19 October 2017
The 12-volume novel sequence of A Dance to the Music of Time, Anthony Powell’s principle claim to literary fame, is told from the point of view of Jenkins, a man so shadowy, so deliberately shadowy, we may assume, that only the closest reading will discern his character. This has to be a clue to the nature of Jenkins’ creator, who earned the principle part of his income for much of his life through reviewing other people’s writing. Here is a man who watches as he partakes, who tests and savours but never forgets his art.
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