Books: Jenkins Ear Again

TEMPORARY KINGS by ANTHONY POWELL 280 pages. Little, Brown. $6.95.

Anthony Powell's roman fleuve, A Dance to the Music of Time, is turning into a dance of death. With this eleventh of a projected twelve volumes, the series—chronicling the ebbs and flaws of English upper-class life since the first World War—is nearly played out. Already the narrative extends across 40 years to about 1958, outdistancing many of the lives it recounts. Powell's narrator and alter ego, Nicholas Jenkins, is now in his 50s, an age that, he ruefully notes, confirms one's "worst suspicions about...

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