Monday, August 25, 2008
-- Time and Anthony Powell, A Critical Study by Robert L. Selig. Book you most want to read again for the first time: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I would love to recapture as an adult the amazement I felt when I read it in high school. I wonder if it could be the same.
This twelve-volume sequence traces a colorful group of English acquaintances across a span of many years from 1914 to 1971. The slowly developing narrative centers around life's poignant encounters between friends and lovers who later drift apart and yet keep reencountering each other over numerous unfolding decades as they move through the vicissitudes of marriage, work, aging, and ultimately death. Until the last three volumes, the next standard excitements of old-fashioned plots (What will happen next? Will x marry y? Will y murder z?) seem far less important than time's slow reshuffling of friends, acquaintances, and lovers in intricate human arabesques.