To Keep the Ball Rolling : The Memoirs of Anthony Powell (Hardcover)

Author: Powell, Anthony

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To earn the reputation of a literary giant within the generation of Waugh, Orwell, and Greene is no mean feat. To do so with the grace and genius that characterized Anthony Powell-whose twelve-volume" A Dance to the Music of Time is possibly the only English-language work to match the majestic scope of Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past-is nothing short of spectacular. Yet Powell himself remains absent from his writing; he was, said the "New York Times, "a writer of mordant succinctness who rewards the reader while revealing little of himself."
Powell did eventually reveal himself in four volumes of memoirs published between 1976 and 1982 with the titles of "Infants of the Spring, "Messengers of Day, "Faces in My Time, and "The Strangers All Are Gone. This edition of Anthony Powell's memoirs an abridged and revised version of those volumes, a version that has never before been published in the United States. The result is not only a fascinating view of Powell as a man and an author but also a unique history of British literary society and the social elite Powell lampooned and moved within from the 1920s through the 1980s. From Eton and Oxford to his life as a novelist and critic, Powell observes all-the obscenity trial sparked by "Lady Chatterley's Lover; Shirley Temple's libel suit after Graham Greene reviewed "Wee Willie Winkie "with even more than his usual verve"-and paints vivid portraits of Kingsley Amis, V.S. Naipaul, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and countless others. Most importantly, Powell's lively memoirs banish all thought of the man as a relic of the British gentry. He was a modernist, a Tory, and more than a little interested in genealogy and peerage, but a man who, according to Ferdinand Mount, "miraculously knew what life was like."


Publisher Univ of Chicago Pr
Mfg Part# 9780226677217
SKU 30723541
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0226677214
Release Date 4/10/2007
Dimensions (in Inches) 9.75H x 6.5L x 1.5T
Author Info
Anthony Powell
Born into an upper-class family--his father was an army officer--Powell attended Eton and Oxford. He worked in publishing and as a journalist and, in 1931, his first novel was published. In 1934 he married Lady Violet Pakenham, a wealthy daughter of the fifth Earl of Longford, and had two sons. After a short stint in Hollywood looking for screenwriting work, Powell returned to London, reviewed books for a living, and continued to write novels. He published nothing between WHAT'S BECOME OF WARING in 1939 and A BUYER'S MARKET in 1952. The war intervened (Powell was an officer), and he also wrote a biography of John Aubrey. His monumental work, A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, was inspired by Poussin's painting of that name, which he saw in London in the Wallace Collection and which suggested the effects of time on human beings as well as what he called "the inexorable law of coincidence." Powell also wrote several other novels and four volumes of memoirs. Offered a knighthood in 1973, he declined (thinking a knight "rather an awful thing to be") and died at the age of 94.
"[The] task for which I happily volunteer [is] recommending the reading of Anthony Powell. I say 'happily' because I have never induced anyone to try him and been subsequently cursed for my pains. Indeed, I have been thanked in almost broken tones....TO KEEP THE BALL ROLLING...shows a great and omnivorous curiosity about the lives and motives of others."
From the Publisher
Annotation Anthony Powell, the English author of the monumental DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, tells his own intriguing story in this autobiography.
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0472
Publisher University of Chicago Press

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