Dance Class: American High School Students Encounter Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time
Dance Class offers an extraordinary collection of student essays about Anthony Powell’s great comic novel A Dance to the Music of Time. The young authors not only discuss issues of character, plot, and theme, but they also investigate historical background, chart personal relevance, parody characters and situations, even – in one student’s case – write a treatment for a drama.
In examining Mrs. Erdleigh’s fortune-telling mumbo-jumbo, Cassidy Carpenter presents compelling – and original – evidence that the narrator’s birthday is the same as Powell’s. Will Story provides an invaluable guide to all the military acronyms that percolate through the war novels, Alex Svec creates a brilliant parody of writings by Julian Maclaren-Ross, the real-life model for X. Trapnel. The book also includes plot summaries and character lists for the novels.
For those who love A Dance to the Music of Time, this book will reveal fresh new ways of looking at the series. And for those who are just discovering it, Dance Class will prove a useful and highly entertaining guide.
John A. Gould has been entranced by Powell’s series since1970, when it was still being written. He has taught the entire series twice at Phillips Academy, Andover, where the course was called “The Longest Novel Ever Written,” and once at Beacon Hill Seminars. He has read papers at three of the Biannual Anthony Powell Conferences. (One of these is available on-line at http://www.anthonypowell.org/andoverdance/dance13.html.) All proceeds from this book benefit The Anthony Powell Society.