A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement (A Dance to the Music of Time #1-3)
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 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, busi...more
And, as usual, I hope it is understood that a review of A Dance to the Music of Time can be about absolutely anything.
“...at the termination of a given passage of time...the hidden gate goes down...and all scoring is doubled. This is perhaps an image of how we live. For reasons not always at the time explicable, there are specific occasions when events begin suddenly to take on a significance previously unsuspected; so that before we really know where we are, life seems to have begun in earnest at last, and we ourselves, scarcely aware that any change has taken place, are careering uncontrollably down the slip
Nevertheless, I'm making the rating for a couple reasons. First, had I read these (first ...more
Youth is a spring of human life – consciousness awakes and everyone is full of high expectations… And it is also a time of opening one’s eyes and shedding some delusions.
“But, in a sense, nothing in life is planned – or everything is – because in the dance every step is ultimately the corollary of the step before; the consequence of being the kind of person one chances to be.”
Anthony Powell literally makes “long-forgotten co ...more
A Dance to the Music of Time is a twelve-novel cycle examining English society from the 1920s to the 1960s through the lives of its predominantly upper middle class characters, which is presented as the memoirs of the narrator, Nick Jenkins. The cycle is broken into four "movements", consisting of three novels each. This, the first movement, is comprised of A Question of Upbringing, A Buyer's Market and The Acceptance World.
The title is a reference to Nicolas Poussin's painting of the same nam ...more
Sometimes compared to Proust’s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (Remembrance of Lost Time), Anthony Powell’s masterpiece might also be called a comedy of manners. It is much easier to read than Proust, and not just because the sentences are shorter: it’s ...more
This is the British equivalent of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. I guess I find it closer to life as it was lived in the 20th century and certainly to the idea of our lives as a dance that characters keep returning to, ...more
A Question of Upbringing (1951)
A Buyer's Market (1952)
The Acceptance World (1955)
At Lady Molly's (1957)
Casanova's Chinese Restaurant (1960)
The Kindly Ones (1962)
The Valley of Bones (1964)
The Soldier's Art (1966)
The Military Philosophers (1968)
Books Do Furnish a Room (1971)
Temporary Kings (1973)
Hearing Secret Harmonies (1975)
(Dates ar ...more
Second posting 7/29/2014 for A Buyer's Market
Final Posting 8/19/2014 for The Acceptance World
This edition includes the first three books of the 12-volume series. I'll "review" them individually, as that is how I'm reading them.
A Question of Upbringing introduces us to who I assume will be the four main characters throughout the series. It is told in the first person by Jenkins (first name as yet unknown) and begins in "about the year 1921." The ...more
I first read DANCE when I was in my early thirties, and the story (in the first t ...more
A Question of Upbringing -- 4 out of 5 stars.
This first novel, of the overall twelve novels involved, comes across as little more than a high(er)-brow version of A Seperate Peace. And to me, that's not a bad thing. It's quite readable, if a bit dry in places, and manages itself very well.
It's essentially the first (230page) chapter of an overall novel that spans the life of the main character; so, this time is spent introducing the character ...more
While the book did captivate me in the end, I am glad there are at three other "movements" to be read, or I would not have felt the story had concluded, as, of course, it was not meant to.
For Powell, the author, to build the social and political settings for the novels which follow, it took hundreds of pages before I began to feel an engagement with characters.
This being said, Powell has tremendous insight into the complexities of love and human psychology. In addition, ...more
Like that, only it took two and a half novels. I had to start book 2 two times, but I sailed right into book 3. Whenever Widmerpool is on the scene, I can't stop reading. He is so grotesque (at least through the narrator's eyes) but so very fascinating. In a way, he is the only character who is real ...more
The series is essentially the story of Nicholas Jenkins, and everyman who narrates his life's journey from the years immediately after WWI to the dawn of Thatcherism. Along the way nearly every type of personality and institution indicative of t ...more
Firstly, I quickly recalled the book and its characters after having forgotten them over the years. I had hoped it would seem fresh but it didn't. I found them as frustrating as the first time around so despite my years of experience since the last time, I didn't find more in ...more
Powell set out to write a cycle of 12 novels, which he completed over a 25-year period ending in 1975. Functionally, "A Dance to the Music of Time" is a single, long novel, carrying the narrator, Nick Jenkins, and his immense gaggle of friends and passing acquaintances onward from college days at Oxford. Thi ...more
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Powell's major work has remained in print continuously and has been the subject of TV and radio dramatisations. In 2008, The Times newspaper named Powell among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
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“...at the termination of a given passage of time...the hidden gate goes down...and all scoring is doubled. This is perhaps an image of how we live. For reasons not always at the time explicable, there are specific occasions when events begin suddenly to take on a significance previously unsuspected; so that before we really know where we are, life seems to have begun in earnest at last, and we ourselves, scarcely aware that any change has taken place, are careering uncontrollably down the slippery avenues of eternity."