The Dialogic Novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge

The Dialogic Novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge

The Dialogic Novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge

The Dialogic Novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge

Synopsis

Morace analyzes the novels of Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge together because they provide a dialogue of conflicting views, styles, and forms of the contemporary novel. This dialogue parallels the views of these two British novelists as critics.

Beginning as realists, as novelists of manners, as writers of campus novels, Bradbury and Lodge explore the possibilities and the limitations of realistic writing. Bradbury and Lodge, however, are not only heirs of English literary tradition. Both are also literary critics with a keen interest in recent critical theories. Morace shows us how the debate between Bradbury and Lodge over the nature and purpose of fiction and criticism has found its way into their novels. The realistic conflicts between civilian and military, English and American, pre- and post-Vatican II values gradually give way to an exploration of the semiotics behind such conflicts.

Morace finds Bradbury's and Lodge's works far more open-ended than the "doggedly indeterminate fictions" of many contemporary writers. Using Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of dialogism, he identifies the ways in which language and values simultaneously compete with and support one another in their novels.

This first book-length study of Bradbury or Lodge deals with all of their novels, including Changing Places, How Far Can You Go?, and Small World by Lodge, as well as Bradbury's The History of Man and Rates of Exchange.

Excerpt

How far can the contemporary novelist go in a small world in which the rate of exchange is no longer fixed, a world in which narrative verities have turned into narrative possibilities? I take this question, which in a world of folio volumes I might also take as my title, from five works -- three of fiction, two of criticism -- by Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge. the conflation is significant for the simple reason that their works are themselves conflations -- or more accurately dialogues -- involving various and often conflicting views, styles, and forms which when taken together form a map of the contemporary novel and, more importantly, an alternative to the balkanization that has characterized the critical study of contemporary fiction during the past decade. Beginning as realists, as novelists of manners, as writers of campus novels, Bradbury and Lodge soon began to explore, both in their fiction and in their criticism, the possibilities as well as the limitations of realistic writing. They discovered in their situation as novelists working simultaneously within and against the English literary tradition a situation analogous to that of the postwar liberal humanist who had previously served as the focus of the Anglo-liberal novel.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.