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Old 04-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #6
fantasyfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpulley View Post
First I really want to thank issybird for this month's selection. It is a book I never would have chosen for myself in a million years but I enjoyed it immensely on many levels. I've only been a member of the literary book club for a few months but already it has greatly expanded my reading horizons.

Comedy, romance, perhaps unintentional recording of the history of the period, tragedy, there is so much going on.
Ditto!!

I mentioned the stylistic brilliance earlier and when I finished the book, I felt no reason to modify that remark. Dawn Powell conveys an effortlessness in her remarkable range of tone and register. I was amazed by the sequence ending Part I: . . . salt over left shoulder . . . {Pages 75-85 in the pb.}
The author's ironic distance is combined with a ghastly horror that could almost have come out of Sheridan LeFanu's imaginative world.

I was impressed by the skilful study of the theme centering around the development of self-awareness in various characters. Powell presents the theme as a continuum--not a final goal. In one sense, the "Magic Wheel" could be the evolving wheel of self consciousness. Dennis, Effie {I love her!}, Corinne, and Andy {perhaps} all demonstrate this psychological growth in different ways. How and Why they do so requires some probing by the reader.

And why do some characters never develop as human beings? They remain locked in a pattern that they seem to accept--even if they are aware of that situation. Tony Glaenzer is an example. Is it that they have totally misconstrued the meaning of self-hood? Perhaps some--such as Okie and his satellites--don't even know that they are little more than puppets in an arbitrary social system.

Last edited by fantasyfan; 04-13-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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