Lodge

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MASARYK UNIVERSITY IN BRNO

FACULTY OF ARTS

Department of English and American Studies

Comic features in some of David Lodge’s novels

Veronika Šaurová

Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Milada Franková, CSc., M.A.

Brno 2005

I declare that I have worked on my thesis independently, using the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography.

Veronika Šaurová

Acknowledgements:

I would like to thank doc. Mgr. Milada Franková, CSc., M.A. for her kind help and valuable advice.

Contents:

1. Introduction…………………………………………………5

2. David Lodge – his life and work……………………………7

3. The Campus novel………………………………………….11

4. British Museum is Falling Down…………………………...15

5. Changing Places…………………….....................................24

6. Paradise News………………………………………………30

7. Conclusion…………………………………………………..34

8. Bibliography………………………………………………..35

1. Introduction
David Lodge, the contemporary British writer is one of the most productive and successful British authors of the second half of the 20th century. His great success lies in the fact that he has become popular not only in his country, but people all around the world enjoy his parodies and satirical novels and get to know a great deal of information especially about the British and American university life. He is one of the founders of the new genre of the ‘campus novel’. He has introduced this new kind of writing into literature together with his colleague, university teacher and literary author Malcolm Bradbury, but Lodge himself remained undoubtedly the typical and most popular representative of this genre. The main aim of my thesis is to concentrate on the comic features in David Lodge’s work, how he uses the comic element in his novels, in what connections and situations. As it is impossible to explore the whole of Lodge’s work, I focused on three novels with an apparent comic subtext: The British Museum Is Falling Down (1964), Changing Places (1975), and Paradise News (1991). In the introductory part of this thesis I would like to mention the most important aspects of David Lodge’s life, list his most significant works and briefly comment on them. Then I will focus on some theory concerning the ‘campus novel’, its description and various forms. I will trace the main works connected with the ‘campus novel’ of the predecessors and founders of this genre and in the end I will add some definitions concerning relevant terms which are the most crucial elements of Lodge’s comic work. The first novel of which I shall analyse is one of the earliest of Lodge’s novels The British Museum Is Falling Down (1964). The strongest aspect which makes this novel unique is the use of pastiche in it. The next part of the thesis is formed by the analysis of one of the Lodge’s most popular and if not even best-known novel Changing Places (1975). This initial piece of the ‘campus trilogy’ is followed by two no less outstanding sequels Small World (1984) and Nice Work (1988). The last novel chosen to be discussed is one of Lodge’s more recent – Paradise News (1991). This work differs from the other two in that it does not deal with the university life or academic themes which are the most common sources of comedy and satire by Lodge but despite of this fact it contains a great deal of humour.

2. David Lodge – his life and work

David Lodge was born in South London on 28 January 1935. He now lives in Birmingham...
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