2016: A Dance to the Music of Time discussion

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1st Movement > {February} A Buyer's Market

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message 1: by Sunny (new)

Sunny (travellingsunny) | 49 comments Mod
For discussion or comments about book two...


message 2: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 38 comments Heehee. I can't wait to get started!


message 3: by Greg (new)

Greg This is a great book. It was the first of the series I read, before starting again with A Question of Upbringing, which was a little confusing have been introduced to some characters in book 2.

A Buyer's Market introduces the artist Edgar Bosworth Deacon, who crops up in later books with Gypsy Jones and Barnby.


message 4: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (goodreadscomdawn_irena) | 12 comments Hello Everyone :

I am feeling really great about our new start in the Dance ! I received my copies of : Hilary Spurling's Invitation to the Dance a Handbook to Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time , The Album of Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time , and Keep the Ball Rolling : The Memoirs of Anthony Powell . The first book was very good in spite of the many introductory characters ! I really related to A Question of Upbringing! We still have this terrible attitude and habit here in the old South where I live in Oxford, Mississippi named after our sister city in Great Britain . I will have to post some pictures of our Red Double Decker Buses from London as well as our authentic London phone Booth. No, it is only for show and taking your picture poses or something . We do not have public phones anymore ! HA! But, whenever I meet someone local , I am often asked who I am ? Or Who are your parents ? Or What is it you do ? It never ends ! Sometimes I just want to make up something even if they have known me all my life . I would love to say , I do nothing but charity and volunteer work now that my Grandmama has died and I have come into my trust !!! HA! Or just say nothing , I am bored to death lately and you ?

Oh Well , to the Dance and it would be nice if I knew what music would sound well while I were reading . Does anyone have a suggestion? I do not know much about music of that time .



message 5: by Darwin8u (new)

Darwin8u | 12 comments Just finished today. I love how art is taking on a larger presence in the books. Not a surprising fact given that the book itself is named after a painting. But, internal to the book, it makes sense given that Edgar Bosworth Deacon (an artist) plays a part and that Nick is now working in a publishing house devoted to art books.

There are parts of this novel that, obviously, bring to mind Proust, but a lot of it shares similarities to E. Waugh or Fitzgerald. I wonder if the either the character of Members/Quiggin is, in fact, Waugh. And if so, who the other writer "is".


message 6: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb "A Buyer's Market" is the second book in Anthony Powell's twelve novel sequence "A Dance To The Music of Time" and it picks up the narrative in 1928, via a flashback to Paris where narrator Nick Jenkins introduces us to an artist called Mr Deacon.

Nick is now in his early twenties and whilst more grown up, still uncertain of his place in the world. I assume this explains the book's title. Nick and his contemporaries are searching for money, jobs, sex, social status etc. and their search takes them to a succession of social events that Nick recounts in the same first hand manner of "A Question of Upbringing". Also, in common with "A Question of Upbringing", it's full of day-to-day detail and Nick's perception of those he encounters.

How reliable is Nick as a narrator? He frequently revises his opinions about those he meets not least Widmerpool whose personal journey continues apace. The narrative technique adds to the sense of surprise and gives the book a few memorable twists. For me Widmerpool is very much the star of the shown and I love the way he kept turning up in ever more incongruous and unexpected places - constantly surprising and confounding Nick Jenkins.

There are also, and again in common with the first book, some moments of sublime humour, and much of the exquisite writing has a pleasing and playful tone.

I enjoyed this book every bit as much as "A Question of Upbringing", and now look forward to reading the third instalment, "The Acceptance World".

Reading the first two instalments of "A Dance To The Music of Time" has been an absolute joy and akin to the pleasure of slipping into a hot bath. I recommend both books and eagerly anticipate completing the journey from 1914 to 1971 - and discovering what happens to Nick and his group.


message 7: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Nigeyb wrote: "Widmerpool is very much the star of the shown and I love the way he kept turning up in ever more incongruous and unexpected places - constantly surprising and confounding Nick Jenkins

What struck me as I start this book is that the narrator has already compared two older men to his uncle Giles: the artist Deacon and Sir Gavin. So I wonder (don't tell me!) ;) if there will be others.

I too found it humorous when once again the narrator is asked if he's met Widmerpool at the dinner party before the debutante dance.


message 8: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 02, 2016 12:44AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments I made me smile when Widmerpool cropped up again... One feels like playing the game 'Where is Wally Widmerpool?


message 9: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments As Darwin8 says, the pictorial content continues, and I am enjoying looking up and reviewing the painters mentioned.


message 10: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 02, 2016 02:39AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments A couple of Burne-Jones (who painted more women than men even if Powell is drawing the similitude with paintings with exclusively male figure compositions.


