David Lodge: Small World

Penguin Books, 1985

David Lodge kalder selv sin roman for en akademisk romance. For nogle lyder dette måske i sig selv som en selvmodsigelse. Den akademiske verden er af rygte og ry noget tørt, støvet og tanketungt. Og hvor er romancen i det? Og det er faktisk også det, som David Lodge slår på i historien.

Den akademiske verden er ligeså broget, fordækt, forvirret og forrykt som alle andre nicher af verdener i verden. Med et fast greb om sproget, finpudset plot og underfundig humor giver David Lodge sin version af akademikernes verden. Det bliver til en yderst humoristisk historie, der funkler af vid og litterær fingerfærdighed.

When Persse got back to his point of origin, he found Ronald Frobisher in angry confrontation with Rudyard Parkinson. “What would you know about literary creation anyway, Parkinson?” Frobisher was demanding. “You’re just a ponce for the Sunday papers. Once a ponce, always a ponce. I remember you poncing about the quad at All Saint -“

“Now, now, that’s enough,” said Felix Skinner, trying to interpose himself between the two men.

“Are they going to fight?” said Thelma Ringbaum excitedly.

“Shut up, Thelma,” said Howard Ringbaum.

“Really, Frobisher,” said Parkinson, “this sort of behaviour is bad enough in one of your novels. In real life it’s quite intolerable.” He spoke disdainfully, but backed away at the same time. “Anyway, I wasn’t the only reviewer who didn’t care for the last novel you wrote, what was it, ten years ago?”

“Eight. But you were the only one who made that crack about my old Dad, Parkinson. I’ve never forgiven you for that.” Holding an empty Guiness bottle by the neck, Frobisher made a lunge in Parkinson’s direction. Someone screamed. Felix Skinner pinned Frobisher’s arms to his sides, and Howard Ringbaum grabbed the back of his collar and pulled, throttling the novelist. (p. 174)

Som læser er du hurtigt grebet af universet, og siderne vender sig selv. Karaktererne er dybe og vedkommende, og det er en medrivende fortælling. Der er sidevis af intriger, humor, romance, mørke hjørner og spænding.

Det er ikke nødvendigvis dyb litteratur med en større mening bag, men det er god læsning, underholdende og velgjort med masser af twists og overraskelser pakket ind i en virkelig velskrevet roman.

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