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This stimulating study of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time will be welcomed by all those interested in the development of contemporary English fiction. The clarity of Isabelle Joyau's style, the freshness of her approach will appeal to academics and non-academics alike. She steers clear of the tyranny of 'theory' favouring instead Auden's 'single intuitive glance', the assumption being that the critical method is ultimately oneself, thus managing to communicate, or revive, the pleasure given by the text under scrutiny. The detailed examination of individual themes (the narrator's quest for truth, time, the sociological aspect, structure, surface and depth, the abyss of carnality, the series and its generic affiliations) is subordinate to the book's wider purpose: the examination of that tour de force, the creation of a compelling epic of insignificance. With up-to-date philosophical reading, awareness of the fiction of Powell's contemporaries, and a strong parallel drawn between Powell's work and Montaigne's Essays - more relevant than the obvious comparison with Proust - the range of cultural references is wide because the richness of Powell's unique achievement as well as his notion of a cultural continuum are best illuminated through the evocative power of intertextuality.
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Isabelle Joyau is 'maitre de conferences' at the University of Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle.
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994. Hard. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st American. Brand new, unread. Size: 8vo 0.0. Seller Inventory # 39339