Magazine article The Spectator

Lodge: A Complaint

Magazine article The Spectator

Lodge: A Complaint

Article excerpt

From David Lodge Sir: Frederic Raphael's review of No Man's Land by Graham Greene (Books, 10 December) has recently come to my attention. Mr Raphael is entitled to express his low opinion of Graham Greene's literary ability, but I resent his doing so by misquoting and misrepresenting my foreword to this edition of two film 'treatments' written in the form of novellas.

'The beautiful Clara . . . stands, we are told by David Lodge's foreword, for "Christian charity".' This observation is in fact made not by me but by the editor of the volume, James Sexton, in his introduction.

'No Man's Land, which David Lodge in hagiographic mood would have us believe is an important minor work. . . '. I described both stories as 'minor' works; 'important' is Mr Raphael's word. The phrase 'important minor work' seems to me something of a contradiction in terms and I cannot envisage myself using it.

'Lodge promises that the author "is one of the writers of whom it can be said that almost nothing they write is without interest or evidence of a unique literary gift".' I stand by that statement (it is not a promise) -- and I said 'wrote', not 'write', a more felicitous reference to a dead author. …

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