David Lodge …

David Lodge

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David Lodge at his home in Birmingham. Photograph: Sophia Evans

David Lodge, born in 1935, is an English author and literary critic. He was Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham until 1987, and he is best known for his novels satirising academic life, particularly the “Campus Trilogy” — Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses (1975), Small World: An Academic Romance (1984), and Nice Work (1988). Small World and Nice Work were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. 

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Lodge has also written several television screenplays and three stage plays. Since retiring from academia he has continued to publish works of literary criticism, which often draw on his own experience as a practising novelist and scriptwriter. His latest novel is called Deaf Sentence.

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David Lodge was featured in the Guardian’s Writers Rooms series in 2007.

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Photograph: Eamonn McCabe/Guardian

I began, like many writers, with a small table in a corner of a bedroom, and have graduated to this spacious and comfortable study on the ground floor of my house in leafy Edgbaston, Birmingham. What you see is a splayed extension to a room of about the same size lined with bookshelves, filing cabinets, and a work bench on which my computer used to sit. I would write first drafts by hand on the big desk, a few pages at a time, and then transfer them to the computer at the work bench, but as I found myself doing more and more writing straight onto the computer I moved the whole operation to the more commodious desk with its pleasant outlook on the patio and back garden. 

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Photograph: Sophia Evans

 It’s German executive office furniture, built like an Audi. The desk surface tilts if you want it to. The chair looks a bit forbidding, like an electric chair, but is ergonomically state-of-the-art. The laser printer dominates the foreground of the photo, appropriately, since I print out work-in-progress constantly – re-read it, amend it by hand, then edit it on the screen and print it out again, and so on. A single page of a novel will go through 10 or more drafts in this  Looking closely, perhaps through a magnifying glass, you will see other tools of my trade on the desk: a telephone (it seldom rings for professional reasons since the advent of email), a diary, a calculator, a spiral notebook in which I keep a constantly renewed list of things- to-be-done, a book rest, A4 ringbinders for filing printouts, a box file which is my in-tray, a dictionary beneath it, and a scatter of pens, pencils, scissors, highlighter, letter opener, and a lip-salve.

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David Lodge signing books at Birmingham University. (2011)

Source: Writers Rooms. 

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2 responses to “David Lodge …

  1. I cannot believe I have not heard of this writer until now – I think he might be my new hero!

  2. I know. I can see why you be thinking this. An actual Professor and all that.
    Do you think he’d be up for a French trip then ? Looks like a tea drinker as well! Thanks for reading. All the best.

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