FACES IN MY TIME
by Anthony Powell
Holt, Rinehart & Winston
230 pages; $14.95
After twelve volumes of his justly celebrated sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time, Anthony Powell, 75, has established himself as the reigning novelist of British understatement. In this third volume of his autobiography, the master whisperer so thoroughly muffles the barbarous yawps of the mid-20th centuryfrom Dylan Thomas to World War IIthat they emerge as discreetly as the sound of one teacup cracking.
As this most seemly of chronicles begins, Powell, 28, is about to marry Violet Pakenham, 22. An opportunity, surely, for a passing brushfire...