Books: Between Proust & Waugh

CASANOVA'S CHINESE RESTAURANT (229 pp.)—Anthony Powell—Little, Brown ($4).

Anthony Powell, a novelist whom British Critic V.S. Pritchett has ranked with Evelyn Waugh, and whom Evelyn Waugh has ranked with Proust (though "more realistic and much funnier"), is almost totally neglected in the U.S. It is not that Powell is dull; he is indeed much funnier than Proust (though not, perhaps, to the French). It is not that his subject matter is so special as to be outside U.S. sympathy; by now, British upper and middle class life should be less exotic to the U.S....

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