“Speaking about time’s relentless passage, Powell’s narrator compares certain stages of experience to the game of Russian Billiards as once he used to play it with a long vanished girlfriend. A game in which, he says,
“...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."
A Dance to the Music of Time: 1st Movement