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A Knife at the Throat

Christopher Tayler: Meticulously modelled, 3 March 2005

by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 280 pp., £17.99, February 2005, 0 224 07299 4
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... to begin that from this distance seems like happiness.’ In Consciousness and the Novel (2002), David Lodge quotes V.S. Ramachandran describing the need ‘to reconcile the first person and third person accounts of the universe’ as ‘the single most important problem in science’. Lodge goes on to argue that ...

I’m hip. I live in New York

Theo Tait: Leonard Michaels, 3 March 2016

by Leonard Michaels.
Daunt Books, 131 pp., £9.99, June 2015, 978 1 907970 55 9
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... version that has now been published in Britain for the first time, with a helpful introduction by David Lodge.) In Reality Hunger, David Shields grouped Michaels with other secular Jewish ‘laureates of the real’ who ‘tend to be better at analysing reality than recreating it’ in fiction. And certainly the ...

On David King

Susannah Clapp, 21 June 2018

... for drawings and paintings – and commissioned photographs. Some of the most powerful were by David King. He used to come blazing into the office with his huge black-and-white portraits, already measured up for size: no question, ever, of anything being cropped. One was of the writer Francis Wyndham, then in his sixties, in conversation with a 34-year-old ...

Mrs Thatcher’s Universities

Peter Pulzer, 22 June 1989

... in well-stocked libraries. A way of life that is in most essentials the exact opposite of a David Lodge novel, so that few of us care that the rest of the world smiles condescendingly at our shabby clothes, battered bicycles and collapsing brief-cases. And it is the job satisfaction that has gone. An increasing proportion of our time is devoted to ...

The View from the Passenger Seat

Lorna Sage: Gilbert Adair, 1 January 1998

The Key of the Tower 
by Gilbert Adair.
Secker, 190 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 0 436 20429 0
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... depending on insider knowledge only others in the trade need feel troubled or titillated by. David Lodge, quoted on an Adair dust jacket saying that The Death of the Author is ‘brilliant, worthy of Nabokov’, is doing something of this kind, pretending innocence, tactfully avoiding the question of pastiche, of who’s actually in charge of this ...

Prolonging her absence

Danny Karlin, 8 March 1990

The Wimbledon Poisoner 
by Nigel Williams.
Faber, 307 pp., £12.99, March 1990, 0 571 14242 7
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The Other Occupant 
by Peter Benson.
Macmillan, 168 pp., £12.95, February 1990, 0 333 52509 4
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by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 511 pp., £13.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3260 4
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... motifs are intertwined with contemporary academic and sexual politics, clearly owes a good deal to David Lodge; the theme of the lost literary legacy invokes The Aspern Papers; James might be cited again in relation to the book’s punning deployment of ‘possession’ as a term of material, erotic and demonic significance, an association that also ...


Christopher Tayler: Muriel Spark’s Essays, 25 September 2014

The Golden Fleece: Essays 
by Muriel Spark, edited by Penelope Jardine.
Carcanet, 226 pp., £16.99, March 2014, 978 1 84777 251 0
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... by sex, and ended up living with Jardine in a companionable relationship best described – by David Lodge – as a ‘Boston marriage’.) Another effect of her conversion was to bolster the formal daring she’d shown in her first short stories. Broadly speaking, her novels are eager to puncture the conventions of realist fiction, though careful to ...

Whatever Made Him

Sheila Fitzpatrick: The Bauman Dichotomy, 10 September 2020

Bauman: A Biography 
by Izabela Wagner.
Polity, 510 pp., £25, June, 978 1 5095 2686 4
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... Polish community, but they made a life there, Zygmunt more easily than Janina. I can imagine a David Lodge or Malcolm Bradbury novel based on Bauman’s emergence as a Global Thinker – Wagner’s capitals – at red brick Leeds. Bauman himself could probably have written it, had loyalty and a sense of hard-won local citizenship not constrained ...

The Divine Miss P.

Elaine Showalter, 11 February 1993

Sex, Art and American Culture 
by Camille Paglia.
Viking, 256 pp., £16.99, March 1993, 0 670 84612 0
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... acquisitive and devotional.This isn’t a totally new style in academic speaking and writing; as David Lodge has famously shown, the performative style of showbiz and avant-garde theatre entered academic cultural life in the Eighties through the very conference circuit that Paglia claims to despise. Jane Gallop’s skirt made out of men’s ties, Terry ...

