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Consciousness and the Novel Hardcover – 7 Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd (7 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436210053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436210051
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.9 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Lodge's novels include Deaf Sentence, Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work, Therapy, Thinks... and Author, Author. He has also written stage plays and screenplays, and several books of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction, Consciousness and the Novel and, most recently, The Year of Henry James. Formerly Professor of English at Birmingham University, David now writes full-time. He continues to live in Birmingham.

Product Description

From the Publisher

A major collection of essays on literature by one of our most skilled and successsful novelists.

About the Author

David Lodge's novels include Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work, Therapy and, most recently, Thinks... He has also written several books of literary criticism and has edited classic novels and anthologies of criticism, including Twentieth Century Literary Criticism and Modern Criticism and Theory.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 July 2003
Format: Hardcover
Lodge isnt a scientist and don't expect a dissection of current thory about conciousness. However he is a damn fine writer with an understanding of humanity and, or course, he''s immensely literate. This is a very intriguing approach to the novel, and if you're a regular but casual reader like me you'll find it illuminating at the very least. Recommended.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "susypuyo" on 23 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
David Lodge is not only an outstanding and entertaining novelist but a critic as well as a professor. In this new book of essays he does what he did so well in The art of fiction and The practice of writing: he makes us understand great novels and writers, he ponders on the mechanics of style, and he tells about his problems as a creator.
His insights on the technical aspects of literary theory are neither so rarefied that the common reader cannot understand, nor so simplified that a student may not profit by it.
A real jewell, Lodge did it again.
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Format: Paperback
The book's title is the main essay within this collection. Inside this essay's 91 pages Lodge examines how novelists/storytellers do what they do in relation to what is understood as the idea/concept/theory of human consciousness. For anyone fascinated (or confused) by the many narrative modes available to writers, and how this enquiry leads to a point where literature, philosophy and neurological studies intersect, this book pinpoints some of the most intriguing aspects and issues of how the human mind 'constructs' reality both on and off the page. Lodge approaches the subject from his own experience as a novelist, critic and academic. It is a very readable essay and flows through a range of insights and examples in a manner which is easy to absorb, compared, say, to other literary theory tracts!

The book's main area of interest seems to circle around the debate of 'what it is to be human' and how do humans interpret that much taken for granted thing called 'reality'? So, for instance, there is mention of the soul/body debate where some scientists/thinkers claim that there is no such thing as a metaphysical soul, such a thing being merely a 'trick' of the reflexive human brain - yet within literature there still exists a continuing need to advance the idea of the human species as something other than the sum of its parts. This leads into an enquiry about whether or not the novel has always been a place where the nature of human consciousness has been explored and developed, that the human brain is a storytelling machine, and through this method reality is constructed!
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By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover
David Lodge is an acaemic, lecturer and literary critic who deals with people's consciousness every day, either as readers, critics or writers and this book is a revelation of his thoughts on the subject. Without getting deeply into philosophical arguments about how a book becomes, either at the writing or reading stage, from the mind to blackmarks on white paper into the minds of readers or, in the case of some writers, the minds of nations and humanity in general, anyone reading a well-written book will be a consciousness creating (recreating?) other characters with consciousness, all from the third mind's consciousness.

The place of creative writing - novels, philosophy, poetry, plays, etc - is central to many people's view of humanity and Lodge examines many of these genres, techinqiues and writings in this short book:
Consciousnes and the Novel
Literary Criticism and Literary Creation
Dickens Our Contemporary
Forster's Flawed Masterpiece
Waugh's Comic Wasteland
Lives in Letters: Kingsley and Martin Amis
Henry James and the Movies
BYe-Bye Bech?
Sick with Desire: Philip Roth's Libertine Professor
Lierkegaard for Special Purposes
A Conversation about "Thinks" ...

For anyone interested in the process of writing and reading, this is a fascinating book whihc will give plenty of food for thought.
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