We are assembled here tonight to celebrate the publication of A SCRIBBLER IN SOHO, A Celebration of Auberon Waugh, whose early death at the age of 61, shook the establishment to its very core.
Here is a brief introduction I made to remember a man I met who had no equal in my view.
The death of Auberon Waugh radically changed my life. Since meeting him he rapidly became my cherished friend, my mentor in many ways and above all, a man the likes of whom one rarely encounters, for his wit, his charming contrariness and his vision of a world which to him was an amalgam of insanity and impertinence.
From the sublime to the ridiculous, he used words as an art form and described situations to make them an artifact and comical works of distinction. His passion when challenged could be deadly, yet it was only acceptable because of the way he weaved it. His loyalty to friends was unsurpassable and his rancour with foes was legendary. Reading his writing was always a joy and often a work of genius. Yet kindness was to be found lurking behind the comically harsh way he expressed himself, always making light of the hypocrisy as he encountered it.
I miss him, especially when I see the mediocrity of today’s state of affairs and wonder what a field day Bron would have had describing these events in his unique way. When I look around, no one today is his equal in this respect.
This book about Bron is merely a small testimony to what a giant he was. His memory will never leave me, for I had the privilege of knowing him so well, enjoying his company and can still recall so many of his outbursts of indescribable words of wisdom, varnished so to speak in a motley of hilarity.
When I thought of publishing A Scribbler in Soho part of my intention was to create a book which would allow a new generation of readers to discover just how funny and original Bron’s writings could be.
It is beholden on all of us here tonight to further that intention by buying multiple copies, and spread the Gospel according to Auberon Waugh – using our credit cards if necessary – all around this land which Bron so cherished and defended so mightily. May God bless him!