Happy Birthday, David Lodge, born 28 January 1935
- Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.
- When does a novel begin? The question is almost as difficult to answer as the question, when does the human embryo become a person?
- Universities are the cathedrals of the modern age. They shouldn’t have to justify their existence by utilitarian criteria.
- We’re a bundle of incompatible parts, and we make up stories about ourselves to disguise the fact. The mental unity of the individual is a fiction. There is simply, in the human machine, a multitude of loosely linked behaviour systems which take control of the body and participate in a common delusion of being one single self.
- I respect a man who can recognise a quotation. It’s a dying art.
- To read is to surrender oneself to an endless displacement of curiosity and desire from one sentence to another, from one action to another, from one level of a text to another. The text unveils itself before us, but never allows itself to be possessed; and instead of trying to possess it we should take pleasure in its teasing.
- Life, after all, should go forwards, not backwards.
- Language is the net that holds thought trapped within a particular culture. But if one could only strike the ball with sufficient force, with perfect timing, it would perhaps break through the netting, continue on its course, never fall to earth, but go into orbit around the world.
- Information is the religion of the modern world.
Lodge is an English author and literary critic. He is best known for his novels satirizing academic life, particularly the ‘Campus Trilogy’. Small World and Nice Work were both short-listed for the Booker Prize.
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