By Anthony Powell
A Dance to the track of Time – his superb 12-novel series, which chronicles the lives of over 300 characters, is a distinct evocation of lifestyles in twentieth-century England.The novels stick to Nicholas Jenkins, Kenneth Widmerpool and others, as they negotiate the highbrow, cultural and social hurdles that stand among them and the “Acceptance World.”
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Extra resources for The Soldier's Art (Dance to the Music of Time 08)
Hogbourne-Johnson is also given to putting on a lot of swank about being a Light Infantryman. To tell the truth, I’m surprised any decent Line regiment could put up with him. ’ I know Cocksidge says, ‘This is Captain Cocksidge speaking,’ if he’s talking to a subaltern. You expect that from Cocksidge. Hogbourne-Johnson is supposed to know better. A. ’ However, I suppose I shouldn’t grumble. I can manage the man. That’s the chief thing. ” All this turned out to be a pretty just description of Colonel Hogbourne-Johnson and his demeanour, from which in due course I saw no reason to dissent.
Here, it was true, they stood rather than sat, but precise posture was a minor matter. The point was that their clothes were just right; while headlessness – like depicting Love or Justice blindfold – might well signify the inexorable preordination of twin destinies that even war could not alter. Indeed, war, likely to offer both attributes unlimited range of expression, would also intensify, rather than abate, their ultimate fatality. Musing on this surmise in the pale, grudging sunshine of London in December, a light wan yet intimate, I recognised the off-licence ever memorable for the bottle of port – could the fluid be so designated – that Moreland and I, centuries before, had bought with such high hopes that Sunday afternoon, later so dismally failed to drink.
For example, Cocksidge, officer responsible for Intelligence duties, with his pale eager elderly-little-boy expression – although on the edge of thirty – was certainly the lowest of slaves, dusting only exterior, less sacred precincts of the shrine, cleaning out with his hands the priest’s latrine, if such existed on the temple premises. , pink cheeked, fair haired, good-natured, about twenty years old, probably an alien captive awaiting sacrifice on the altar of this anthropomorphic trinity. Before anyone else could be satisfactorily identified, Colonel Pedlar spoke.
The Soldier's Art (Dance to the Music of Time 08) by Anthony Powell