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Marilyn Butler, 2 September 1982

The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. I: Medieval Literature Part One: Chaucer and the Alliterative Tradition, Vol. II: The Age of Shakespeare, Vol. III: From Donne to Marvell, Vol. IV: From Dryden to Johnson 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 647 pp., £2.95, March 1982, 0 14 022264 2
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Medieval Writers and their Work: Middle English Literature and its Background 
by J.A. Burrow.
Oxford, 148 pp., £9.95, May 1982, 0 19 289122 7
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Contemporary Writers Series: Saul Bellow, Joe Orton, John Fowles, Kurt Vonnegut, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Pynchon 
by Malcolm Bradbury, C.W.E. Bigsby, Peter Conradi, Jerome Klinkowitz and Blake Morrison.
Methuen, 110 pp., £1.95, May 1982, 0 416 31650 6
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... to build a bridge to Medieval literature, may have the effect for some readers of distancing it. Malcolm Bradbury’s series of monographs on modern authors sounds more positively convinced of the virtue of setting literature in period. It is boldly built upon a series of premises which tie texts to contexts; books of the Sixties and the ...

A Catholic Novel

David Lodge, 4 June 1981

... are present at the occasion and taking notes on it) but which bears the impress especially of Malcolm Bradbury’s Eating people is wrong (1959). Malcolm had come to the English Department at Birmingham in 1961, a year after me, and we quickly became friends and collaborators. In 1963 the two of us and a talented ...

Poles Apart

John Sutherland, 5 May 1983

Give us this day 
by Janusz Glowacki, translated by Konrad Brodzinski.
Deutsch, 121 pp., £6.95, March 1983, 0 233 97518 7
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In Search of Love and Beauty 
by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
Murray, 227 pp., £8.50, April 1983, 0 7195 4062 3
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Listeners 
by Sally Emerson.
Joseph, 174 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 7181 2134 1
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Flying to Nowhere 
by John Fuller.
Salamander, 89 pp., £4.95, March 1983, 0 907540 27 9
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Some prefer nettles 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Secker, 155 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 436 51603 9
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The Makioka Sisters 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Secker, 530 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 330 28046 5
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‘The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi’ and ‘Arrowroot’ 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Anthony Chambers.
Secker, 199 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 436 51602 0
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... shapes up as if it is going to be a rather conventional and thoroughly English novel of the kind Malcolm Bradbury describes as chronicling the female orgasm in Hampstead for female readers in Hampstead. The heroine, Jennifer Hamilton (carried over from Emerson’s first novel, Second Sight), is a bright, young and pretty lady of letters. In the ...

Entails

Christopher Driver, 19 May 1983

Fools of Fortune 
by William Trevor.
Bodley Head, 239 pp., £7.50, April 1983, 0 370 30953 7
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What a beautiful Sunday! 
by Jorge Semprun, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Secker, 429 pp., £8.95, April 1983, 9780436446603
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An Innocent Millionaire 
by Stephen Vizinczey.
Hamish Hamilton, 388 pp., £8.95, March 1983, 0 241 10929 9
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The Papers of Tony Veitch 
by William McIlvanney.
Hodder, 254 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 340 22907 1
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In the Shadow of the Paradise Tree 
by Sasha Moorsom.
Routledge, 247 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 7100 9408 6
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The Bride 
by Bapsi Sidhwa.
Cape, 248 pp., £7.95, February 1983, 0 224 02047 1
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... vibrates between the perilous and the preposterous. She comes on as a campus novelist, the Malcolm Bradbury of the bush. Jessica Miles, academic daughter of what sounds like a Scottish Baptist family, brings the gospel of media studies to the emergent middle class at Zunia’s university, and has to fight for her own typewriter, just as though she ...

Ruling Imbecilities

Andrew Roberts, 7 November 1991

The Enemy’s Country: Words, Contexture and Other Circumstances of Language 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 153 pp., £19.95, August 1991, 0 19 811216 5
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... essay, Hill does make his attack on the ‘vast apparatus of Opinion’ more specific, criticising Malcolm Bradbury and Christopher Bigsby for presenting Margaret Drabble and John Le Carré as ‘most important writers’. He goes on to reproach the same critics for appealing to a ‘supposed consensus’ and for the use of the phrase ‘our ...

Schools of History

Walter Laqueur, 26 September 1991

Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives 
by Alan Bullock.
HarperCollins, 1187 pp., £20, June 1991, 0 00 215494 3
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Stalin: Breaker of Nations 
by Robert Conquest.
Weidenfeld, 346 pp., £18.99, September 1991, 0 297 81194 0
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... although, as I see it, justice could be done to them only by a writer like David Lodge or Malcolm Bradbury. It seems evident to me that their work is for the most part based on a very small element of truth whose significance is inflated out of all proportion, that facts buttressing the case are carefully selected, and all the evidence that does ...

