30 March 2008

Quotable Powell 40 - 44

Quotable Powell #44 [11 December 2005]
Those who no longer walk beside us on the void expanses of this fleeting empire of created light have no more reached the absolute end of their journey than birth was for them the absolute beginning.

Anthony Powell, The Kindly Ones
[Contributed by Dr Peter Kislinger]

Quotable Powell #43 [15 November 2005]

Having reread A Dance To the Music of Time fairly often, always with increased pleasure and understanding, I used to feel that I liked the work more each time only because I was more familiar it. But now, with The Fisher King, I'm quite sure that Powell's fiction has been designed to stir just such a response - that all the while he has been perfecting a technique I'll call "spiral narrative", which virtually guarantees that his novels will inexhaustibly renew themselves.

Larry Kart reviewing The Fisher King in Tribune, September 1986
[Contributed by William Wleklinski]

Quotable Powell #42 [1 October 2005]

'Are you waiting for something, Greening?'
'The General bade me discourse fair words to you, sir, anent traffic circuits.'
'What the hell do you mean?'
'I don't know, sir,' said Greening. 'That's exactly how the General put it.'

Anthony Powell, The Soldier's Art
[Contributed by Keith Marshall]

Quotable Powell #41 [16 September 2005]

'Sole nantua,' said Isobel, firmly bringing the conversation back to the point.
'That's a sauce is it?'
'Yes, made with crayfish' Adam explained, 'You would poach about a dozen small crayfish in a court-bouillon with white wine and herbs.'
'Murtlock and his friends caught crayfish in Somerset,' said Tom but nobody took up the reference, Adam remarking that the flavour of Somerset crayfish would hardly be up to a nantua sauce.

Barbara Pym, A Few Green Leaves
[Contributed by David Lowis]

Quotable Powell #40 [26 August 2005]

'One of the strange things about the Victorians,' wrote Antony Powell in one of his notebooks, 'was seeing refinement in women, whereas one of the attractions of women is their extreme coarseness'. From the scrappy unannotated nature of the great novelist's cahier it is impossible to know whether this contention was intended to be placed in the mouth of one of the more outrageous characters in A Dance to the Music of Time or whether it was an opinion he held himself.

AN Wilson; The Victorians
[Contributed by Nick Hay]

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