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Small World by David Lodge

Small World (1984)

by David Lodge

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Rummidge (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,834245,743 (3.88)36
  1. 30
    Straight Man by Richard Russo (browner56)
    browner56: Very funny treatments of academic life from different sides of the Atlantic Ocean
  2. 00
    Changing Places by David Lodge (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: KayCliff: Small World is a sequel to Changing Places
  3. 00
    The Fisher King by Anthony Powell (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both novels treat of the Fisher King legend in a modern setting.

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» See also 36 mentions

English (19)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
If I were able to isolate and remove the wit itself of Small World, that essence would merit an easy four stars. Unfortunately, the rather cumbersome trappings of the novel (350 pages, for a comic novel about academics?)and the cataclysmic use of coincidence dimmed this one considerably. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Some good stuff but doesn't age well ( )
  Amzzz | Jun 8, 2013 |
A funny take on the world of UK avademia - some of it may be dated by now, but most of it is sadly still true. Beare in mind though that British academics are going to get more out of it than somebody with no experience that environment, so my 4 stars may be biased upwards.

Writing a thesis on the influence that Hazlitt had on Shakespeare? Priceless :) ( )
  PaolaM | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book may have made me laugh out loud more than any other (of comparable length) I have read in the last 20 years. The other contender would be Randall Jarrell's Pictures from an Institution. (Is that evidence that academia is inherently more ridiculous than other fields of human endeavor? Possibly.) The main characters are all scholars or aspiring specializing in medieval romance; so Lodge stuffs the novel with symbols and plot devices borrowed form that genre, meaning no coincidence is too ridiculous.

Also Lodge is a dinosaur like me, who got his degree before Critical Theory took over, so I enjoyed his jabs at orthodoxy.

(I must admit that I was ready for it to be over 25 pages before the end.)
  sonofcarc | Mar 20, 2013 |
En préambule de son roman, précisant que toute ressemblance avec des faits ou des personnages réels serait fortuite, David Lodge invite son lecteur à ne pas se laisser abuser par la fiction qui lui est donnée à lire. Faussement soucieux de préserver l'honorable image du microcosme dont il se moque, cette précaution d'usage n'a d'autre but en vérité que de signifier la réalité de son propos. En matière d'ironie, Lodge est un maître incontesté, et pour servir ses méchantes ambitions, il pousse la caricature (acide, mais jamais amère) parfois jusqu'à l'extrême. Ainsi, il traque, dénonce, fustige et se moque superbement des mesquineries calculatrices, des petites ambitions des 'grands littérateurs' qui se déplacent de congrès en réunions internationales comme ils iraient à la parade, jouant les érudits, les beaux esprits ou encore les séducteurs de salons. Mais avant tout, sa métaphore nous touche et nous amuse, car effectivement, 'que le monde est petit' ! --Lenaïc Gravis et Jocelyn Blériot
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Lodgeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kannosto, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Like Changing Places, to which it is a kind of sequel, Small World resembles what is sometimes called the real world, without corresponding exactly to it, and is peopled by figments of the imagination (the name of one of the minor characters has been changed in later editions to avoid misunderstanding on this score).

Author's note.
When April with its sweet showers has pierced the drought of March to the root, and bathed every vein of earth with that liquid by whose power the flowers are engendered; when the zephyr, too, with its dulcet breath, has breathed life into the tender new shoots in every copse and on every heath, and the young sun has run half his course in the sign of the Ram, and the little birds that sleep all night with theeir eyes open give song (so Nature prompts them in their hearts), then, as the poet Geoffrey Chaucer observed many years ago, folk long to go on pilgrimages. Only, thes days, professional people call them conferences.

"April is the cruellest month", Persse McGarrigle quoted silently to himself, gazing through grimy windowpanes at the unseasonable snow crusting the lawns and flowerbeds of the Rummidge campus.

Part I, chapter one.
Real romance is a pre-novelistic kind of narrative. It's full of adventure and coincidence and surprises and marvels, and has lots of characters who are lost or enchanted or wandering about looking for each other, or for the Grail, or something like that.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140244867, Paperback)

The unbridled greed, pettiness, buffoonery and intellectual gobbledygook in the world of higher scholarship are the topics of this thorough and thoroughly funny roman a' English department. It's interesting for a couple of reasons, aside from its humor and spoofiness: it's an insider's view of things -- always the best kind -- and it takes its old-fashioned time telling a story, complete with reasonable digressions about the state of literary criticism and what may or may not be a realistic view of the academic life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

English professors are on the loose. In this second installment in the delightful trilogy of academic satires, the sun has not quite set on the sexual revolution, while political correctness has not yet reared its humorless head.

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Average: (3.88)
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