Campus Novel and More

"... the university has been the key institution in Lodge’s life, and here his biography is a microcosm of the much vaunted social mobility experienced by many of those who came to adulthood in the decades immediately after 1945. At first sight, it would be tempting to say that he is not an academic novelist but a novelist who happens to be an academic. However, that not only understates the extent to which his critical and theoretical work has informed his fiction (his skilful exposition of the role of metaphor and metonymy in Nice Work is an obvious instance): it may also misrepresent his identity. Lodge doesn’t just ‘happen to be’ an academic: he owed his writing voice to the university, just as in a more material way he owed the opportunity to establish himself as a writer to the financial security provided by his academic career". Stefan Collini su due nuovi libri di David Lodge, un'autobiografia e una raccolta di saggi, Quite a Good Time to Be Born: A Memoir (Harvill Secker), Lives in Writing: Essays (Vintage). lrb.

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