Casanova's Chinese Restaurant

Casanova s Chinese Restaurant A Dance to the Music of Time his brilliant novel sequence which chronicles the lives of over three hundred characters is a unique evocation of life in twentieth century England The novels follow

  • Title: Casanova's Chinese Restaurant
  • Author: Anthony Powell
  • ISBN: 9780099472445
  • Page: 203
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Dance to the Music of Time his brilliant 12 novel sequence, which chronicles the lives of over three hundred characters, is a unique evocation of life in twentieth century England.The novels follow Nicholas Jenkins, Kenneth Widmerpool and others, as they negotiate the intellectual, cultural and social hurdles that stand between them and the Acceptance World.

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    1. 5 -- CASANOVA'S CHINESE RESTAURANT This fifth period is a bit different. So far, all the volumes were consecutive in time, sometimes with a few years gap between one and the next. While at the beginning of Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant we jump back in time a few years and the Narrator introduces a different set of dancers. After the initial flashback however, the story continues and we find ourselves in the second half of 1936, when the Civil War in Spain has begun (and where I encounter the b [...]

    2. Anthony Powell is not the first writer to compare marriage to a state of war. He is nevertheless in a class of his own as he goes about pleading his case. Book five of his Dance sequence is centered around the study of several couples in the years leading to the World War Two. As he did in the previous novels, Powell starts with a reminiscence, a memory trigger for Nick Jenkins to take a look back at the defining events of his younger, pre-war years. In the present case we have a double exposure [...]

    3. It is doubtful whether an existing marriage can ever be described in the first person and convey a sense of reality To think at all objectively about one’s own marriage is impossible.Well. I read the trilogy Spring in 2012.Then I read the first book of Summer in February of 2015.Now, over a year later, I’ve read the fifth of Powell’s 12 novels.And I’m aiming to read the rest of them before the year is out. or, if you prefer,Takes place: first chapter, 1933 (reminiscences of 1928-9); rest [...]

    4. Writer Nick Jenkins and his artist friend Barnby spend an evening at the Mortimer pub and Casanova's Chinese Restaurant. Nick is introduced to a group of musicians, and becomes close friends with composer Hugh Moreland (based on Powell's friend Constant Lambert). This book revolves around the musicians and their marriages. Nick also marries, but still plays the role of the observer and does not reveal details of his own marriage. His leftist brother-in-law goes to Spain during the Spanish Civil [...]

    5. Marriage, fidelity, infidelity, relationships, friendships, death and all things having to do with life as our hero grows older and deals with new information and family ties. Part 5 is excellent, and whets my enthusiasm for the rest of the series.

    6. "Even the worst marriage is better than no marriage at all" I can only reiterate some of the praise I have previously lavished on this series - it's pure pleasure. The writing is some of the best I have ever read. In "Casanova's Chinese Restaurant" (Vol 5) we've reached the mid-1930s, the backdrop includes the Abdication crisis and the Spanish Civil War. These seismic events, and the storm clouds gathering over Europe, are of only tangential concern to our narrator Nick Jenkins and his companion [...]

    7. This is the fifth book of the series "A Dance to the Music of Time and was originally published in 1960.Exploration of themes of time and memory are developed here. As with several of the earlier volumes, there is a substantial time-overlap with previous books, the first part returning to the period before the death of Mr. Deacon. However, Casanova's Chinese Restaurant concentrates on a new set of characters, principally the composer Hugh Moreland, (based on Powell's close friend Constant Lamber [...]

    8. The detachment of the narrator really comes out in this volume of "A Dance to the Music of Time". Early on, in a reported conversation there is reference to Nick's wife being in a nursing home, and eventually it turns out she has had a miscarriage. For all the concern he has, you would think she had lost a pencil, or something equally unimportant. Another character and his wife have a child who lives for only a few hours. Again, it creates barely a ripple.It's brilliantly done but curiously bloo [...]

    9. There is probably something wrong about thinking you've realized your ideal -- in art or anywhere else. It is a conception that should remain in the mind."― Anthony Powell, Casanova's Chinese RestaurantPowell's fifth book opens with a flashback to the late 20s, and a discussion about love, marriage, and suicide. The book processes through the challenging marriages of Hugh Moreland (composer friend) and Maclintick (music critic friend) and their two difficult marriages. St John Clarke dies Erri [...]

