26 November 2017

#151 Lewde Persons

That on 7th July 17 Eliz. [1575], one Robert Lowes of Glawstrie co. Radnor, gent., Meredith ap Thomas ap Harry ... Robert ap Griffithe ap Lewes, Robert William & Edward Smithe, in the company of one Sybell Lewes, wife of Jenn Lewes, Esq., "and also being very lighte, lewde, wylde, ryotous and disordered persons & common quarrellers", with other evil disposed persons to the number of at least 40, being all armed with swords, etc., walked up and down the town of Huntington for three hours at least, espying some person to take revenge upon.

AD Powell, "Abstracts from Miscellaneous Star Chamber Cases of the Radnor-Hereford Border", Transactions Radnorshire Society, 35 (1965), 36-42
Contributed by Keith Marshall

11 October 2017

#150 Ageing

In the seven years or so that had passed since I had last seen him, Sir Magnus Donners had grown not so much older in appearances, as less like a human being. He now resembled an animated tailor's dummy, one designed to recommend second-hand, though immensely discreet, clothes (if the suit he was wearing could be regarded as a sample) adapted to the taste of distinguished men no longer young. Jerky movements, like those of a marionette – perhaps indicating all was not absolutely well with his physical system – added to the impression of an outsize puppet that had somehow escaped from its box and begun to mix with real people, who were momentarily taken in by the extraordinary conviction of its mechanism.

Anthony Powell, The Military Philosophers
Contributed by Karen Langley

10 September 2017

#149 The Narrator

I occasionally get asked specific questions about the events of the narrative, and always point out that the story is, so to speak, merely "told over the dinner table", the Narrator only knows what he guesses or is revealed to him.

Anthony Powell in a letter to Laurie Adams Frost, 19 August 1987
Contributed by Laurie Adams Frost

01 August 2017

#148 Narrative Development

Powell creates a fictional memoirist (Nick) and Dance is an imaginative creation and depiction of his memory. Nick has to order his memories and interrogate them sequentially. Thus rather than plot organising the narrative, character interaction drives narrative development.

David Martin Jones & Lana Starkey in their paper at the Anthony Powell Conference, York, April 2016
Contributed by Keith Marshall

02 July 2017

#147 James Joyce

One of Joyce's most valuable bequests to writers is that none of them ever need to write a novel like Ulysses again; a benefaction unhappily sometimes disregarded, especially in the US. One feels that Joyce, even if pretty able, is not quite in the Proust, Dostoevsky, even Balzac, class; useful to be learnt from, but not to be imitated [...] His obsession with himself, paying a good dividend in certain respects, was a handicap in others, narrowing the sphere of vision. As regards the novel itself, one wishes the Brothel scene was done in the same manner as the Martello Tower. I feel certain Joyce simply found himself unable to bring that off, falling back faute de mieux on "experimental" methods, not because those really gave a better picture. Perhaps it might be argued this stuck closer to the Ulysses myth.

Anthony Powell, Journals 1982-1986, Friday 20 June 1986
Contributed by Peter Kislinger