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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The professor did it again!, 23 Nov 2003
This review is from: Consciousness and the Novel (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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, 30 July 2003
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars how to think about the way you write about anything., 10 Dec 2011
This review is from: Consciousness and the Novel (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!

Further on, Lodge explores methods of point-of-view across the history of the novel, especially the faultline beginning with Modernism where the emphasis of internalisation as opposed to remaining on the surface parallels the philosophical debate about how much can a person/narrator know about anyone or anything.

As someone who dabbles in the dark art of creativity (as opposed to the 'bright' art of commerce and business) I found this book to be a perfect encapsulation of how to think about the way you write about anything, or, in fact, go about any creative process that demands a more informed perspective.
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5.0 out of 5 stars David Lodge's Consciousness, 16 Nov 2011
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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Consciousness and the Novel
Consciousness and the Novel by David Lodge (Paperback - 6 Nov 2003)
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