Dancing To The Music Of War
The great philosopher Edwin Starr once famously said, “War, hunh, good God y’all, what is it good for? Hunh! Absolutely nothing!”
I don’t know if Edwin Starr ever read A Dance To The Music Of Time (I’m kind of doubting that). But, on the minuscule chance he did, it’s possible that book 8 (The Soldier’s Art) of this behemoth novel inspired him.
In book 8, bombs drop and people die. That’s the best way I can sum it up.
In stereotypical Anthony Powell style, the actual bombings–which occur as part of the German blitz on London in World War 2–take place apart from the story. The reader hears about the bombing, which kills several main characters, after the fact. If anyone can make a bombing on a major city boring, it’s Anthony Powell.
Our old friend Nick Jenkins now reports to Widmerpool, who has become a Major in the British army. Widmerpool is as full of himself as ever–he’s drawn to bureaucratic power struggles like a moth to flame. Charles Stringham reappears in the novel, as a waiter in the Mess Hall.
Gosh, I’m bored just writing about this book.
Remind me why I’m reading it? Oh yeah, that crazy list. Lord help me. Only four more of these books to go.
One interesting aspect of the novel, which I’ve mentioned before, is how closely it mirrors the events of the TV show Downton Abbey. It’s all about high-society rich people having to give up their lifestyles to take part in World War II.
So this was a horrible post, I know. I just got to be honest: I’m totally uninspired after reading A Dance To The Music Of Time. I’ve got nothing to say, friends.
Hopefully, but doubtfully, I’ll have a little more to say about book 9, The Military Philosophers, at the end of next month.
Have I bored you out of your mind with these books yet?
Take it away, Edwin Starr…