Episteme, My Arse

Christopher Tayler: Laurent Binet, 15 June 2017

The Seventh Function of Language 
by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor.
Harvill Secker, 390 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 910701 58 4
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... the lines of Gilbert Adair’s The Death of the Author (1992). As a comic extravaganza it salutes David Lodge, whose character Morris Zapp gets a walk-on part. But for Binet, riffing knowingly on narrative theory isn’t an end in itself. As well as being a kind of allegory, and an elaborate joke, his conspiracy plot is a way of arranging non-fictional ...

Der Jazz des Linguas

Matthew Reynolds: Diego Marani, 8 November 2012

New Finnish Grammar 
by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry.
Dedalus, 187 pp., £9.99, May 2011, 978 1 903517 94 9
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The Last of the Vostyachs 
by Diego Marani, translated by Judith Landry.
Dedalus, 166 pp., £9.99, May 2012, 978 1 907650 56 7
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Las Adventures des Inspector Cabillot 
by Diego Marani.
Dedalus, 138 pp., £6.99, July 2012, 978 1 907650 59 8
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... makes the point. The book’s plot is a more routine contraption, bolting together elements of David Lodge and Henning Mankell. Ivan has been brought to Helsinki by Olga Pavlovna, a Russian linguist who wants to display him at a conference to prove her theory of the hybridity and geographical dispersion of the Finno-Ugric languages. Somewhat ...

Orwell and Biography

Bernard Crick, 7 October 1982

... a life. It cannot affect our appreciation of Orwell’s art. May I quote from an essay by David Lodge: ‘When I first read “A Hanging” I certainly assumed it was a true story. The more I studied it, the more I suspected that Orwell had added or altered some details for literary effect, but I did not doubt that the piece was essentially ...

Learned Behaviour

Luke Jennings, 23 September 2021

... attended a Royal Ballet summer school. Two years later he was admitted to its junior school, White Lodge, in Richmond Park. It’s an appropriately fairy-tale setting: deer are often visible from the ballet studio windows. Boys and girls who pass the exacting auditions, as Scarlett did, board at the school from the age of eleven and sleep in dormitories. Those ...

By San Carlos Water

Neal Ascherson, 18 November 1982

Authors take sides on the Falklands 
edited by Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £4.95, August 1982, 0 900821 63 9
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The Falklands War: The Full Story 
by the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ Team.
Deutsch and Sphere, 276 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 0 233 97515 2
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The Winter War: The Falklands 
by Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.
Quartet, 153 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 7043 3424 0
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Iron Britannia: Why Parliament waged its Falklands war 
by Anthony Barnett.
Allison and Busby, 160 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 85031 494 1
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Falklands/Malvinas: Whose Crisis? 
by Martin Honeywell.
Latin American Bureau, 135 pp., £1.95, September 1982, 0 906156 15 7
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Los Chicos de la Guerra 
by Daniel Kon.
Editorial Galerna, Buenos Aires, August 1982
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A Message from the Falklands: The Life and Gallant Death of David Tinker, Lieut RN 
compiled by Hugh Tinker.
Junction, 224 pp., £3.50, November 1982, 0 86245 102 7
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... by homicidal maniacs on a collision course are also coming closer to one another. The novelist David Lodge, in one of the earnest but flustered contributions typical of Authors take sides on the Falklands, is more realistic. He writes that regaining the Falklands is not worth one human life. But he then confesses: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that ...

Men in Aprons

Colin Kidd: Freemasonry, 7 May 1998

Who’s Afraid of Freemasons? The Phenomenon of Freemasonry 
by Alexander Piatigorsky.
Harvill, 398 pp., £25, August 1997, 1 86046 029 1
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... and ‘marital break-ups’: why, the cover asks, ‘do so many husbands don an apron at the lodge when they wouldn’t be seen dead in one at home?’ British fears of Masonic conspiracy have never risen to the same pitch as on the Continent or in the United States, not least because our history lacks an adversarial Enlightenment and its culmination in ...

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