My 5 Responses To A Dance To The Music Of Time
I just finished book 9 of 12 (The Military Philosophers) in this behemoth series of novels that Anthony Powell created as a way to torture readers. Feel free to relive my torture by reading my prior posts about the book during 2012–a year I proclaimed as “The Year of the Dance.”
12 books. 12 months. It all made so much sense in January. Now, I just feel like I should get some kind of award from Time Magazine for reading through this beast. Has anyone else done it? Who actually reads this thing?
To summarize my emotions about A Dance, I put together the five different responses I have while trying to navigate my way through this novel.
- Boredom. A tidal wave of boredom sweeps my soul whenever I read it.
- Nostalgia. This novel makes me long for the days of reading Mrs. Dalloway.
- Curiosity. I get the point of A Dance. It’s that life is like a dance, in constant motion, with people coming in and out of our lives like dance partners. Some brief. Some longer. But here’s the question–why 3,000+ pages to say that, Anthony Powell?
- Anger. Hey, Time Magazine, thanks for helping me waste many days of my life in 2012 while trying to read through this entire doorstop of a novel.
- Determination. I will beat you, A Dance To The Music Of Time. I will beat the crap out of you, and you will like it. I only have one more “movement” to go. Three books. 700ish pages. I can do this.
It should be noted that boredom is my primary response, as it seems to be a squatter who has taken residence in my soul for about 80% of the time I am reading this novel. I would say determination comes in second…why else would I still be reading this thing?
The Military Philosophers was, perhaps, my least favorite of the first nine books in this series. That’s saying something. It’s like being the worst singer in a tone deaf choir.
In book 9, main characters die off without nothing more than a sentence or two given to them. Nick Jenkins, the narrator, is as flat as ever. Meh, Anthony Powell. Meh.
Nonetheless, I move on. The next book in the series is book 10, Books Do Furnish A Room. Sounds riveting.
Now, have I convinced you just how awesome this book is?
Until next month…