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{Read Epub} à A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement ⚠ eBook or Kindle ePUB free

{Read Epub} í A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement á Anthony Powell S Universally Acclaimed Epic Encompasses A Four Volume Panorama Of Twentieth Century London Hailed By Time As Brilliant Literary Comedy As Well As A Brilliant Sketch Of The Times, A Dance To The Music Of Time Opens Just After World War I Amid The Fever Of The S And The First Chill Of The S, Nick Jenkins And His Friends Confront Sex, Society, Business, And Art In The Second Volume They Move To London In A Whirl Of Marriage And Adulteries, Fashions And Frivolities, Personal Triumphs And Failures These Books Provide An Unsurpassed Picture, At Once Gay And Melancholy, Of Social And Artistic Life In Britain Between The Wars Arthur Schlesinger, Jr The Third Volume Follows Nick Into Army Life And Evokes London During The Blitz In The Climactic Final Volume, England Has Won The War And Must Now Count The Losses Four Very Different Young Men On The Threshold Of Manhood Dominate This Opening Volume Of A Dance To The Music Of Time The Narrator, Jenkins A Budding Writer Shares A Room With Templer, Already A Passionate Womanizer, And Stringham, Aristocratic And Reckless Widermerpool, As Hopelessly Awkward As He Is Intensely Ambitious, Lurks On The Periphery Of Their World Amid The Fever Of The S And The First Chill Of The S, These Four Gain Their Initiations Into Sex, Society, Business, And Art Considered A Masterpiece Of Modern Fiction, Powell S Epic Creates A Rich Panorama Of Life In England Between The Wars Includes These Novels A Question Of Upbringing A Buyer S MarketThe Acceptance World Wisdom is the power to admit that you cannot understand and judge the people in their entiretyAnthony Powell, A Dance to the Music of Time 1st Movement The First Movement SPRING contains the following three novels 1 A Question of Upbringing A Dance to the Music of Time, 1 read January 28, 20162 A Buyer s Market A Dance to the Music of Time 2 read February 1, 20163 The Acceptance World A Dance to the Music of Time, 3 read February 9 , 2016I read these three novels starting in January 2016 and ending February 9., 2016 I roughly wanted to read one a month which makes rational sense I guess , but consistency is not entirely my bag I ve hyperlinked to my original reviews of each book Book 1 s review is a bit light and doesn t follow the pattern I picked up in book 2, and subsequently followed in each of the other 11 books I probably need to go back and fix that. I ve been meaning for some time to post a review of Dance to the Music of Time, which is pretty much my favorite book ever, but it s hard to know where to start If you ve read it, you know it s a masterpiece, and anything I say is irrelevant If you haven t read it, I m faced with the daunting task of persuading you that it s worth your time to get through it Not only is it 12 volumes long, but everyone calls Powell the English Proust Why read some inferior Proust wannabe when you can get the real thing The above notwithstanding, if you are the kind of person who likes long novels, you will probably find Dance an unforgettable trip, irrespective of whether or not you have read Proust I have read both of them than once, and, although there are similarities, there are also huge differences Let s start with the style Proust, of course, is famous for those incredibly long sentences, but, try as I will, I can only bring myself to be half enthusiastic about them OK, every now and then you are stunned by the syntactic elegance and perfect balance Rather often, unfortunately, it feels like a really impressive Jenga tower you are amazed that it can stand upright, but everyone has to tiptoe around the room as long as the game is in progress Proust readers will all be familiar with the maddening phenomenon of being close to the end of a 500 word sentence when something interrupts your train of thought, and you have to go back to the beginning, losing 15 precious minutes that you will never see again In a perfect world, the police would regularly check GoodReads, and divert noisy traffic away from the Proust readers who d asked for this service even with Obama coming in, it s not going to happen any time soon Powell s sentences are satisfyingly long and elegant, but he doesn t go to the absurd lengths that Proust does, and you can for example read them when small children are playing in the vicinity.Still on style, I hope will not offend the hard core Proust fans when I say that he s not usually that funny There are of course comic passages, some of them very good I m particularly thinking of the Duchesse de Guermantes and all her witty remarks But on the whole, the tone is quite gloomy So, when reading Proust, not only do you have to make sure you re alert and not being distracted, you also shouldn t be feeling too down One begins to see why it s significantly harder to reach the end of Le Temps Retrouv e than, say, the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Dance, in