram Prefigured Him, Remarkably. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

He has a kind of strange charm, as if completely unaware of his essential vulgarity and gaucheness. He’s successful, by a certain measure of success: “I make money work for me. I expect fifteen, twenty per cent and I get it.” And he can be useful, for Rex at his best Gets Things Done: He’s a fixer, and life has taught him that there is very little that money and connections to the Right People can’t fix. Yet even when he proves himself useful, a man who can “rejoice in his efficiency,” he overplays the role: As the novel’s protagonist and narrator, Charles Ryder, puts it, “in his kindest moments Rex displayed a kind of hectoring zeal as if he were thrusting as vacuum cleaner on an unwilling housewife.”

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