The Art of Fiction by David Lodge
The articles with which David Lodge entertained and enlightened readers of the Independent on Sunday for fifty weeks between 1991 and 1992 he has now revised, expanded and collected together in book form. The art of fiction is considered under a wide range of headings, such as the Intrusive Author, Suspense, the Epistolary Novel, Time-shift, the Sense of Place, and Symbolism. Each topic is illustrated by a short passage or two taken from classic and modern fiction, extending from Laurence Sterne to J.D. Salinger, from Jane Austen to Fay Weldon, from Charles Dickens to Martin Amis. David Lodge takes these passages apart and puts them together again with the expertise of a novelist, critic and teacher. Technical terms and lucidly explained and their application examined, in the literary-critical equivalent of slow-motion action replays of some of the best writing in the English language. To throw further light on a given topic the author sometimes refers directly, and revealingly, to his own experience of writing fiction. This book is essential reading for students of literature, aspiring writers, and anyone who enjoys literary fiction and would like to understand better how it works.