David Lodge

David Lodge is a professor of English at the University of Birmingham and the author of several novels. He visited Poland in November last year, on the eve of the military take-over. The record of his visit has not been revised in the light of what happened later. He sees it as having acquired since then some unintended ironies, and, for himself, considerable poignancy. Publishing it now is meant as ‘a small gesture of sympathy and concern’.


Prussian Blues

17 October 1996

As Glenn Wood observes (Letters, 12 December 1996), the fictional University of Rummidge in my novel, Changing Places (1975), has a Paternoster lift in its new Arts Faculty building. It is an object of fascination to the visiting American professor, Morris Zapp, and excites in him thoughts and feelings similar, it would seem, to those described in Grass’s novel, and in Heinrich Böll’s short story...

Poem: ‘A Martian goes to College’

David Lodge, 6 December 1984

(with apologies to Craig Raine)

Caxtons are bred in batteries. If you take one from its perch, a girl

Must stun it with her fist before you bring it home.

Learning is when you watch a conjurer with fifty minutes’ patter and no tricks.

Students are dissidents: knowing their rooms are bugged, they

Take care never to talk Except against the blare of music.

Questioned in groups, they hold...


Anger and Dismay

19 July 1984

SIR: For God’s sake! What is so terrible about invoking the Russian Formalists’ distinction between fabula and sjuzet that it should provoke the usually articulate Denis Donoghue to such an ejaculation (LRB, 19 July)? Since he prefers an alternative spelling of sjuzet, I presume that the terms are familiar to him, and indeed it would be surprising if they were not, since they have been current...


7 June 1984

SIR: Marilyn Butler is wrong about Kingsley Amis’s Stanley and the Women (I say nothing about the rest of her review: LRB, 7 June). She claims that this novel is not, as advertised and widely received, a work of blackly misogynist import, but an ‘enlightened’, ‘decent’ and ‘compassionate’ critique of gender stereotyping and, in the portrayal of its central character and narrator, a ‘deconstruction...

Dam and Blast

David Lodge, 21 October 1982

The Dam Busters, shown on BBC Television one Sunday afternoon recently, must be the perfect war film for people like myself who don’t really approve of war, or of the military mystique of competitive valour and unquestioning obedience to authority, or of the exploitation of these things for purposes of entertainment, but nevertheless go weak at the knees at the image of a flakscarred Lancaster bomber coming in to land on a dandelion-strewn airfield at dawn somewhere in East Anglia in 1943.

Whisky out of Teacups: David Lodge

Stefan Collini, 19 February 2015

In​ the preface to The Ambassadors written for the New York Edition of 1909, Henry James insisted that although the conception of the novel required that the unfolding action be in some sense...

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Big Head, Many Brains: H.G. Wells

Colin Burrow, 16 June 2011

In 1892, while H.G. Wells was transforming himself from a draper’s assistant to a student of science, he married his cousin Isabel. He ungallantly described her in his Experiment in...

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Decrepit Lit: David Lodge

Lorna Scott Fox, 8 May 2008

Thirty years ago, the campus novels of David Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury mythologised a setting that expressed, better than any other, the cultural and ideological chaos of the 1960s and 1970s....

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Living as Little as Possible: Lodge’s James

Terry Eagleton, 23 September 2004

Since the Modernist revolution, writing has been seen as an intensely private activity, a view which might have come as something of a surprise to Chaucer or Pope. For liberals such as Henry...

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Graham Coster, 12 September 1991

Had the Pentagon, back in the late Sixties, accepted Boeing’s tender for a massive new cargo aircraft for the United States Air Force, David Lodge would not have been able to write Paradise...

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Let’s get the hell out of here

Patrick Parrinder, 29 September 1988

Here, in these three novels, are three representations of the state of the art. In The Satanic Verses the narrator, who may or may not be the Devil, confides that ‘what follows is tragedy....

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Denis Donoghue, 6 November 1986

This is a gathering of David Lodge’s easy pieces: they are footnotes, shouldernotes and headnotes to the formal work in fiction and literary criticism he has published in the past twenty...

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Jogging in the woods at Bellagio

Frank Kermode, 19 April 1984

Small World is in the author’s words ‘a kind of sequel’ to Changing Places, published nine years ago. The place-changers, Zapp and Swallow, are again central characters; the...

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Structuralism Domesticated

Frank Kermode, 20 August 1981

This is a collection of essays by one of our best literary critics, in fact exactly the kind of thing one would expect from him; it simply continues the good work in the manner of his last two...

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A week or two ago I reviewed a novel about rock-climbers. A very absorbing tale it was too, but specialised; and one was bound to say that to a reader wholly without interest in the technicalities...

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