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Un tout petit monde (The Campus Trilogy #2)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  3,625 ratings  ·  180 reviews
Où sont les campus d'antan où des professeurs de lettres besogneux erraient comme des âmes en peine entre les salles de cours, la bibliothèque et la salle des professeurs, l'intelligence en jachère, le coeur en sommeil ? Le jumbo-jet, les médias ont changé tout cela, arrachant les universitaires d'aujourd'hui à leur solitude, les amenant à communiquer avec de lointains col ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 30th 1991 by Rivages (first published 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I can't believe how few of my GR friends have Small World on their shelves. Of course, we all know what's wrong with the genre, and many people instinctively shy away from reading yet another novel by a lecturer at an English department, describing what it's like to be an English lecturer who's writing a novel. The first time you see someone try to crawl up their own ass, it's kind of interesting. The tenth time, you know in advance that they'll get stuck somewhere in their lower intestine, and ...more
Soumen Daschoudhury
Aug 16, 2014 Soumen Daschoudhury rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who wants a laugh
Shelves: 2014-reads, booker, funny
David Lodge’s is a small world; the Japanese call it a narrow world. It is a world of conferences - literary conferences, conferees, professors, writers, critics, linguistic enthusiasts and geniuses, universities, educationists and once through this novel, one would wonder if there does exist a world beyond these universities and conferences; where do WE live then or is our existence a myth? And these so called guardians and critics of literature are not bound merely to their books and epics and ...more
Oh yes and...

On fear of flying.

One of the things I love about this series is he captures ordinary sensible fears of flying so well.

I've just got off a plane, yet again without it falling down in a non-prescribed manner. But still, it's made me think about this situation.

Have you ever been in a plane, sitting in it, expecting to take off, when the pilot says 'Attention, attention, attennnnshhunnn. Passengers, in order to fly safely we need to take off 100 kgs. I'm asking for two volunteers and th
Finished reading it exactly one day before the M.A entrance exam, it feels like I have recapitulated everything I've been studying for this exam for the past few months. There was Norton anthology of English Literature there (adding some depth to my knowledge of the medieval literature and genre of romance- I should read Faerie Queen now, I guess) and also the whole gamut of literary criticism (explained way better than the Bressler guy- no offence, dude. Your textbook is still my favorite among ...more
David Lentz
Witty, clever, amusing, well narrated. Some really great lines about this discourse on English professors on summer holiday: "We are all subjects in search of objects." Layered for a story line that broadly appeals with intriguing insight as to the real purpose of literary theory in bringing unknown writers to light. Laughed out loud at the story about the English prof who attended a seminar on the "Problems of the Colon" and who was an hour into the lecture before realizing he was attending the ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: College professors; People who appreciate subtle humor
This is a sort-of sequel to Lodge's book CHANGING PLACES. However, the two main characters of CHANGING PLACES are now secondary characters in this novel, which takes place 10 years later, roughly around 1979.

Lodge turns up the academic aspect to HIGH in this novel, which may drive away some readers. This is a novel filled with conferences such as MLA, a lot of literary theory, and a lot of professors who are out of ideas for books and articles.

Into all this enters our protagonist, the Irishman
My brother Mike described this as the only book I've ever given him that he didn't like. I can understand why: lots of literary references, lots of in-jokes for English majors, graduate students, and anyone who's ever suffered through a course in literary theory. But I'm all of those things, and as I read Small Word through for the second time--this time in preparation to teach it at the end of my British Lit class--I found myself liking it even more than I did the first time. It's more than jus ...more
Having read Changing Places, “to which this book is a kind of sequel,” says Lodge, I was eager for this one. I was not disappointed. The plot is barebones (academics globe-trot and vie for a sinecure endowed chair), the characters varied, the scope huge.

This novel is a modern epic; a social satire; a wickedly funny skewering, with a decidedly accurate feel, of academic pretension and trumpery; an allegory (of the quest for the Holy Grail); a love story; and more --- it’s even a sly wink at the r
Jan 14, 2009 Gloss rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gloss by: Cornelia, I think
Shelves: aca_lit
I love this book. Lodge manages to animate what would be, in lesser hands, cardboard stereotypes -- the humanist, the semiotician, the poststructuralist -- into vivid, hilarious, eminently *moving* characters. The novel, structured like a medieval romance, sees them all on a whirlwind world tour of academic conferences, tracing the rise and fall of their fortunes. Some of the best humor comes, I think, from sympathy and identification with others' flaws, and Lodge proves that proposal amply.
The characters are charming and . However the plot is quite bland and I wouldn't read this book for the story itself. It has a drab storyline, but with a few funny moments it was readable.

