The Military Philosophers is the third war novel, and the ninth overall, in Anthony Powell’s Dance To The Music of Time. Nick Jenkins has not had an interesting war up to this point, although it has made interesting reading, suffering boredom and despair in gloomy surroundings without action or danger. That all changes in this book, when he finds himself and begins in one sense to enjoy the war, and to do something useful and for which his talents are fitted. There is some danger, from bombs and the V2, but a great deal of human interest, with a notably international face. I have written about this novel before, of course, but here are the finds of the 2010 reading.
- I gave up further talk. Perhaps she had a grievance or the curse ... It occurred to me - one never feels older than in the middle thirties - that she was bored with all but young men or had taken an instantaneous dislike to me.
- Until you have met Blackhead, the word "bureaucrat" will have conveyed no meaning to you.
- Most people's sex life is a mystery, especially that of individuals who seem to make most a parade of it.
- Afterwards, in memory, the apple orchards were all in blossom ... But it was already November. There can have been no blossom. Blossom was a mirage. Autumnal sunshine, thin, hard penetrating, must have created that scenic illusion, kindling white and silver sparkles in branches and foliage. What you see conditions feelings, not what is.