contrast, is basically a comic novel it s amusing most of the time, in a very dry, understated English way that definitely grows on you as the story progresses and the author builds up and possibilities for complex irony based on the past histories of the characters If you re still thinking of it as basically like Proust, you may have trouble believing me, but I assure you that Powell can cheer you up when you are unhappy It s that different.Moving on to content, another major difference is that Powell characters inhabit a world that recognizably has some connection to the one most of us inhabit In Proust, no one has anything as mundane as a job, and people spent most of their time attending fancy parties, agonizing about whether they can arrange to be presented to members of the French nobility, appreciating immortal works of art, and getting laid at houses of ill repute I really liked Jessica s comment that SHE wanted to have that kind of life If only A lot of Powell s characters are from the English upper classes, but they do mostly end up working for a living, getting married, having children, and doing other things readers will find familiar You aren t constantly having to apply your internal cultural translator, and figuring out what the thing Proust is talking about might correspond to in your own dull, bourgeois existence.I m sorry if this review has so far has a defensive tone, but I ve been saving the really good stuff for the end The thing that makes Dance brilliant rather than just very good is the character development, which is simply unequaled in any other novel I have come across Usually, when the novelist wants the reader to significantly change the way they see a character over the course of the book, he has technical problems because he needs to fit it all into the three to five hundred pages he has at his disposal Hence all the tiresome foreshadowing that so often spoils the book, and makes it seem so unlike real life I love Christina Ricci s comments about foreshadowing at the beginning of The Opposite of Sex Because Powell is working on such a huge canvas, he can do without all that crap The first time you meet Stringham, he is so funny, charming and witty that, just like the narrator, you are completely bowled over He does perhaps seem a bit impulsive and irresponsible, but that is all part of the charm Similarly, Widmerpool first comes over as a complete idiot In retrospect, one does wonder whether it really was so funny for Stringham to make a prank call that got his teacher arrested, and you also see that the absurdly over earnest way in which Widmerpool sorts out the quarrel over the tennis match at the French pension pointed towards something But Powell s touch is so light that I never suspected anything at the time The next time you see them, you are just a little surprised that Stringham seems to have become rather thoughtless, but you ascribe that to the exhalted social circles he moves in and when you see that Widmerpool has landed himself a better job than you expected, you don t really pay much attention to it, particularly after he, once again, manages to cover himself in ridicule by knocking over his employer s flower pots while reversing his car It s only when you ve got many hundreds of pages into the series that it starts coming together Stringham is drinking far too much it s not funny any , at least not most of the time Widmerpool, on the other hand, suddenly has acquired some real power, without you quite being able to see how it happened This is exactly how you experience it in real life Some of the people you worshiped when you were a teenager have turned out to be hopeless failures others, whom you laughed at, have somehow become very successful You can t quite reconcile the two views some of the time, you accept them at their new value, and some of the time they still seem like morons Powell succeeds perfectly in presenting all these contradictions, without ever seeming even to work up a sweat It just flows naturally from the narrative.Well I probably still haven t managed to convince you to read Dance But think about it As an unrefined youth up until last year or so when someone said Jane Austen s novels were all about manners, I d wonder how it was she could have filled whole books with talk about fork placement and ballroom protocol It finally dawned on me that they must have meant manners in a broader sense prevailing customs, ways of living that sort of thing If my new interpretation is indeed correct, I can state with confidence that this collection of twelve Anthony Powell classics is also all about manners The setting is England between the wars where stylized manners abound Plenty is happening, of course Mutation both within and between classes is de rigueur The narrator, Nick, is somewhat upper crusty in a semi Bohemian way He s not a bad sort, really just a tad slower than we are to recognize romantic turns and new social orders As a narrator he s not so much unreliable as he is resistant to the tides of change Nick has a good education as well as a novelist s eye for detail