Mediating between theory and practice, David Lodge has proved himself one of England’s ablest and most interesting literary critics. Among his influential works of criticism are The Language of Fiction (1966) and The Novelist at the Crossroads (1971). In addition to his novels and criticism, he has written short stories, television screenplay adaptations of some of his novels, and (in collaboration with Malcolm Bradbury and Jim Duckett) several satirical revues.
As a novelist, David Lodge has made his mark in three seemingly distinct yet, in Lodge’s case, surprisingly congruent areas: as a writer of Catholic novels, as a writer of “campus fiction,” and as a writer of works that somehow manage to be at once realist and postmodern. The publication of Changing Places in 1975 and Small World nine years later brought Lodge to the attention of a much larger (especially American) audience than he had enjoyed previously. Changing Places won both the Yorkshire Post and Hawthornden prizes, How Far Can You Go? received the Whitbread Award, and Nice Work was short-listed for Great Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize and was named Sunday Express Book of the Year. For his television miniseries adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1844 novel Martin Chuzzlewit, Lodge received the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1995, and in 1996 he was a regional winner and finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Therapy. He was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1997 and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998.
Acheson, James. “The Small Worlds of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge.” In The British and Irish Novel Since 1960, edited by Acheson. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991. Examines similarities in Bradbury’s and Lodge’s treatment of liberal academics, with the theme of Small World as the starting point of study.
Bouchard, Norma. “‘Critifictional’ Epistemes in Contemporary Literature: The Case of Foucault’s Pendulum.” Comparative Literature Studies 32, no. 4 (1995): 497-513. Addresses Lodge’s treatment of academic subject and his use of deconstruction as both theory and technique. Compares Lodge’s techniques to those of Malcolm Bradbury and Umberto Eco, specifically comparing Lodge’s postmodern experiments with Eco’s story of Milanese editors who, toying with a mysterious code, initiate wide-ranging effects in the real world, including mysterious disappearances.
Friend, Joshua. “‘Every Decoding Is Another Encoding’: Morris Zapp’s Postructural Implication on Our Postmodern World.” English Language Notes 33, no. 3 (March, 1996): 61-67. Situates the globe-trotting Zapp of the academic novels (Changing Places, Small World, and Nice Work) in the context of Lodge’s complex understanding of poststructural/postmodern literary theory. Argues that Lodge parodies...
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