But may be the Arming and Departure of the Knights is a fitting one here.



And a very striking one, The Golden Stairs




message 11: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 02, 2016 02:44AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Alma-Tadema has more male figures.

A Reading of Homer




I went recently to an exhibition on Alma-Tadema where they had this extraordinary painting.

How to make look pretty a very cruel scene. The Roses of Heliogabalus




A-T fell out of fashion, but I think he is coming back again.


message 12: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Given the comparison of Deacon's works to the above, it should not be surprising to hear that he rejected the French avant-garde and only tolerated the likes of Puvis de Chavannes, one of the Symbolists.

His Between Art and Nature




message 13: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments And a couple by Simeon Salomon.

With a bit of 'japonisme'



I like the interplay of the hands in this The Sleepers and The One Who Watcheth




message 14: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments And the St Sebastian by Perugino. In the previous book most of the paintings were in the UK... He is expanding now with the Louvre one.




message 15: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 02, 2016 03:34AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments On the supposed portrait of Lady Walpole-Wilson by Lavery.. We have other portraits of ladies in high society to get an idea of what it could have looked like.


Hazel in Rose and Gold (Hazel was the wife of the painter, Sir John Lavery)




Mrs E. Bowen-Davies.




message 16: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Watts is mentioned also (with perhaps a touch of Watts in method of applying the paint) which intrigued me, if only because an unspecified painting of his figured in the last book I finished; it was spoken of disparagingly.


message 17: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 02, 2016 12:22PM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Teresa wrote: "Watts is mentioned also (with perhaps a touch of Watts in method of applying the paint) which intrigued me, if only because an unspecified painting of his figured in the last book I finished; it wa..."

It is wonderful when readings connect. Which book was that one, Teresa?

On Watts, there is this Museum or Gallery with his work... Not sufficiently well known..


http://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/en-gb/...

And here is one of his works with an interesting way of applying the paint




message 18: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Kalliope wrote: "It is wonderful when readings connect. Which book was that one, Teresa?"

"Angel" by Elizabeth Taylor -- It's basically set during the same time period as this book.


message 19: by Teresa (last edited Feb 02, 2016 09:24PM) (new)

Teresa I know there are some of us who are purposely avoiding any comparisons to Proust :) but as literary comparisons tend to come naturally to me, I can't help but think of M. Swann while reading of our narrator's childhood memories of Mr. Deacon. The child had heard his parents discuss the man and he thus becomes a "mysterious figure" to our narrator.


message 20: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 04, 2016 03:31AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Teresa wrote: "I know there are some of us who are purposely avoiding any comparisons to Proust :) but as literary comparisons tend to come naturally to me, I can't help but think of M. Swann while reading of our..."

There are 'elements' that echo Proust... another one for me was the painting of Boyhood of Cyrus playing a somewhat similar role to the tea and the madeleine.. conjuring up past memories...

But otherwise the tone is very different and we do not have the Proustian ambiguity.

Instead, I feel I am reading a prolonged riddle... we are offered many hints with which we seem to have to find our trail... Seemingly unconnected events and people are probably forming a net of meaning and plot.... I am enjoying the game.


message 21: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Murillo's school is mentioned... .. but we found a place in the corner underneath a picture of Murillo's school in which peasant boys played with a calf.

This one is by Esteban Bartolomé Murillo himself.




message 22: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 38 comments Thanks again for the visuals, Kalliope. They're a great addition.

I like that Deacon is a character from the past whom was shrouded in the mystery of childhood understanding. That's so very human. So many people and situations from our long past have that cloak until we can see them for ourselves with the eyes/understanding of an adult... And even the. Sometimes they retain a little mystery or nostalgia.

I do like the way Powell hints at Things that Nick is missing or has misinterpreted in the time described. It makes me want to keep reading and see all the mysteries solved!


message 23: by Renato (new)

Renato (renatomrocha) | 25 comments Kalliope wrote: "There are 'elements' that echo Proust... another one for me was the painting of Boyhood of Cyrus playing a somewhat similar role to the tea and the madeleine.. conjuring up past memories..."

Yes! And also that the narrator meets a fictional painter in the second volume... :-)


message 24: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 04, 2016 06:19AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Renee wrote: "I do like the way Powell hints at Things that Nick is missing or has misinterpreted in the time described. It makes me want to keep reading and see all the mysteries solved! ..."

Exactly.. that is what I feel.. that there is a mystery to be solved... composed out of a succession of riddles... I also feel like I want to go on reading...

