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The Language of Fiction: Essays in Criticism and Verbal Analysis of the English Novel (Routledge Classics) [Kindle Edition]

David Lodge
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Language of Fiction was the first book of criticism by the renowned novelist and critic David Lodge. His uniquely informed perspective - he was already the author of three successful novels at the time of its first publication in 1966 - and lucid exposition meant that the work proved a landmark of literary criticism, not least because it succeeded in communicating a radically new vision of English literature to a readership that reached well beyond the bounds of the academy. Now reissued with a new foreword, this major work from the pen of one of England's finest living writers is essential reading for all those who care about the creation and appreciation of literature.

Product Description


'Perhaps because he is a good novelist himself, Mr Lodge's subjection of various writers to detailed linguistic analysis is illuminating and exciting.' - Daily Telegraph

About the Author

David Lodge (1935-). Novelist and critic, whose many publications include Small World and Nice Work, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (12 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009W486ZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #266,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Lodge's Criticism 31 Aug. 2011
The range of approaches to literature expanded almost as rapidly as the novels themselves during the twentieth century; some approaches provide insights into the novels, others seem to mystify even the simplest of stories.
Lodge begins with the obvious - the language - examining linguistics and stylistics and other interpretative, evaluative approaches.
As professor of English Literature, he knows his subject well, covers a broad range of modern writing including problems of translations; moving on to stylistics, he examines links between stylistics and linguistics before looking at FR Leavis's moral dimensions. All this in Part One.
In Part Two, he examines Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and the more "modern and contemporary", ending with Martin Amis.
It is a very enjoyable, easy-to-read examination of novels by, not only an excellent literary critic, professor of literature but a novelist himself. Perhaps this is why he knows the subject so well - an insider.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I have read the first thirty pages of this book and have already lost patience. Not with the author. I admire Lodge's fiction and criticism: his acumen, his discernment, his slow-cooking humour. I'm just sick of the constant slew of typographical errors that irritate, disrupt and mislead. Here is a sample:

p. 4 "its owns" for "its own"
p. 14 "it was became" for "it was because"
p. 15 "war would be an acceptable synonym for must have been" for "was..."
p. 21 "I have, never felt" for "I have never felt"
p. 24 "when parsed would be awkward and jarring" for "when passed would be awkward and jarring"
p. 29 "Thus notion of style" for "This notion of style"

After all, this is a book about language and meaning; it contains a large number of close readings, which depend implicitly on the quality of editorial control. This problem may be common to Routledge Classic editions. Colin Smith's translation of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (Routledge Classics): An Introduction is similarly unreadable. I wonder if these texts have been scanned from older editions. But even so, shouldn't there still be a copy-editing process?

I appreciate the effort Routledge has made to reprint a large number of valuable and interesting books at affordable prices, but there is little point in doing this if the texts are thereby rendered corrupt and less readable.

Another frustrating and disappointing purchase. If you're interested in the book, find another edition.
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