Decline and Fall of the architect
There is much entertainment to be had in the BBC’s adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel ‘Decline and Fall’.
There is much entertainment to be had in the BBC’s adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel ‘Decline and Fall’. The comedy, while excellent, is rather broad, not least in the depiction of Otto Silenus. This architect, who has reimagined the home of the fascinating though amoral Margot, is a Teutonic figure in Corb specs, who says that he hates this house and all houses. ‘Only factories are beautiful,’ he argues.
He hates the fact that his client insisted on a staircase, which ruins the lines of the building. He professes not to understand why anybody needs to go to the upper level and if they must, could they not have a lift on the outside of the building? This architect is obsessed with nudity and with drawing prostitutes. He is unappealing, stereotyped – and very funny.
When so many other characters are guyed – school teachers, spinsters, drunks, white slavers – one need hardly jump to defend the architect.