In Proust the connections are clarified later and come as a surprise.. at the first encounter they do not necessarily shine as guiding clues...


message 25: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 04, 2016 06:38AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Renato wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "There are 'elements' that echo Proust... another one for me was the painting of Boyhood of Cyrus playing a somewhat similar role to the tea and the madeleine.. conjuring up past me..."

That's right!!... Elstir.... but he was an avantgardist vs Deacon..


message 26: by Teresa (last edited Feb 04, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Teresa Last night while reading of "the story of the necklace" (p 116-7 of my copy), I was reminded of Marie Antoinette's 'Affair of the Diamond Necklace' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affair_... ; while the latter story is much more complicated, perhaps that's another reason the narrator found Deacon's story about Mrs. Andriadis "in some way vaguely familiar to me".


message 27: by Sue (new)

Sue | 85 comments On a related, but actually not truly related, issue, I added a status update on this book yesterday. I'm reading the 3 book first volume which has 700+ pages but to my surprise, each book is individually numbered. Imagine my surprise when I added the update and my status indicates I'm reading backwards!!

I'm enjoying the musings on Deacon and very much enjoy your art offerings, Kalliope. I do see links to Proust but I find that just when I feel I can verbalize them, the thread seems to disappear. Ah well, I'll simply continue to enjoy Powell.


message 28: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Kalliope wrote: "Exactly.. that is what I feel.. that there is a mystery to be solved... composed out of a succession of riddles... I also feel like I want to go on reading..."
I am getting discouraged. There is a great deal of thin gossip, innuendo and hints of mysterious deeds in the future, but so far not much in the way of even a tiny interim reward in the form of prose stylings or plot lines. Is evidence of perspicacity sufficient to carry the story?


message 29: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Cheryl wrote: "Kalliope wrote: "Exactly.. that is what I feel.. that there is a mystery to be solved... composed out of a succession of riddles... I also feel like I want to go on reading..."
I am getting discour..."


You are completely right, Cheryl. I am also aware of that, but I felt it more in the first volume (a certain aimlessness) but in the second it is the feeling that I am after something that has grasped my reading.


message 30: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 04, 2016 10:55PM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Sue wrote: "On a related, but actually not truly related, issue, I added a status update on this book yesterday. I'm reading the 3 book first volume which has 700+ pages but to my surprise, each book is indivi..."

Thank you, Sue.

On the updates and pages issue.. I am using like you the 4 vols with 3 novels each (that is what got me confused at the very beginning because I did not know if I had the full work - I had purchased it years ago and had it in storage).... What I have done is select the edition with just one novel for the GR record.

On the Proust parallels... they are fun and tempting to make but in reality I prefer to go without them. This work was written much later and it is just not fair to Powell... but the comparison can certainly be made.


message 31: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl So far the sugar incident is my favourite, and I remember that its significance was alluded to in the first volume.


message 32: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Cheryl wrote: "So far the sugar incident is my favourite, and I remember that its significance was alluded to in the first volume."

Oh, I missed the reference to the sugar in the first volume... I have a strong feeling that I will have to read this work twice.


message 33: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl i can't find mention of the sugar incident in vol 1. Perhaps I saw it mentioned in a comment somewhere and it became a false memory...


Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 44 comments It's not a false memory. I think it is an early school incident involving Widmerpool in a bar with the popular boys from the hockey team. He gets hit and instead of getting angry, he seems enchanted to be noticed.


message 35: by Ted (new)

Ted | 1 comments I don't think there would be any mention of the sugar incident in Question ....


Algernon (Darth Anyan) | 44 comments I may be referring to a different scene.


message 37: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Ch 2, we finally get to hear who this Barnby is. When he was mentioned in the first book, it disconcerted me. I could not place him. It was always as an interlocutor of later times... but not knowing who he was or the relationship he had with the narrator, it was difficult to give much weight to his quoted opinions.


message 38: by Diane (new)

Diane Barnes I just got started on "Buyer's Market" last night. I'm reading along innocently and then on page 28, out of the blue, cue Widmerpool! It was a little like seeing Rhett Butler for the first time at the bottom of the stairs in the film of "Gone With the Wind". I have the feeling that Widmerpool sightings will be a major factor in these books.

Thanks Kalliope, for the art. For those of us not familiar with it, it adds a lot to the experience.


message 39: by Manny (last edited Feb 05, 2016 05:23AM) (new)

Manny (mannyrayner) | 15 comments Cheryl wrote: "i can't find mention of the sugar incident in vol 1. Perhaps I saw it mentioned in a comment somewhere and it became a false memory..."

It's possibly my fault, since I mentioned it in my review of vol 1. In fact it occurs in vol 2.


message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Manny wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "i can't find mention of the sugar incident in vol 1. Perhaps I saw it mentioned in a comment somewhere and it became a false memory..."
It's possibly my fault, since I mentioned it ..."


