Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge
Connected Essays (Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature)

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Human consciousness, long the province of literature, has lately come in for a remapping--even rediscovery--by the natural sciences, driven by developments in Artificial Intelligence, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology. As the richest record we have of human consciousness, literature, David Lodge suggests, may offer a kind of understanding that is complementary, not opposed, to scientific knowledge. Writing with characteristic wit and brio, and employing the insight and acumen of a skilled novelist and critic, Lodge here explores the representation of human consciousness in fiction (mainly English and American) in light of recent investigations in the sciences.

How does the novel represent consciousness? And how has this changed over time? In a series of interconnected essays, Lodge pursues these questions down various paths: How does the novel's method compare with that of other creative media such as film? How does the consciousness (and unconscious) of the creative writer do its work? And how can criticism infer the nature of this process through formal analysis? In essays on Charles Dickens, E. M. Forster, Evelyn Waugh, Kingsley and Martin Amis, Henry James, John Updike, and Philip Roth, and in reflections on his own practice as a novelist, Lodge is able to bring to light--and to engaging life--the technical, intellectual, and sometimes simply mysterious working of the creative mind.


About David Lodge

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Writing both literary criticism and novels, British author David Lodge has learned to practice what he teaches. A professor of Modern English literature, both his fiction and nonfiction have found a large readership in the United Kingdom and the United States. To maintain his dual approach to writing, Lodge has attempted to alternate a novel one year and a literary criticism the next throughout his career. Lodge's fiction has been described as good writing with a good laugh, and he is praised for his ability to treat serious subjects sardonically. This comic touch is evident in his first novel, "The Picturegoers" (1960) in which the conflict of Catholicism with sensual desire, a recurrent theme, is handled with wit and intelligence. "How Far Can You Go" (1980) released in United States as "Souls and Bodies" (1982) also examines sexual and religious evolution in a marvelously funny way. "Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses" (1975, 1979), based on Lodge's experience in Berkeley as a visiting professor, won the Hawthorne Prize and the Yorkshire Post fiction prize and solidified his reputation in America. Some of the author's other hilarious novels include "Nice Work" (1989), which Lodge adapted into an award-winning television series, and "Therapy" (1995), a sardonic look at mid-life crisis. Lodge's nonfiction includes a body of work begun in 1966 with "The Language of Fiction" and includes "The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts" (1992) and "The Practice of Writing: Essays, Lectures, Reviews and a Diary"(1996). In a unique approach, he often uses his own works for critical examination and tries to give prospective writers insights into the complex creative process. David John Lodge was born in London on January 28, 1935. He has a B.A. (1955) and M.A (1959) from University College, London and a Ph.D. (1967) and an Honorary Professorship (1987) from the University of Birmingham. Lodge is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Published October 7, 2002 by Harvard University Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Intrigued by the way the very notion of consciousness seems to be evolving in an age of cyber and virtual reality, the author focuses here on a wide range of topics that offer perspective on consciousness in fiction.

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The Guardian

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Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge Secker & Warburg £17.99, pp352 Judging from the title, one might assume that Consciousness and the Novel was written by David Lodge the academic literary theorist, author of Working with Structuralism and After Bakhtin.

Dec 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Consciousness and the Novel: ...

The Guardian

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Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge 320pp, Secker, £18.99 Consciousness and the Novel reprints a number of recent lectures and reviews, revises and expands two previously unpublished lectures, and ends with an animated interview.

Nov 23 2002 | Read Full Review of Consciousness and the Novel: ...

This is doubtless an absorbing question, but not one that can have much to say to the novelist, of interest indeed only in the way that Lodge himself explores it in his novel Thinks, which has at its centre an affair between a cognitive scientist and a literary novelist.

Nov 16 2002 | Read Full Review of Consciousness and the Novel: ...

Project MUSE

The five volumes of his recently completed biography of Dostoevsky have received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association, and the Christian Gauss Prize of Phi Beta Kappa.

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The Sunday Times

Welcome to your preview of the Sunday TimesSAVAGE REPRISALS: BLEAK HOUSE, MADAME BOVARY, BUDDENBROOKS by Peter Gay (Norton £19.95 pp192)In his tour of the “possibly treacherous” world of the 19th-century novel, Gay is aware thatTo see the full article you need to subscribeThe Department of Energy...

Nov 03 2002 | Read Full Review of Consciousness and the Novel: ...

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