[short stories Books] Epub Agents and Patients by Anthony Powell

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Unsavory artists titled boobs and charlatans with an affinity for Freud―such are the oddballs whose antics animate the early novels of the late British master Anthony Powell A genius of social satire delivered with a very. So in every possible case He that is not free is not an Agent but a Patient Wesley Sermon lxviiHaving enjoyed the 12 novel seuence A Dance to the Music of Time I am gradually reading my way through Powell s non Dance novelsThe primary agents of the title are Chipchase a psychologist with theories but no patients and Maltravers who works in film in a not entirely clear function his screen credit if he received one would probably be Associate Producer but who has ambitions of becoming an auteur Their patient is Blore Smith a young man with adeuate money but little sense of purpose Chipchase and Maltravers set about to relieve him of the former and perhaps eventually provide him with the latter A number of comic incidents ensue with an eccentric cast of characters in London and its environs as well as Paris and Berlin in the very last days of the Weimar Republic In this novel one can find if one wishes a meditation on free will and personal responsibility but Powell keeps his touch very light and does not insist on the reader contemplating any serious themes beneath his entertaining surface

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Agents and Patients

And vanity than plot driven narratives these slim novels reveal the early stirrings of the uneualed style ear for dialogue and eye for irony that would reach their caustic peak in Powell’s epic A Dance to the Music of Time. As a reviewer for the TLS in 1947 Anthony Powell wrote a piece on the British novel as it appeared between the wars They were melancholy and satirical with lively dialogue and bare descriptions Agents Patients written in 1936 fits the description Maltravers and Chipchase two post war types already perhaps a little dated based incidentally on the author and his friend John Heygate the man for whom Evelyn Gardener left Evelyn Waugh are hard up and in need of somebody to exploit Along comes the cashed up ing nu Blore Smith son of a deceased midlands businessman with a print of van Gogh s Sunflowers on his wall perhaps Powell should simply have named him Room Temperature A series of amusing scenes occur as the knowing pair escort Blore Smith on expensive and educative romps to Paris and Weimar Berlin Ho ho There are amusing lines but the situations themselves are never uite as funny as their author seems to think they are Or they have simply aged and one is no longer titillated by the advent of an unknowing young man s presence in a brothel though it does prompt him to conclude that it must be uite warm because all the women have their frocks pulled up rather highLove his opus as I do I think it might be time to put aside rummaging through Powell s non Dance fiction for a while

Anthony Powell ´ 9 CHARACTERS

Dry wit Powell builds his comedies on the foibles of British high society between the wars delving into subjects as various as psychoanalysis the film industry publishing and of course sex More explorations of relationships. Ah Powell you re the best This felt somewhat slight along the lines of his first novel Afternoon Men but marvelous nonetheless I enjoyed Maltravers s relationship with his wife and the state of their home and the drunk Maruis in chapter 5 was kind of the best


8 thoughts on “Agents and Patients

  1. says:

    ‘So in every possible case; He that is not free is not an Agent but a Patient’ Wesley Sermon lxviiHaving enjoyed the 12 novel seu

  2. says:

    A little like Evelyn Waugh but nowhere near as good Set just before WW2 amongst the opportunistic not uite rich The agents are cinematic and artistic; the patients are psychoanalytic The would be film maker plans a prototype reality TV documentary though he imagines it won't make any money filming a bunch of in

  3. says:

    Ah Powell you're the best This felt somewhat slight along the lines of his first novel Afternoon Men but marvelous nonetheless I enjoyed Maltravers's relationship with his wife and the state of their home and the drunk Maruis in chapter 5 was kind of the best

  4. says:

    As with much of Mr Powell's work Agents and Patients grows funnier with each re reading Blore Smith seems in many ways an early version of Widmerpool but without the menace I still find it amusing to think that in the roman a clef fashion Oliver Chipchase is somewhat based on AP himself

  5. says:

    As a reviewer for the TLS in 1947 Anthony Powell wrote a piece on the British novel as it appeared between the wars They were melancholy and satirical with 'lively dialogue and bare descriptions' Agents Patients written in 1936 fits the description Maltravers and Chipchase two 'post war types already perhaps a l

  6. says:

    Not a really fun read but not especially awful either I suppose

  7. says:

    My least favourite Powell so far in part because the deliberately cinematic style is so distancing that I just didn't care what happe

  8. says:

    gave up Sad