To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell

To Keep the Ball Rolling: The Memoirs of Anthony Powell

by Anthony Powell


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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. This edition of Anthony Powell's Memoirs is an abridged and revised version of those volumes, a version that has never before been published in this form 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 twenties through the eighties. 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."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226677217
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/09/2001
Edition description: 1
Pages: 472
Sales rank: 900,236
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Anthony Powell (1905-2000) was born in London and educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. He worked for a London publisher from 1927 to 1935 and as a film scriptwriter from 1935 to 1936. He also served as a liaison officer for the Intelligence Corps during World War II. The literary editor of Punch from 1952 to 1958, Powell also wrote reviews and literary columns for many newspapers and periodicals. He became an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997 and was named a Commander of the British Empire in 1956 and, after refusing a knighthood in 1973, a Companion of Honor in 1988. His published works include Afternoon Men (1931), From a View to a Death (1933), What's Become of Waring (1939), and his twelve-volume masterpiece A Dance to the Music of Time, the latter available from the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ferdinand Mount
Part One- Infants of the Spring
Part Two- Messengers of Day
Part Three- Faces in My Time
Part Four- The Strangers All Are Gone

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