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Great diary - shame about the theory :-) Nah, nothing like Dostoyevsky, his work has stuff like murder, not little squabbles, and it's localised. Clearly ET is much more like a David Lodge novel, with its fierce but trivial academic disputes and globalised settings. I was tempted to pick Nice Work for an enirely spurious personal reason. But it has to be "Small World" - how apt :-)


 The reason why I thought of using the Grail legend in Small World is a very simple one. When I started thinking about the novel, I wanted to deal with the phenomenon of global academic travel. The idea came to me at a James Joyce conference in Zurich, which in fact is one of the settings for the novel. I was getting into that international conference-going circuit myself for the first time. Indeed I went straight from Zurich to another conference in Israel. I was intrigued by the conjunction of high-level academic discussion with a certain amount of partying and tourism; by the mixture of cultures; and by the idea of people, all of whom know each other, converging from all over the world on various exotic places to talk about fairly esoteric subjects, and then flying off, only to meet each other again in another exotic venue. This is where I started: a kind of academic comedy of manners, with a global dimension.

http://www.lib.rochester.edu/Camelot/intrvws/lodge.htm

Like ET !  and it includes: "jousting with each other" :-)  

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:34:03 PM EST

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