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Beerbohm caricatures

Anthony Powell

An extract from the diary of Anthony Powell

22nd January 1995: I received a telephone call from a Professor Wildenstein at Princeton University. He wanted to give me a large amount of money. This is the sort of thing the Americans do very well. He said that I was to be awarded some literary prize or other worth 50,000 dollars, and would I do him the honour, etc, of accepting it. Really the most awful bore, but I suppose one must humour these types. Reluctantly, I accept, wondering why he could not just have posted it to me, without the need for 'acceptance'. Needless to say, he was delighted. I have noticed in the past that many Americans pronounce 'Dance' with a sharp 'a', rather than a long 'a'. Have others noticed this too, or is it my novelist's ear? I ask him to send the cheque, but, please, no accompanying letter, as these congratulatory missives can prove tedious to plough through.

Re-read the poems of W. B. Yeats. Very Irish.

Craig Brown

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