Aha! thank you Manny, yes that's it! I went back to your review; what you wrote mirrored exactly what I was feeling: "...the very absence of action is what makes it so interesting and incidents which at the time seem unimaginably dull turn out later on to have their precisely measured place in the story the sequence when Widmerpool gets the sugar poured on his head..."


message 41: by Kalliope (last edited Feb 05, 2016 08:25AM) (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Cheryl wrote: "Manny wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "i can't find mention of the sugar incident in vol 1. Perhaps I saw it mentioned in a comment somewhere and it became a false memory..."
It's possibly my fault, since I ..."


I think I have not read Manny's review. If I have it must have been a good while ago, so I don't remember any of it (plan to read them when I have finished the full work).

I only know that Manny is a Powell enthusiast....But I am glad that my sense of reading a series of riddles that would eventually solve into something seems to be on the right track.. And now, realising this, I am not surprised that Manny likes Powell so much.


message 42: by Sue (new)

Sue | 85 comments I'm actually enjoying the flow of Book 2 a lot. Perhaps it's because our narrator is more mature, but the observations seem to have more coherence for me and they continue to have so much wit, constantly, that I find myself smiling or even laughing at comments or situations.


message 43: by Kalliope (new)

Kalliope | 67 comments Diane wrote: "I just got started on "Buyer's Market" last night. I'm reading along innocently and then on page 28, out of the blue, cue Widmerpool! It was a little like seeing Rhett Butler for the first time at ..."

Diane.. I got my surprise (and my laugh - like it happens to Sue) when Stringham appears... I am listening in parallel to Simon Vance's read and he is so brilliant with the accents, that I knew Stringham was back because I 'heard' him.. - before the narrator states who is the newcomer...


message 44: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Sue wrote: "On a related, but actually not truly related, issue, I added a status update on this book yesterday. I'm reading the 3 book first volume which has 700+ pages but to my surprise, each book is indivi..."

Sue, I'm reading one of these editions too and I changed its total page numbers for the GR record, but then of course I have to add up the page numbers for my status update for any book past the initial one. I'm then noting the 'actual' page number within the update. Yep, a little bit more work to do than usual. :)


message 45: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Algernon wrote: "I think it is an early school incident involving Widmerpool in a bar with the popular boys from the hockey team. He gets hit and instead of getting angry, he seems enchante..."

Widmerpool's reaction to that past incident is compared to his reaction during the sugar-incident in this volume.


message 46: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Kalliope wrote: "Ch 2, we finally get to hear who this Barnby is. When he was mentioned in the first book, it disconcerted me. I could not place him. It was always as an interlocutor of later times... but not knowi..."

Same here, Kalliope. I finally met him last night; and while I didn't, I almost felt as if I should go back and look for the earlier references.


message 47: by Sue (new)

Sue | 85 comments Teresa wrote: "Sue wrote: "On a related, but actually not truly related, issue, I added a status update on this book yesterday. I'm reading the 3 book first volume which has 700+ pages but to my surprise, each bo..."

I know I should do that, Teresa, but I just didn't have the energy. Guess I should give it a go since you have managed it. Otherwise my updates become a bit meaningless.


message 48: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Sue wrote: "I know I should do that, Teresa, but I just didn't have the energy. Guess I should give it a go since you have managed it. Otherwise my updates become a bit meaningless.."

I went to go change the total page-number for your edition and saw that it was already done.


message 49: by Renato (new)

Renato (renatomrocha) | 25 comments Cheryl wrote: "I am getting discouraged. There is a great deal of thin gossip, innuendo and hints of mysterious deeds in the future, but so far not much in the way of even a tiny interim reward in the form of prose stylings or plot lines. Is evidence of perspicacity sufficient to carry the story?"

Same feeling here, Cheryl... I actually rolled my eyes a bit the last time I read a section where the narrator said that his view on this or that would change later... it's been used quite a few times already...


message 50: by Sue (new)

Sue | 85 comments Teresa wrote: "Sue wrote: "I know I should do that, Teresa, but I just didn't have the energy. Guess I should give it a go since you have managed it. Otherwise my updates become a bit meaningless.."

I went to go..."


Yes, that was automatic with the edition at GR. It's the pages in my book that are the problem! each separate book is numbered individually so I would have to renumber each book, literally or mentally, unless I work out a mathematical equation (i.e., add X pages to equal the correct page number out of the total 718 or whatever). Crazy. At least it accepted my last update with page number even though it's out of sequence so other readers would be able to locate what I'm reading if they had my edition.


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