But I'd recommend this book to fans of English literature and Academia. The discussions among the participants of the literary conferences in the novel can be hard to understand without previous knowledge of literary theory and academic use of English.

Nonetheless, I am highly impressed with Lodge's style of w
It was not always easy to identify the trama of various Chansons de geste and other romances, and I'm pretty sure I didn't recognize all of them, but who says I have to when I had such a good time just reading this novel? I didn't laugh so much reading a book in a long time. Erudition and accessibility, irony and humor, parody and subtle quoting, in a word, Lodge as we know him, Lodge in the best book of his famous trilogy (Changing Places, Nice Work, and of course Small World).
A delicious academic romance based upon the quest for the Holy Grail. An interview with David Lodge about the book, here.

The Boston Globe touted this as "It's hard to imagine a funnier book about academe, in fact, it's hard to imagine a funnier book about anything." Well, my imagination is apparently far more global than the Globe's reviewer was. I can imagine trainloads of books not only far funnier than this one, but books which are just plain funny, which this one is not. The writing is pedestrian, and, by that, I mean plodding. The plotting is uninspired as well, so what we have here is a plodding plotting (so
Erica Verrillo
Actually, having attended a number of academic conferences myself, I am not sure this is a satire. Quite a few of the "fictitious" presentations in this book sported titles (and contents) that were uncomfortably familiar. (What can I say? I was young...I didn't know any better...) As for the back-biting, infighting, petty scheming, feuds, and general unmitigated nastiness--it's all too true. Fortunately, in Lodge's hands, it's also funny enough to take the sting out of some of the more pointed b ...more
I'm a prejudice reader. Nevertheless, it didn't stop me from enjoying the book.

The epigraph is disturbingly familiar: a quotation by Nathaniel Hawthorn about fulfilling the standards required by anything that calls itself a Romance. I've seen that quotation before in another book, also an "academic Romance". Working through the book, I couldn't help noticing that this is a precursor of Possession. But if in Possession, the narrative is straight forward and predictable (albeit with a lengthy dela
At first I was slightly confused, because there were so many names it took me a while to figure out the who is who in David Lodge's academic jet set world of the 70s. I am so glad I had to read the novel for university, otherwise I probably would have lived on without ever reading it, judging by the fact that none of my goodreads friends has it listed on their shelves (I'm looking at you). Anyways, this was a really delightful read full of intertextual references from The Canterbury Tales to the ...more
Já acabei. Hoje tive um furo de 5 horas e decidi ler este livro. Li-o depressa, realmente, se bem que já tinha tinha dado algum avanço no fim-de-semana.
Gostei do livro, fez-me rir em diversos momentos. Além disso, é muito bom ser passado num ambiente que me posso identificar com, embora a maior parte das situações não possa dizer o mesmo.
No início custou-me um bocado a entrar na escrita da coisa, mas depois embrenhei-me bastante bem.
Nem estava à espera daquela revelação que se refere à Lily e à
John Pappas
Gleefully contrived, Lodge's follow-up to Changing Places spoofs the international conference circuit and the "small world" of academia. Zapp and Swallow, here, more fully realized than in Lodge's precious novel, cavort with a vast assortment of characters as they, along with many others, compete for the (fictional) UNESCO chair of English Literature and Criticism. Modeled after a traditional Romance (a la the Grail stories), the novel is rife with allusions and references to many other works an ...more
Dripping with Wit... As was expected from Mr. David Lodge...
My best friend' daughter gave her this book, which she passed along to me. The paperback's cover has the quotation, 'AN EXUBERANT MARVELOUSLY FUNNY NOVEL.' Uh, oh. When I see words like that I think, no, I don't think so. The plot was that literary people traveled from one conference to another, and did a fair amount of bedhopping.

