28 March 2008

Quotable Powell 5 - 9

Quotable Powell #9 [23 January 2001]

Although wholly idiosyncratic and personal, Anthony Powell’s humour shares with Proust’s the same irresistibly comic feeling for human differentiation, and the immovable misunderstanding which results from it. If there is any summing-up of A Dance to the Music of Time, it is the narrator’s observation that whatever happens to people comes in time to seem appropriate ...

John Bayley, London Review of Books; 12 Oct 1989
[Contributed by Peter Kislinger]


Quotable Powell #8 [23 December 2000]

I spent Christmas Day cleaning out the kennels', said the General. 'Went to Early Service. Then I got into my oldest clothes and had a thorough go at them. Had luncheon late and a good sleep after. Read a book all the evening. One of the best Christmas Days I've ever had'.

Anthony Powell, At Lady Molly's
[Contributed by John Potter]


Quotable Powell #7 [20 November 2000]

There is a strong disposition in youth, from which some individuals never escape, to suppose that everyone else is having a much more enjoyable time than we are ourselves.

Anthony Powell, A Buyer's Market
[Contributed by Terry Labach]


Quotable Powell #6 [29 September 2000]

Many critics have called Dance a comedy of manners. They're right, to be sure, but they've missed the point. "It is always difficult," Powell observed, "to know how human beings really live. If you describe it, you often appear to be a humorous writer, even if you have merely reported exactly what happened." In its uniquely backhanded, understated, supremely ironic way, A Dance to the Music of Time comes as close as a novel can come to telling us "exactly what happened".

Bill Ott in Booklist; 15 May 2000
[Contributed by Michael Henle]


Quotable Powell #5 [27 August 2000]

What will happen to people like him [Trelawney] as the world plods on to standardisation? Will they cease to be born, or find jobs in other professions? I suppose there will always be a position for a man with first-class magical qualifications.

Anthony Powell; The Kindly Ones
[Contributed by Noreen Marshall]

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