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Big Head, Many Brains

Colin Burrow: H.G. Wells, 16 June 2011

A Man of Parts 
by David Lodge.
Harvill, 565 pp., £18.99, March 2011, 978 1 84655 496 4
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... to have noticed that his readers won’t believe everything his persona says. This takes us to David Lodge. A Man of Parts complements his biographical novel about Henry James, Author, Author.* The sliding and evanescent ironies of Henry James tended to elicit from Lodge some over-heavy ironies at the Master’s ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Don't Bother to Read, 22 March 2007

... quotes from in sufficient detail to wear as an effective disguise include Oscar Wilde, Montaigne, David Lodge and Umberto Eco – he always allots the book he’s citing to one class or another, giving page references from books he admits to not knowing or from one of his own books (Qui a tué Roger Ackroyd? no less) he wants us to believe he’s ...

Whitehall Farces

Patrick Parrinder, 8 October 1992

Now you know 
by Michael Frayn.
Viking, 282 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 9780670845545
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... Lawyers these days doubtless read John Mortimer, and dons read the new university wits like David Lodge and Tom Sharpe. But in any wider competition for the post of English humorist-in-residence, Michael Frayn would surely be a prime contender. Now verging on sixty, his collected plays and translations fill three thick volumes, his early newspaper ...

Absent Authors

John Lanchester, 15 October 1987

Criticism in Society 
by Imre Salusinszky.
Methuen, 244 pp., £15, May 1987, 0 416 92270 8
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by Malcolm Bradbury.
Deutsch, 104 pp., £5.95, September 1987, 0 233 98020 2
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... But there are immediate difficulties with the book, difficulties of a kind once ascribed by David Lodge to a figure seen at academic conferences: the figure of the Deconstructionist who, radically sceptical about the existence of selfhood, identity and the subject, nonetheless continues to go for an early-morning jog. The jogging Deconstructionist ...

Structuralism Domesticated

Frank Kermode, 20 August 1981

Working with Structuralism 
by David Lodge.
Routledge, 207 pp., £10.95, June 1981, 0 7100 0658 6
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... his last two books. Why, then, do the reviewers shy like frightened cab-horses? Because Professor Lodge not only includes about seventy-five pages of ‘structuralism’, but actually uses the word in his title, and suggests that it is possible for an English professor to get along with it. Given the mood of rancorous philistinism that at present ...
High Fidelity 
by Nick Hornby.
Gollancz, 256 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 0 575 05748 3
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... of response the book provokes, if it happens to do its thing for you. Nearly thirty years ago, David Lodge wrote a brilliant essay, called ‘The Modern, the Contemporary, and the Importance of Being Amis’, republished in his collection Language of Fiction (1966). All right, this essay said, so no one with any sense ever pretended that Lucky Jim was ...


David Bromwich: Hazlitt, 18 June 1998

The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt’s Radical Style 
by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 382 pp., £22.50, June 1998, 0 571 17421 3
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... and how he keeps coming back. T.S. Eliot said he was guilty of ‘crimes against taste’. David Lodge made him a twee subject of nostalgic research for the English hero of Small World, Philip Swallow, hopelessly outgunned by the vulgar but irresistible American, Morris Zapp. Lodge had got his significant detail ...

English Changing

Frank Kermode, 7 February 1980

The State of the Language 
edited by Leonard Michaels and Christopher Ricks.
California, 609 pp., £14.95, January 1980, 0 520 03763 4
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... speak, a new loss of life, and so contribute to the renovation of the language. Another professor, David Lodge, says a good word for the English spoken in Marin County, California, as recorded by Cyra McFadden in The Serial. Marin, a ‘high-energy trip with … happening people’, is near San Francisco, ‘the consciousness-raising capital of the ...


Ian Hamilton: It's a size thing, 19 September 1985

... Salman Rushdie’s residence also rates a ‘comfortable’, but he’s in Tufnell Park. David Storey’s pad, on the other hand, is fashionably situated but Honest John Haffenden would be lying if he didn’t tell you it was merely ‘roomy’. Top marks go to Pritchett and to Malcolm Bradbury, who wins a hard-to-come-by ‘elegant’ for his ...


Claude Rawson, 4 March 1982

Ferocious Alphabets 
by Denis Donoghue.
Faber, 211 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 571 11809 7
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... elaborate structures of thought is likely to be construed as an attack on thought itself. David Lodge, accustomed to having it both ways in such matters, describes the typical British objector as Hopkins described Browning: as ‘a man jumping up with his mouth full of bread and cheese shouting that he will stand no damned nonsense.’ Donoghue ...

Women and the Novel

Marilyn Butler, 7 June 1984

Stanley and the Women 
by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 256 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 09 156240 6
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... people. The campus novel with which Amis and his younger contemporaries Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge began is a sub-division of the genre. The more recent campus novels have allowed more serious, ‘shop’ conversations into their dialogues than ever Lucky Jim did, but then Stanley and the Women does too: it’s not the university setting but a ...

Faculty at War

Tom Paulin, 17 June 1982

Re-Reading English 
edited by Peter Widdowson.
Methuen, 246 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 416 31150 4
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Against Criticism 
by Iain McGilchrist.
Faber, 271 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 571 11922 0
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... and examined as interesting ‘cultural artefacts’ (this stupidly philistine term is favoured by David Lodge and other members of the new critical generation). They also wish to abolish value judgments and inaugurate a new era of scientific criticism which will overthrow the hegemony of canonical texts. Some find that hegemony so oppressive that they ...

Schools of History

Walter Laqueur, 26 September 1991

Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives 
by Alan Bullock.
HarperCollins, 1187 pp., £20, June 1991, 0 00 215494 3
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Stalin: Breaker of Nations 
by Robert Conquest.
Weidenfeld, 346 pp., £18.99, September 1991, 0 297 81194 0
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... if controversial’, although, as I see it, justice could be done to them only by a writer like David Lodge or Malcolm Bradbury. It seems evident to me that their work is for the most part based on a very small element of truth whose significance is inflated out of all proportion, that facts buttressing the case are carefully selected, and all the ...

Turns of the Screw

Hugh Barnes, 7 August 1986

Mating Birds 
by Lewis Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... from the campus novels (more academic, not so upper-class) of, say, Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge. Miles Tattershall lectures, with moderate success, in 17th-century literature at Cambridge. He, too, is conventional, in so far as conventions exist for fictional men of letters. Like Nick Jenkins in Anthony Powell’s sequence of novels ...

A Piece of Single Blessedness

John Burrows, 21 January 1988

Jane Austen: Her Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 452 pp., £16.95, October 1987, 0 297 79217 2
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... substantial biographies of Jane Austen within a decade smacks of excess. But, compared with Lord David Cecil’s A Portrait of Jane Austen (1979) and John Halperin’s The Life of Jane Austen (1984), the work under review is in so many ways the best that it deserves to make its mark. The three authors, moreover, approach their subject (or subjects) from ...

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