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Book Title: The Valley of Bones: A Dance to the Music of Time|
The author of the book: Anthony Powell
Date of issue: December 1st 2010
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 494 KB
Edition: University of Chicago Press
Read full description of the books The Valley of Bones: A Dance to the Music of Time:
7.-- THE VALLEY OF BONES
What I mean is that the title of the Seventh period of The Dance seems to be based on a passage by Ezequiel, but the epithet Dry has not been selected out of the original text.
The Valley of Dry Bones
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezequiel 37: 1-4.
We are then at the beginning of the war, the “comparatively halcyon days” of the bloody war, and the protagonist, Jenkins, has joined the barracks. All the military jargon, the acronyms, the structure, the hierarchy of different ranks etc., was, however, somewhat lost on me.
What was less lost on me was the humour. Against a backdrop of dooming and increasingly terrifying military events, the Dance of a few individuals continues. Germany invades the Netherlands, Churchill becomes Prime Minister in extremis, Belgian Government surrenders, Italy joins the war, and the Germans are in the outskirts of Paris. But all of these are just mentioned--in passing. The focus is in front of the stage, not in the military front. At least for now. And in spite of the mise en scène, this has been one of the funniest volumes so far. The mix of Arthurian elements; the evocations of Tweedledum and Tweedledee; the farce with top ranks obsessively concerned with porridge; the champagne-like quality of a nice cuppa tea; the ridiculous dialogue out of code words, kept me hooked to the book.
But not all was laughter. For this continues to be a meditation about people. Jenkins is the extraordinary observer of others. His own intimate thoughts and feelings remain veiled for the reader. But then we should not be surprised, because one of the traits he sharply always detects is egotism. It baffles him. Before this volume we have already seen him meditating on the immutable characteristics of self-absorption, but he returns to it in the Valley of Bones.
On the more serious tone Powell’s rich references to art (with Viennese Kunsthistorisches with their extraordinary collection of Bruegels), and to literature and philosophy continue. Descartes, Vigny, Byron, Nietzsche have also been given a seat to the Dance.
Read information about the authorAnthony Dymoke Powel CH, CBE was an English novelist best known for his twelve-volume work A Dance to the Music of Time, published between 1951 and 1975.
Powell's major work has remained in print continuously and has been the subject of TV and radio dramatisations. In 2008, The Times newspaper named Powell among their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
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