Went out for a stroll and decided to take a book with me, so I took David Lodge along. I started reading Consciousness and the Novel (2002) in the beginning of the term. I found it in the New Books section of Stockholm’s Library. Of eleven essays, two I totally skipped, of which the remaining 9 others were succulent pieces. He definitely treats the subject well, that is, how consciousness exists in novel characters.
He has an eye for criticism, for example, I was very much amused and amazed at a critique he made regarding an essay on E M Forsters novel Howards End, titled Forster’s Flawed Masterpiece. He says: “Some of the purple passages towards the end of the novel sound like George Meredith on a bad day …” I mean, to make that kind of critique you really must be well versed in literature. And he sure sounds like he is. He is one of those novelists that also side job as scholars, like Richard Holmes. He has good, delicious essays on Evelyn Waugh, Kierkegaard, a nice discourse on Philip Roth’s geriatric sexual habits. A topic I only seen touched on by a Swedish writer, Theodor Kallifatides in Seven Hours in Paradaise ( De sju timmarna i paradiset ). Dickens came along as well, and this essay covered mostly things of a nearly biographical nature. Although very informative stuff about his sexual life and the near lack of consciousness in of some Dickens characters.