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The Practice of Writing [Hardcover]

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

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Book Description

28 Oct 1996
First published in 1996, this is a collection of entertaining and thought-provoking essays on the relationship between creative writing, the teaching of the same and the task of dramatizing literary works for television and the stage.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd (28 Oct 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436204088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436204081
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,115,564 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

Review

"Sends the reader back to writers' works (including Mr. Lodge's own) with a renewed appreciation of what makes them tick and why" (New York Times)

"These essays, so easy in manner, so well-built and informative, offer a fine blend of creative writing and criticism... The essays on writers who have meant most to him as a novelist, notably Graham Greene (on whom nobody has written better) and Joyce, are brilliant" (Sunday Times)

"Mr. Lodge's meditations on Joyce, Nabokov and Kingsley Amis, are indeed small gems, the sort of essays you want to underline and commit to memory" (New York Times)

"It is refreshing to be reminded that those who teach can also do" (Observer) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

An entertaining volume of essays, perfect for aspiring writers and curious readers. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
This essay started life as a talk given to a seminar at the University of East Anglia held in November 1990 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the well-known M.A. in Creative Writing programme at that institution. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The expert practitioner 19 Nov 2002
Format:Paperback
David Lodge is by far the best of those academics who explore the practice of creative writing and write creatively themselves. His earlier collection of essays, The Art of Fiction, is an essential primer for would-be creative writers. The Practice of Writing is a deeper and more academic collection, but entirely accessible and free from the jargon of literary theory (which has yet to contribute anything to the study of practice). The book is in two parts, the first concerned with analysis of novelists' techniques. Graham Greene, Henry Green, D H Lawrence, James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov are among the subjects. The second part of the book is entitled 'Mixed Media', and concerns adaptation, screenplays and stage plays. The last item is a diary of the process involved in producing Lodge's play The Writing Game - and is an excellent record of the practical and artistic issues (and their effects on the text) that have to be overcome before a play can be seen. I have used both these books in creative writing courses for some time, and find them endlessly useful and inspiring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book 9 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
bought as a reference book for a creative writing course. I am sure it will come in very useful as I progress through the course.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For readers who are interested in writing 9 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The essays on Graham Greene and Vladimir Nabokov alone make this book worth buying. Unlike one reviewer, I like the idea of a writer who thinks about his craft and is able to explore the work of other writers with a little more knowledge and skill than I have (or an Eng Lit academic who has written novels and screenplays that sell and are produced).

And I don't mind in the least if his book encourages me to read someone I haven't yet tried (the positive follow-up to 'Who he?' Green again) or prompts me to re-read old favourites (Greene again) with a fresh, older, and (thanks to David Lodge) better-prepared eye. But whether it's renewed curiosity or new discoveries I want, there was plenty of both here for me.

I just read and enjoyed: Lodge's story-telling is compelling in his essays, too. (Graham Greene, eh? Bit of a character, wasn't he?)
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10 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Here again, in the title of this book, and in that of one of its chapters, "Creative Writing: Can It/Should It Be Taught?", we find the self-obsessed, navel-gazing attitude to writing of those who assume that the only creative writing -- indeed, the only writing at all however, creative or not -- is of fiction: of novels, and plays, and screenplays; and perhaps of literary criticism itself. (In fact, just like Fairfax et al., "The Way to Write".)
Surely the vast majority of writing that is done in the world, and in the English language in particular, is non-fiction. There is, to begin with, journalism both general (in our bulky daily and Sunday newspapers) and specialist (in the host of weekly and monthly magazines on every hobby and specialist subject imaginable). Then there are all the multitude of non-fiction books that are published every year -- though perhaps one should leave aside anything as mechanical as tables of reference and directories which, although representing a lot of hard work are only in very small measure creative; but even a new dictionary certainly involves a heck of a lot of writing, and if its compilers are not to copy the definitions from rival publications, they must surely be fairly creative in capturing each of the meanings of each word as accurately and precisely as possible and in a new way! Then there are the myriad instruction manuals for products of all kinds produced by companies for their customers; the glossy annual reports produced by big public companies for their shareholders: somebody has to write them, and to be pretty creative in trying to make them interesting, too, I reckon.
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12 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Here again, in the title of this book, and in that of one of its chapters, "Creative Writing: Can It/Should It Be Taught?", we find the self-obsessed, navel-gazing attitude to writing of those who assume that the only creative writing -- indeed, the only writing at all however, creative or not -- is of fiction: of novels, and plays, and screenplays; and perhaps of literary criticism itself. (In fact, just like Fairfax et al., "The Way to Write".)
Surely the vast majority of writing that is done in the world, and in the English language in particular, is non-fiction. There is, to begin with, journalism both general (in our bulky daily and Sunday newspapers) and specialist (in the host of weekly and monthly magazines on every hobby and specialist subject imaginable). Then there are all the multitude of non-fiction books that are published every year -- though perhaps one should leave aside anything as mechanical as tables of reference and directories which, although representing a lot of hard work are only in very small measure creative; but even a new dictionary certainly involves a heck of a lot of writing, and if its compilers are not to copy the definitions from rival publications, they must surely be fairly creative in capturing each of the meanings of each word as accurately and precisely as possible and in a new way! Then there are the myriad instruction manuals for products of all kinds produced by companies for their customers; the glossy annual reports produced by big public companies for their shareholders: somebody has to write them, and to be pretty creative in trying to make them interesting, too, I reckon.
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