David Lodge

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David Lodge (born 28 January 1935) is an English comic novelist and literary critic. He has for twenty years been Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham.


  • Four times, under our educational rules, the human pack is shuffled and cut – at eleven-plus, sixteen-plus, eighteen-plus and twenty-plus – and happy is he who comes top of the deck on each occasion, but especially the last. This is called Finals, the very name of which implies that nothing of importance can happen after it.
  • Looking around at the faces of his colleagues in the Senior Common Room he felt reassured: not a Lineament of Gratified Desire to be seen.
    • Changing Places ([1975] 1978), ch. 1, p. 27.

Small World (1984)

Quotations are taken from the 1985 Penguin edition of Small World ISBN 0140072659
  • I'm a bit of a deconstructionist myself. It's kind of exciting – the last intellectual thrill left. Like sawing through the branch you're sitting on.
    • Part II, ch. 2, p. 118.
  • Language is the net that holds thought trapped within a particular culture. But if one could only strike the ball with sufficient force, with perfect timing, it would perhaps break through the netting, continue on its course, never fall to earth, but go into orbit around the world.
    • Part II, ch. 2, p. 141.
  • That's the attraction of the conference circuit: it's a way of converting work into play, combining professionalism with tourism, and all at someone else's expense. Write a paper and see the world! I'm Jane Austen – fly me!
    • Part IV, ch. 1, p. 231.
  • I respect a man who can recognize a quotation. It's a dying art.
    • Part IV, ch. 1, p. 245.
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