Friday, January 28, 2005

Happy 70th Birthday David Lodge!

From Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac today…

It's the birthday of the English novelist and critic David Lodge, (books by this author) born in London, England (1935). He is the author of several novels, many of which resemble Lodge's own life.

Lodge was born in suburban London to a traditional Catholic family, and he was raised in the years following World War II. His early novel, The Picturegoers (1960), is about a Catholic family in South London who take in a university student as a lodger. Other early novels bear striking resemblance to Lodge's own life: Ginger, You're Barmy (1962) draws upon Lodge's own compulsory service in the British military, and The British Museum is Falling Down (1970) follows the comical story of a Catholic graduate student working on his thesis. Aside from his semi-autobiographical novels, Lodge closely protects his privacy.

Lodge is the creator of the fictional town of Rummidge, which is based on Birmingham, England, and has been the setting for several novels. He has also created the imaginary American state of Euphoria, located between North California and South California, and is home to a state university in the city of Esseph, which is a fictionalized version of Berkeley, where Lodge taught for a brief time. His novels set in academia are usually satirical in nature.

David Lodge said, "A novel is a long answer to the question 'What is it about?' I think it should be possible to give a short answerin other words, I believe a novel should have a thematic and narrative unity that can be described."

Great...we are all dipping into Rummidge and Euphoria right now, as we read Changing Places as our next novel in my course. Guaranteed to warm us up in the frozen tundra of north central Indiana!

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