chapter  XIV
The Interpretation of the Times
ByIsherwood, Powell
Pages 10

Writers have been more persistently anxious about themselves, their contemporaries, or the times they lived in, and those who have seemed not to have wanted to state their anxiety so obliquely. Christopher Isherwood, with a different diagnostic method, explains the time's deformity. Such aetiological inquiries impose upon the novelist, as upon the physician, a technique of flashbacks, confrontations of cause and symptom.The Memorial is certainly a work of art. Some of the people who come to the ceremony people have met before, though eight years later, in the first section of the book, which has a somewhat Conradian time-scheme. Yet The Memorial is the best completed novel of a most distinguished writer: a genuine interpretation of the times. Mr. Anthony Powell's farce is more relaxed than Isherwood's, and he has not the dedicated intellectual's fierce submission to ideas; but his business is similar, having to do with lost souls and disordered times.