Continuance and Change: The Contemporary British Novel Sequence

Continuance and Change: The Contemporary British Novel Sequence

Continuance and Change: The Contemporary British Novel Sequence

Continuance and Change: The Contemporary British Novel Sequence

Synopsis

This unusually perceptive study is the first to treat at length both the novel sequence as an art form and the concept of time as a vital ingredient of it. The writers and works discussed are Doris Lessing's Children of Violence,Olivia Manning's Balkan Trilogy,Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet,Anthony Burgess's Malayan Trilogy,C. P. Snow's Strangers and Brothers,and Anthony Powell's as yet uncompleted Dance to the Music of Time.

Excerpt

In the present book Professor Robert K. Morris of City College examines the novel sequences of six British authors: Anthony Burgess, Lawrence Durrell, Doris Lessing, Olivia Manning, Anthony Powell, and C. P. Snow. the Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques series already lists studies of two of these authors, and books on two more of them are on the way; but in an overview such as Professor Morris's we are given certain perspectives not otherwise obtainable.

One of Professor Morris's principal themes is the concept of time as represented in these examples of what the French call the roman fleuve.Taking this as a key to the various sequences, he provides us with some unusually lucid insights, and the thoroughness with which he deals with the novels themselves makes his examination of them extremely valuable (though I think he somewhat underrates C. P. Snow, whom, however, he defends from various criticisms which have been made of him, particularly in regard to style). But because this is a work of criticism, the author doesn't give much space to the investigation of the backgrounds of these novels.

They must all be written under great strain, of the kind unknown to the majority of fiction writers, most of whose books are, in intention at least, not necessarily related: Dickens is a prime example of this.Of course the author of a long novel must know something of the . . .

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