    10. Something tells me this isn't the last we'll hear of Audrey Maclintick. It was going to be 4 stars until something clicked on the last page, so I re-read some passages and yes, it is 5 stars. I've learnt not to read a number of other books while reading the Dance books.This book focuses on Moreland, the composer. There's a great discussion on marriage on pages 156-158.Widmerpool is a no-show in this outing.Some gems of lines throughout:'professionally nauseous''carefully hedged praise''One alway [...]

    11. The fifth book in Powell’s epic sequence opens as several others have done, with some reminiscence. Presumably during the Second World War our narrator Nick Jenkins considers the bombed out remains of a pub he once frequented, with a group of friends. However Nick’s memories do not yet take us to the war years, as he so often does, Powell plays around a little with time here. Returning to the late 1920’s early 1930’s Jenkins remembers the time when he first knew some musician acquaintanc [...]

    12. Maturity starts setting in - and perhaps symbolically, historical events now come more forcefully to the fore - we are in the days of the Spanish Civil War, which however still manifests as almost academic discussions of a war between different ideologies which is actually being played out in what still feels like a distant land. And even when one of their own gets involved, it is still mostly an extravagance which after all is to be expected of such a character. Yes there is political debate, b [...]

    13. Reading "Dance" is pure pleasure - this one is no exception. I don't want to finish the series in a hurry so I space them out, reading one every few other books. That way I have the next one to look forward to, as they are a wonderful antidote to some of the difficulties one may encounter in life! The writing is superlative too, so expect to find many other writers rather clunky, when you have just finished one of Powell's books.

    14. Closing in on the halfway mark in the twelve volume 'Dance to the Music of Time' opus with number five. It is so entertaining reading this episodic work in order--just as much fun as a TV mini-series, or for that matter, 'The Sopranos.' This novel paricularly stood out because of its very clever and effective fast-forward-then-flashback opening used to introduce Moreland and other characters new to the reader but not to Nick Jenkins, the narrator. That fast forward opening lets you know that Wor [...]

    15. The Spanish Civil War and the Abdication Crisis, music and fine arts, bohemians and socialites: all is interwoven into a complicated and admirable ornament.In Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant Anthony Powell occupies himself by comparing the ways and styles of married life of the different personages.“…in the end you discover that all this ill humour is nothing to do with yourself at all. In fact your wife is hardly aware that she is living in the same house with you. It was something that som [...]

    16. Simply amazing. At once profound, yet gossipy and laugh out loud funny. the characters are so richly drawn, I have recognized them by the description of the gait of the character before the name was mentioned.

    17. Originally published on my blog here in August 1999.With the fifth volume of Dance to the Music of Time, Powell reaches the mid-thirties, when conversation in England was dominated by the abdication crisis and the Spanish Civil War. These events form the background to the novel, and yet these hardly concern the narrator Nick Jenkins. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant is about marriage.Powell makes a change to the way that his characters interact for this novel. In the earlier volumes in the series, [...]

    18. This fifth book in Powell’s twelve volume series apparently is narrated during or just after WWII, opening with reflections on locations destroyed in the Blitz, although the events took place a few years before, during the Spanish Civil War. As Hugh Moreland, a new character, is introduced, his history is intertwined with that of Mr. Deacon, who died several novels ago; this particular novel thus begins as a great leap backward in time, interrupting a chronology that has in general been rather [...]

    19. Is Anthony Powell really the “English Proust"? Reading "Casanova's Chinese Restaurant" (1960), the fourth installment of his 12-part epic "Dance to the Music of Time" (1951-75), it's clear that this extended "novel" is more a series of individual sprints that an unbroken marathon. Characters reappear and time moves forward at a deliberate pace, but Powell tends to repeat his approach volume-by-volume: A virtuoso overture sets a melancholy scene, followed by roughly four dialogue-driven social [...]

