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Description de l’éditeur
In this entertaining and enlightening collection David Lodge considers the art of fiction under a wide range of headings, drawing on writers as diverse as Henry James, Martin Amis, Jane Austen and James Joyce. Looking at ideas such as the Intrusive Author, Suspense, the Epistolary Novel, Magic Realism and Symbolism, and illustrating each topic with a passage taken from a classic or modern novel, David Lodge makes the richness and variety of British and American fiction accessible to the general reader.
He provides essential reading for students, aspiring writers and anyone who wants to understand how fiction works.
British novelist Lodge ( Paradise News ) retired in 1987 from Birmingham University's English faculty and swore off academic prose, but in 1991 he consented to contribute a series of columns ``of interest to a more general reading public'' to the London Independent . Each of these 50 essays begins with a brief fiction passage, addressed and interpreted topically by Lodge, who discusses point of view, the unreliable narrator, ``the uncanny,'' ``weather'' and other aspects of writing. For example, in Chapter 19, ``Repetition,'' he observes that while Hemingway is famous for the ``charged simplicity'' of his reiterated words or phrases, repetition brings a special flavor to the work of writers as various as Dickens, Lawrence and Martin Amis--and he proves it. The selections are varied, although perhaps slanted to favor gentility (Austen and Nabokov, not Meredith or Dreiser), and tend to verify the opinion that ``the novel has always been centrally concerned with erotic attraction and desire.'' Lodge may be working a bit below full capacity here, but apart from serving as a genial companion, he defines terms of the novelist's craft so deftly and concisely that this pleasurable browse could rescue (or replace) many a college syllabus.