He s great at observing quirks and he describes them well We quickly get to know the three other central characters through Nick s powers of observation They all went to the same top school Powell himself was an Eton chap where the patterns were set early Nick s friend Stringham was the brash aristocrat, their friend Templer was the raffish womanizer, and their colleague off to the side, Widmerpool, was both oafish and ambitious an awkward combination A whole host of other characters played supporting roles Each one was described with care and sometimes with a bit of fun For instance, Nick said of his Uncle Giles He was also habitually unwilling to believe that altered circumstances might affect any matter upon which he had already made up his mind Someone else was said to have transmitted one of those skull like smiles of conventional friendliness to be generally associated with conviviality of a political sort In fact, much of the collection that I ve read so far the first 3 of 12 volumes comprising what they call the First Movement seem like character profiles and dialog tied together not by plot but by dinner parties, art shows, and dances The people come in all varieties twits, ditzes, toffs and cads among them.The writing is lush teeming with commas and semicolons On average, there s one clause per sentence and two words per clause Once you tune your ear to it, though, it sounds pretty good Strike that With Powell s command of the English language, pretty good doesn t pass muster It s filled with little aphorisms, too For example Being in love is a complicated matter although anyone who is prepared to pretend that love is a simple, straightforward business is always in a strong position for making conquests In the main, the humor is like a fine claret subtle, dry, and well balanced There s a reason the Modern Library listed it as the 43rd best novel in English in the 20th century and Time Magazine included it in their top 100 English language novels from 1923 to 2005 Since I m only a quarter of the way through the series, I can t comment yet on the full epic sweep It extends into the 60 s Evolution is inevitable, if not revolution There s a fabulous documentary film series that began in the early 60 s in England It started with a cross sectional profile of 7 year old kids from all different backgrounds called 7 Up Seven years later they returned to these same kids as 14 year olds to see how they d changed Was their future foretold How had they changed They ve repeated the process every 7 years since, so far up to 49 It was fascinating to see how their lives turned out their professions, their relationships, their worldviews sometimes as you d expected, other times not Anyway, Powell s series has that same potential I ll report back later once I ve read. see comment explanation belowHave now re read the first of these three novels A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer s Market, The Acceptance World , on the way hopefully to re reading the whole series The twelve volumes of Powell s Dance was really one of the reading highlights of my life.I ve written a few words to review Powell s first season of the dance, Spring, than once The earliest version had a personal note in it, something like the reconstruction of it as I now recall, which occasioned Comment 1 below About ten years ago I was in the process of reorganizing the books in my library I ran across the four seasons of Powell s Dance, didn t really know what they were, but just put them in the place they should be and continued on I think I figured they were just novels I d acquired at some point and never read, like many others.After joining Goodreads a few years later, I happened to see Manny s review of Powell s masterpiece Not too long after I read Spring What impressed me immensely about those first three novels was Powell s idea of bringing out the way in which, as we dance our way through time, we only gradually come to know and about friends and acquaintances, often in very curious circumstances a flash of insight caused by someone s casual remark This struck me as such a beautiful comment on the way people go through life.A bit later, I got curious about how I had got the books I offhandedly said something about them to my wife, and she said that they were her books, and that she d read them I was stunned Right now, relating this late at night, with her asleep upstairs, I can t ask and I can t imagine when she would have read twelve novels by Powell It seemed utterly out of character for her She was a scientist, hardly ever read books novels for pleasure, read newspapers, scientific journals, but novels Twelve by one author And, I should point out, at that time we d been married at least forty years, and I d known her since we were five years old That was the experience that occasioned comment 1 below Previous review City David MacaulayRandom review Invitation to the Dance that s this dance Next review Pablo Picasso A RetrospectivePrevious library review A Dance to the Music of Time the whole thingNext library review At Lady Molly s4 in the series