30 March 2008

Quotable Powell 45 - 49

Quotable Powell #49 [17 June 2006]
I suppose, the one and really only possible mitigation and excuse for the unbridled incoherence of this existence of ours, it is then, and only then, that we realise fully, that we shall realise in its entirety, that we shall in soon come to know with any degree of accuracy. What was I saying? I seem to have lost the thread.

Anthony Powell, Afternoon Men
[Contributed by Keith Marshall]


Quotable Powell #48 [29 April 2006]

Powell is above all funny, and makes humour out of both the gravity and perceptiveness to which the narrative aspires, as witness the scene between Henchman and Sir Dixon Tiptoft at the breakfast table. [...] In the end, it is not the way it is done which matters but the personality who controls it. [...] But I could read whatever Powell writes from here to eternity, or at least until the Sultan decided that execution could no longer be stayed.

John Bayley reviewing The Fisher King in London Review of Books, 17 April 1986
[Contributed by Peter Kislinger]


Quotable Powell #47 [23 March 2006]

... she's not a great one for bed. A chap I knew in the Ordnance, who'd carried on quite a bit with the girls, told me those noisy ones seldom are. Don't do much in that line myself nowadays ... Feel too cooked most of the time. Never sure the army vets got quite all those separate pieces of a toffee-apple out of my ribs. Tickles a bit sometimes. Still, you have to step out once in away.

Anthony Powell, At Lady Molly's
[Contributed by Colin Donald]


Quotable Powell #46 [22 January 2006]

Wednesday, 23 July [1986]
V and I watched on TV the wedding of Prince Andrew & Miss Sarah Ferguson, now Duke & Duchess of York. Unusually good show. The bride's father, Major Ronald Ferguson, late The Life Guards, had braid piping on his tailcoat. As he is not old enough for this to have been a normal fashion for tailcoats (Goodhart, for instance, had it on his) one presumes him still wearing coat he had at Eton when in Pop, braid being a Pop privilege. It would be interesting to check this.

Anthony Powell, Journals 1982-1986
[Contributed by Keith Marshall]


Quotable Powell #45 [30 December 2005]

It was that prolonged, flat, cheerless week that follows Christmas ... those latter days of the dying year create an interval, as it were, of moral suspension: one form of life already passed away before another has had time to assert some new, endemic characteristic. Imminent change of direction is for some reason often foreshadowed by such colourless patches of time.

Anthony Powell, The Acceptance World
[Contributed by Dr Peter Kislinger]

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