Anthony Powell | Critical Essay by John Bayley

This literature criticism consists of approximately 2 pages of analysis & critique of Anthony Powell.
This section contains 385 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John Bayley

Critical Essay by John Bayley

It is one of Anthony Powell's most disarming characteristics that his anecdotes exist for themselves, at most illustrating some nuance in the custom and fashion of an epoch: 'the period flavour of the incident must excuse its triviality,' as he remarks in his leisurely way, or 'social hairs are the most enjoyable ones to split.' His fiction draws its subtle contentment from highlighting such trivialities, as in their different style do his current series of memoirs, [Messengers of Day]….

Fascinating in themselves, Powell's memoirs suggest that, in shaping social acquaintance and episode for the uses of fiction, he never goes beyond the anecdotal, resisting any temptation to concoct figures at all 'representational'. Where most novelists who use real-life models elevate them vertically, as it were, into more than life-sized archetypes (Charlus, Natasha, old Karamazov), Powell manipulates his...

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This section contains 385 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John Bayley
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