Understanding Anthony Powell

Author: Nicholas Birns

Publisher: Univ of South Carolina Press

ISBN: 9781570035494

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 389

View: 2659

"Birns offers readings of Powell's entire oeuvre, including the novels Afternoon Men, Venusberg, and The Fisher King, and his journals, which appeared in print between 1995 and 1997. Looking especially closely at A Dance to the Music of Time, the twelve-volume sequence of novels that is Powell's masterpiece, Birns sets the series in its social and historical context, emphasizing the role that both world wars and the cold war played in Powell's life and writing. He makes a particular study of the novel's dominating force - the arrogant, opportunistic Widmerpool, a social climber who delights in his own good fortune and gloats over the sufferings of others. While noting Widmerpool's central position, Birns illumines Powell's subtle aesthetic resistance, epitomized by minor characters and the voice of the narrator, against Widmerpool and his ilk.

Anthony Powell

Author: Hilary Spurling

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0525521356

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 480

View: 8945

The author of the award-winning Matisse: A Life gives us the definitive biography of writer Anthony Powell--and takes us deep into the heart of twentieth-century London's literary life. Insightful, lively, and enthralling, this biography is as much a brilliant tapestry of a seminal era in London’s literary life as it is a revelation of an iconic literary figure. Best known for his twelve-volume comic masterpiece, A Dance to the Music of Time, the prolific writer and critic Anthony Powell (1905–2000) kept company between the two world wars with rowdy, hard-up writers and painters—and painters’ models—in the London where Augustus John and Wyndham Lewis loomed large. He counted Evelyn Waugh and Henry Green among his lifelong friends, and his circle included the Sitwells, Graham Greene, George Orwell, Philip Larkin, and Kingsley Amis. Drawing on letters, diaries, and interviews, Hilary Spurling—herself a longtime friend of Powell’s as well as an award-winning biographer—has produced a fresh and powerful portrait of the man and his times.

Anthony Powell

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A



Page: 128

View: 9181

Anthony Powell

Author: Neil Francis Brennan

Publisher: Macmillan Reference USA


Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 8252

Since the first edition, an additional eight books by the English novelist and critic have appeared, including his four-volume complete memoirs. In this revision, Brennan casts light on Powell's fiction by drawing from the author's memory of his own life and times in his memoirs. Born just after the turn of the 20th century into the insular world of England's upper class, Powell has portrayed its inner workings in his fiction. From his first novel, Afternoon Men, a study of London's Bohemian art scene, through his 12 volume work, The Music of Time, to his last novel, The Fisher King, a study of an ageing artist, Powell has managed to combine ironic wit with a sympathetic awareness of human fallibility to create a body of work.

Backgazing: Reverse Time in Modernist Culture

Author: Paul Giles

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192566210

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

View: 1173

This volume trace ways in which time is represented in reverse forms throughout modernist culture, from the beginning of the twentieth century until the decade after World War II. Though modernism is often associated with revolutionary or futurist directions, this book argues instead that a retrograde dimension is embedded within it. By juxtaposing the literature of Europe and North America with that of Australia and New Zealand, it suggests how this antipodean context serves to defamiliarize and reconceptualize normative modernist understandings of temporal progression. Backgazing thus moves beyond the treatment of a specific geographical periphery as another margin on the expanding field of 'New Modernist Studies'. Instead, it offers a systematic investigation of the transformative effect of retrograde dimensions on our understanding of canonical modernist texts. The title, 'backgazing', is taken from Australian poet Robert G. FitzGerald's 1938 poem 'Essay on Memory', and it epitomizes how the cultural history of modernism can be restructured according to a radically different discursive map. Backgazing intellectually reconfigures US and European modernism within a planetary orbit in which the literature of Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, far from being merely an annexed margin, can be seen substantively to change the directional compass of modernism more generally. By reading canonical modernists such as James Joyce and T. S. Eliot alongside marginalized writers such as Nancy Cunard and others and relatively neglected authors from Australia and New Zealand, this book offers a revisionist cultural history of modernist time, one framed by a recognition of how its measurement is modulated across geographical space.

Nation and Novel

Author: Patrick Parrinder

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199264856

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 502

View: 7888

Patrick Parrinder's new history of the English novel from its beginnings to the present day traces the form's distinctive and often subversive reflection of national identity across the centuries. From the early stories of rogues and criminals to present-day novels of immigration, fiction has played a major part in defining our ideas of England and Englishness. Nation and Novel provides both a comprehensive survey and also a new interpretation of theimportance of the English novel.

The Image of the English Gentleman in Twentieth-Century Literature

Author: Christine Berberich

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131702785X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 218

View: 1356

Studies of the English gentleman have tended to focus mainly on the nineteenth century, encouraging the implicit assumption that this influential literary trope has less resonance for twentieth-century literature and culture. Christine Berberich challenges this notion by showing that the English gentleman has proven to be a remarkably adaptable and relevant ideal that continues to influence not only literature but other forms of representation, including the media and advertising industries. Focusing on Siegfried Sassoon, Anthony Powell, Evelyn Waugh and Kazuo Ishiguro, whose presentations of the gentlemanly ideal are analysed in their specific cultural, historical, and sociological contexts, Berberich pays particular attention to the role of nostalgia and its relationship to 'Englishness'. Though 'Englishness' and by extension the English gentleman continue to be linked to depictions of England as the green and pleasant land of imagined bygone days, Berberich counterbalances this perception by showing that the figure of the English gentleman is the medium through which these authors and many of their contemporaries critique the shifting mores of contemporary society. Twentieth-century depictions of the gentleman thus have much to tell us about rapidly changing conceptions of national, class, and gender identity.

Dance Class

Author: John A. Gould

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 1440129045

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 228

View: 9227

Dance Class offers an extraordinary collection of student essays about Anthony Powell’s great comic novel A Dance to the Music of Time. The young authors not only discuss issues of character, plot, and theme, but they also investigate historical background, chart personal relevance, parody characters and situations, even – in one student’s case – write a treatment for a drama. In examining Mrs. Erdleigh’s fortune-telling mumbo-jumbo, Cassidy Carpenter presents compelling – and original – evidence that the narrator’s birthday is the same as Powell’s. Will Story provides an invaluable guide to all the military acronyms that percolate through the war novels. Alex Svec creates a brilliant parody of writings by Julian Maclaren-Ross, the real-life model for X. Trapnel. For those who love A Dance to the Music of Time, this book will reveal fresh new ways of looking at the series. And for those who are just discovering it, Dance Class will prove a useful and highly entertaining guide.