I couldn't really identify with any of them, and there wasn't enough detail about their settings to be really interesting. On the back of the cover it read "A BOOKER P
Kevan Manwaring
Small World by David Lodge

The middle book of Lodge's classic campus novel trilogy is an amusing meta-narrative romance, which manages to deftly-weave in literary theory, the academic gravy train of conference-hopping, and a love-quest motif. Novice Irish scholar, Persse McGarrigle, provides our Parsifal/Fool figure as he tracks the object of desire, Angela/Lily Pabst, across the world – a fata morgana/McGuffin which enables Lodge to link several entertaining vignettes set in Rummidge (Lodge's fi
C'est un roman universitaire qui met en scene un monde de professurs de litterature anglaise et ceux qui y aspirent, dans le monde entier. Une perpetuelle quete et enquete de ses valeurs en confirmation et reconfirmation de soi.Ce monde clos universitaire bouge de conference en conference comme un defi d'etre le meilleur, d'obtenir le meilleur poste, la meilleure position academique, la mailleure dame. Car c'est un roman postmoderne qui met en contexte dans une ironie bienveillante le monde des ...more
Eiríkur Norðdahl
Lítill heimur fjallar um bókmenntafræðinga sem þvælast á milli ráðstefna víðs vegar um heiminn og ríða sig rófulausa. Þetta er svona Carry On fyrir gáfumenni, Bridget Jones fyrir bókabéusa, einhvers konar Dick Lit. Ég veit ekki hvort það er mikið flóknara. Bókin er skemmtileg og það eru í henni alls kyns hressilegar pælingar, en bara af léttara taginu og flestar kynferðislegar. Raunar eru held ég allir karakterar í bókinni annað hvort kynóðir eða kynkaldir eða ástsjúkir eða ástvana. Það er ekker ...more
Maria Mgd
Dec 11, 2014 Maria Mgd marked it as dropped  ·  review of another edition
Dropped. It wasn't the funny sequel I was expecting after reading Changing Places. I was so looking forward to reading the sequel that thatmight be the reason why I got so disappointed from the very beginning, and after the first 60 pages I just lost any interest. Maybe I will read it another time, but not for now.
Marie Bouteille
C'est le premier David Lodge que je lis en français et je me rappelle m'être plus amusée à lire les autres. La traduction fait peut-être perdre un peu de l'humour de Lodge. Et j'ai trouvé d'ailleurs quelques éléments de traduction un peu bizarres mais bon. Sinon, j'aime bien cette marmite d'intellectuels qui se retrouvent partout mais qui sont un peu déconnectés de la réalité. Ils ont beau former une élite intellectuelle mais ils se tirent dans les pattes et sont menés par leurs ambitions ce qui ...more
Funny, sarcastic, complexed, simply brilliant. Mr. Lodge surprises his readers until the last page and that makes reading this book interesting. Conclusion: this world is really small.
If I were able to isolate and remove the wit itself of Small World, that essence would merit an easy four stars. Unfortunately, the rather cumbersome trappings of the novel (350 pages, for a comic novel about academics?)and the cataclysmic use of coincidence dimmed this one considerably.
This middle book of the trilogy started by "Changing Places" and ending with "Nice Work" didn't quite match the high standard set by the other two. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend almost any of David Lodge's books - he is consistently thought-provoking, and often hilarious.
Super fun read. I may not have rated it as highly if I weren't an academic but it is laugh out loud funny from the inside of that world. Reading this book a great way to spend a few days. funnier than the first of the trilogy.
It's like someone went to my university and decided to write a book. Hilarious and of my favorites.
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Professor David Lodge is a graduate and Honorary Fellow of University College London. He is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham, where he taught from 1960 until 1987, when he retired to write full-time.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, was Chairman of the Judges for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989, and is the author of numerous works of li
More about David Lodge...

Other Books in the Series

The Campus Trilogy (3 books)
  • Changing Places
  • Nice Work

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“to read is to surrender oneself to an endless displacement of curiosity and desire from one sentence to another, from one action to another, from one level of a text to another. The text unveils itself before us, but never allows itself to be possessed; and instead of trying to possess it we should take pleasure in its teasing” 31 likes
“It's the only thing that keeps me going these days, travelling. Changes of scene, changes of faces” 12 likes
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