Turns of the Screw

Hugh Barnes, 7 August 1986

Mating Birds 
by Lewis Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... and to be distinguished from the campus novels (more academic, not so upper-class) of, say, Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge. Miles Tattershall lectures, with moderate success, in 17th-century literature at Cambridge. He, too, is conventional, in so far as conventions exist for fictional men of letters. Like Nick Jenkins in Anthony Powell’s ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: It's a size thing, 19 September 1985

... would be lying if he didn’t tell you it was merely ‘roomy’. Top marks go to Pritchett and to Malcolm Bradbury, who wins a hard-to-come-by ‘elegant’ for his Victorian house, with bonus marks for having made Haffenden approach it by way of an impressive ‘gravel drive’. As to the places Haffenden would least like to move into, these are ...

Yesterday

Frank Kermode, 27 July 1989

The Pleasures of Peace: Art and Imagination in Post-War Britain 
by Bryan Appleyard.
Faber, 367 pp., £12.99, June 1989, 0 571 13722 9
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... fields. Needless to say, these experiments ‘had their correlatives in literature’ – in Malcolm Bradbury, as it isn’t perhaps needless to say, and Martin Amis. Perhaps there is wisdom in Howard Brenton’s observation that what binds us together in this period is nothing more than ‘a profound unease’. It is here, approaching the end of ...

Decrepit Lit

Lorna Scott Fox: David Lodge, 8 May 2008

Deaf Sentence 
by David Lodge.
Harvill Secker, 294 pp., £17.99, May 2008, 978 1 84655 167 3
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... Thirty years ago, the campus novels of David Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury mythologised a setting that expressed, better than any other, the cultural and ideological chaos of the 1960s and 1970s. The main characters were rarely students, but all the energy in these comedies of social transition flowed from the young: it was their politics and their sexuality that the generations above them were forced to flatter or fight, exploit or succumb to ...

‘Come, my friend,’ said Smirnoff

Joanna Kavenna: The radical twenties, 1 April 1999

The Radical Twenties: Aspects of Writing, Politics and Culture 
by John Lucas.
Five Leaves, 263 pp., £11.99, January 1997, 0 907123 17 1
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... mind: friends lost, loves lost, lesbian affairs lost, age, death, futility. To paraphrase Malcolm Bradbury on Woolf, she could be thinking of eternity, or she could be thinking of potatoes. Lucas is torn between reading these female writers as representative of gender trouble and testing their class-consciousness: while the ‘sharply ...

He is English, after all

Neal Ascherson: Unboreable Leigh Fermor, 7 November 2013

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
John Murray, 362 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 1 84854 752 0
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... and into the ‘bloodthirsty’ Balkans. Later, John Buchan, Lawrence Durrell, Evelyn Waugh and Malcolm Bradbury were among those who tried their hand at brutal, gaudy Balkan Ruritanias. Literary ‘othering’, as teachers tell their classes, is a way of confirming your own society as ‘normal’ by heightening the aberrant weirdness of its supposed ...

Whisky out of Teacups

Stefan Collini: David Lodge, 19 February 2015

Quite a Good Time to Be Born: A Memoir, 1935-75 
by David Lodge.
Harvill Secker, 488 pp., £25, January 2015, 978 1 84655 950 1
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Lives in Writing: Essays 
by David Lodge.
Vintage, 262 pp., £10.99, January 2015, 978 0 09 958776 7
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... his several extended visits to the United States; about his close friendship and rivalry with Malcolm Bradbury; about the onset of deafness in late middle age; and about much, much more besides. Lodge said in a recent interview that the idea of his writing an autobiography had been suggested by a reader of Lives in Writing, given the collection’s ...

Don’t worry about the pronouns

Michael Wood: Iris Murdoch’s First Novel, 3 January 2019

Under the Net 
by Iris Murdoch.
Vintage, 432 pp., £9.99, July 2019, 978 1 78487 518 3
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... old in 2019 and still a very sprightly read, offers all kinds of ways of thinking about this work. Malcolm Bradbury tells us that on its publication it ‘was hailed as part of the “angry” movement and closely associated with such books as Lucky Jim, Hurry on Down and even Room at the Top’ – novels by Kingsley Amis, John Wain and John ...

Making Do and Mending

Rosemary Hill: Penelope Fitzgerald’s Letters, 25 September 2008

So I Have Thought of You: The Letters of Penelope Fitzgerald 
edited by Terence Dooley.
Fourth Estate, 532 pp., £25, August 2008, 978 0 00 713640 7
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... stories. Fitzgerald later wrote a biography, The Knox Brothers, a title which she reminded Malcolm Muggeridge he had advised against on the grounds that ‘it would sound like a circus.’ It was her second book. The first, a life of Burne-Jones, appeared two years earlier, in 1975, when she was nearly 60. Until then child-rearing, teaching, a ...

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