    20. I find it very difficult to explain the charm of Anthony Powell's autobiographical roman fleuve, A Dance to the Music of Time, though the attraction is undeniable. As with the previous volumes, very little actually happens, and we continue to next to nothing about Nick Jenkins, the narrator and clear avatar for Powell himself.This particular instalment immerses us in the chaotic classical music community of pre-war London, and introduces the troubled genius of composer Hugh Moreland (apparently [...]

    21. Casanova's Chinese Restaurant begins in a slow and disorientating manner. It jumps between past present while introducing new characters and refuses (like the other novels) to ease the reader into the narrative in a conventional manner. Years have passed, and while plot threads from At Lady Molly's remain. Jenkins's life has changed once again and taken a turn towards the bohemian.In the previous entry I noticed my enjoyment of each novel was largely decided by the company that Jenkins keeps. Th [...]

    22. The fifth of the twelve books that make up Anthony Powell's 'A Dance to the Music of Time'. For the first time there is a flashback to introduce more characters, mainly from the arts.A comically unhappy couple are introduced but the end of the book still produces a shock. For the first time Widmerpool barely makes an appearance. There is a growing sense of a gathering storm with one character making a half-hearted contribution to the Spanish Civil War and a range of views being expressed on the [...]

    23. This is a book reflecting on relationships between men and women, focusing primarily on marriage, and it adopts a realistic, if slightly pessimistic, viewpoint. The restaurant itself, with its imperfect blending of disparate elements, may reflect something of how marriage is viewed, and the question is raised early in the book of whether the worst of marriages is better than none at all. The narrator is Nicholas Jenkins, remembering the past, and taking on the role of observer: it is not his own [...]

    24. What always amazes me is that this book, published in 1959, contains undated allusions to things which will happen in the series as it reaches 1959-60 and beyond (in 1973). Coupled with flashbacks to 1928-29 and 1931, and anticipating its own wrenching denouement (c. 1937) by reference to itself in the first 20 pages or so, Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant is a breakneck tarantella to the music of time within the wider, more stately Dance to Music of Time. It strikes me now, for the first time, e [...]

    25. It is an absolute pleasure to read this series, I now find myself excitedly anticipating the delayed pleasure of each new episode in the lives of his many and varied characters.

    26. This review contains spoilers for Casanova's Chinese Restaurant and for subsequent books in A Dance to the Music of Time.(view spoiler)[Love and MarriageThis is, to my eye, the first in the series to have a recognisable 'theme' like an ordinary standalone novel. It celebrates Nick's marriage by showing us the marriages and relationships of his friends and associates. As ever, Nick's own marriage is kept firmly in the background, no doubt of necessity when so much seems to be recognisably drawn f [...]

    27. Powell plays around with the sequence of events for the first time in the series in this volume which starts after the second world war has concluded. Very quickly though, there are flashbacks to people and places encountered during the early 1930s with the Spanish Civil War and the rise of fascism as the backdrop for events mostly with new characters.The main theme is marriage with Nick himself finally tying the knot. However, it still frustrates me that although Jenkins has an opinion and even [...]

    28. In which we realise that the thread of Widmerpool can't (or shouldn't) be sidelined lightly and that Jenkins' form of arm's-remove stiff upper lip observation doesn't sit that well with the more bohemian world that is sketched here. (I say "sketched", because apart from the despairing vision of the music critic's Pimlico flat, they all get whisked into large wealthy households for lunches and such before you can say anything to the contrary).Yes, this 5th installment was rather less enjoyable th [...]

    29. Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant by Anthony PowellThis is the fifth volume of A Dance to the Music of Time. There is a perceptible change of tune. First of all we have musicians in the center of the stage, the tone is different, and the atmosphere is heavier, darker. The mood is rather gloomy at times; we have dramas unfolding and less humor.The name comes from a restaurant were protagonists talk about…Casanova, Don Juan and seduction: “seduction is to do and say the banal thing in the banal [...]

    30. In this fifth installment of Powell’s epic, all attention turns to the arts, a topic protagonist Nick Jenkins and his creator are presumably truly passionate about. This is a nice change of pace. While the previous several novels made sport of the social high life, this novel delves into the nuances of how creative people arrange their personal and public lives. Center stage are two composers, Moreland, the up-and-comer and ladies man, and Mclintick, an embittered lesser-talent enduring a mise [...]

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