April 3, 2008

Small World

Small World
David Lodge


(April 3, 2008)

Aaron Swartz raved about this book, even though he says he doesn't usually like novels. It was short-listed for the Booker. In the end, I don't see the attraction. Lodge chronicles the sexual escapades of Jet-Setting English Professors as they fly from conference to conference. None of them seem particularly interested in their research, all of them seem surprisingly interested in misbehaving, none of them seem to enjoy it much or learn anything at all. Some of the characters, I expect, are wicked caricatures of noted critics; Morris Zapp is apparently based on Stanley Fish, I suppose Michel Tardes is Michel Foucault, and I can see how that might turn into an amusing game.