Saturday, October 09, 2021

Anthony Powell, At Lady Molly's (1957)

Am I taking a FULL MONTH to finish each of these?  THAT'S not practical!  Well...I had various things going on.  Preparing for classes...breakthrough COVID...memorizing the entirety of "The Raven" for no reason...spending too much time playing Eastward on the ol' know how it goes.  And it's too bad, because I think this one was actually pretty engaging; it's just hard to really judge when you go so darn slowly.  OH WELL.

"Lady Molly" is Molly Jeavons, the sort-of matriarch-by-marriage of the aristocratic Tolland clan of which we're starting to hear more and more.  A few scenes take place at soirées Chez Molly--and actually, the title would seem to be a loose Proust parallel--compare it with Du côté de chez Swann and Le Côté de Guermantes).  Nick is working as a scriptwriter, but we don't get too much about that.  This is about marriage, more or less--there's Quiggin's maybe-marriage to Mona, Widmerpool's mooted engagement to a much older contemporary of Nick's parents, and Nick's own marriage, although in typical fashion, we learn nothing about that--these books are very much not about their narrator.  Meanwhile--this is 1934--people are starting to react to the goings-on in Germany.  There's a blackly funny bit where Widmerpool explains his feelings about the nazis: he's not keen on the anti-Semitism, but he hopes and expects that they'll drop that from their platform, and as a whole...well, they are national socialists, so there has to be some good to them--the opposite of the "they were national socialists" talking points deployed by today's right-wing dipshits.

As I said, pretty engaging--I must admit, I am still really unsure what to think of the series as a whole.  But for now, I shall persist; hopefully get a little momentum going.  I realize that these blog entries aren't exactly penetrating.  They're more for me than anyone else.  But I suppose that's almost all blogging, so what the hey!


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