Friday 8 April 2011

David Lodge

" I wouldn’t want to fall into the banal assumption that it’s better not to actually meet those you know and admire from afar through their work, that you’re setting yourself up for inevitable disappointment. It depends. Most of the writers, painters, film-makers I wish I’d never met were those whose work I didn’t like either. The odd writer whose books I found loathsome was even more loathsome in the flesh. But almost all those I met after greatly admiring them turned out to be even more sympathetic in person, even more worthy of my liking and respect. " 
Antonio Muñoz Molina, whose blog is unmissable if you read Spanish.

This is my experience too, though I've met far fewer famous writers and artists than Antonio Muñoz Molina has, of course, since I'm not one myself.  Last night I went to hear David Lodge talk at the London Review Bookshop on his new book, A Man of Parts, a biographical novel about HG Wells.  I wasn't disappointed, after thirty-some years of adoring his novels. What a pleasure to sit there while he overflowed, in measured and communicative tone (the long-time university lecturer), with encyclopedic knowledge and affectionate interest in his subject.

Not my photo of David Lodge - I wish!


Anonymous said...

I had the same experience (ie lack of disappointment!) hearing Howard Jacobson speak at the library this week. I meant to post, but then my new laptop showed up.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Have you noticed that interesting men with interesting minds frequently have lovely bushy eyebrows? I wonder what the connection is?

Pica said...

I used to go to Mass with David Lodge when I was a student at Brum in the early 80s.... Lovely man, lovely family.

Parmanu said...

It's an interesting coincidence that you write about this, Jean - "readers meeting writers" is a subject I have been thinking about too, after my recent experience at the Brussels Literary festival. And I'm not sure if I have the right answer yet.

Anonymous said...

funny you posted this. Fei and I were just talking about David Lodge the other day, as the beginning part of 2666 reminds us very much of Small World, which I wrote a paper about in my Complit years.