Ball, D., 2011. Bi-Polarity in Dance: Widmerpool as the Negative Image of Jenkins. In: Anthony Powell's Literary London: Sixth Biennial Anthony Powell Conference, 2-4 September 2011, London. (Unpublished)
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There is a general perception of a void at the centre of Dance. Critics have variously described Jenkins as “curiously vague or shadowy”, or a voyeur – one who sees without being seen. This paper delineates the character of Jenkins by identifying Widmerpool as the negative image of him; it thus helps reveal the bi-polar nature of Dance, which is obscured by Jenkins’s apparent lack of presence. There are many domains in which this bi-polarity is seen. Sex is one. Widmerpool and Jenkins share two girls: Widmerpool’s approach to Barbara Goring brings humiliation, while Jenkins exits from the relationship with dignity intact; Gypsy Jones is Jenkins’s first conquest but keeps Widmerpool at arm’s length while relieving him of money and compromising his career. Society is another. Jenkins moves effortlessly in society and is accepted by the Tollands; Widmerpool’s approach to the family at Erridge’s funeral is an invasion. This paper however will focus on the arts, particularly literature. While Jenkins’s passion for them is almost all-consuming, Widmerpool was “totally unimpressed by the arts. He was even accustomed to show open contempt for them” (CCR). His custodianship of the Modigliani, whose name he never remembers, is almost disastrous. In terms of literature, Widmerpool’s reaction to Jenkins’s espousal of writing as a profession is totally dismissive. He does become involved in Fission, but only in order to propagate his political views. In the resulting encounter Trapnel, one embodiment of literary London, rooks and ridicules him and steals his wife. Widmerpool’s attendance at the Venice conference is driven not by literature but the urgent need to make contact with Communist Block delegates. Here also he is humiliated through Tiepolo by Pamela, a humiliation that culminates in the fracas after Entführung. He attends the Donners Prize-giving but only again to deliver a political message.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Anthony Powell Narrator|
|Group:||Student and Academic Services > Library and Learning Support|
|Deposited By:||Mr David Ball LEFT|
|Deposited On:||26 Apr 2011 15:55|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:43|
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