Changing Places E–book/E–pub

  • Paperback
  • 251
  • Changing Places
  • David Lodge
  • English
  • 24 June 2020
  • 9780140170986

David Lodge ã 7 Review

Read Changing Places Changing Places Review ☆ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Anyone intrigued by differences between American and British academic institutions will find thi. Satire the use of wit especially irony sarcasm and ridicule to criticize faultsFarce a ridiculous situation in which everything goes wrong or becomes a sham Earlier I reviewed Dear Committee Members a delightfully humorous epistolary novel about a disgruntled professor of creative writing and literature at a small midwestern college in the US During the course of a discussion of the book a GR friend Esil mentioned that British writer David Lodge had also written several humorous novels about the academic life Since I have high regard for her opinion I went searching and found a used copy of Changing Places A Tale of Two Campuses published in 1975 You can tell by the five stars that I awarded that I was glad I found the bookIt begins this way High high above the North Pole on the first day of 1969 two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour They were protected from the thin cold air by the pressurized cabins of two Boeing 707s and from the risk of collision by the prudent arrangement of the international air corridorsFor the next six months the two professors would be changing places as part of an academic exchange program Phillip Swallow was flying from the University of Rummidge located in the English Midlands clearly based on the University of Birmingham He would seem to be an odd choice for the exchange since he was an unassuming underachiever who had never accomplished anything out of the ordinary and in fact was unpublished The truth is though he didn t know it he was selected over much ualified applicants because his department chair used his influence to ensure his selection He did so not out of admiration or respect but because he wanted to promote a younger department member to a position above Swallow and it would be easier if Swallow was out of the countryMorris Zapp on the other hand was a well known flamboyant scholar who had written a number of books and was considered to be the authority on Jane Austen He was on the faculty at the University of Euphoria known locally as Euphoric State and obviously based on the Berkeley campus of the University of California And as might be expected he was not all that eager to leave the campus by the Bay in order to spend six months in the blue collar Midlands And there were other reasons for his reluctanceDespite being an English Literature professor and a noted authority on Jane Austen he didn t want to go to England for he always claimed that he had made himself an authority on the literature of England not in spite of but because of never having set foot in the country Besides he enjoyed shocking his students by admitting that he thought Jane Austen was a pain in the assSo why did he make himself a candidate for the exchange program In a word ego His wife was kicking him out of their home and threatening divorce and he could not tolerate the idea that people would know that it was her idea He did get her to agree to delay the divorce if he left the country for six months which would he hoped prevent people from knowing what was transpiring at home The lives of the two professors would become extremely entangled and much too complicated to summarize here Suffice it to say that the title refers to much than an exchange of teaching positionsI liked this satirical farce farcical satire but I wouldn t recommend it to everyone If you like your narratives linear stay away If you don t like alternating points of view stay away If you like endings that tie everything up in a nice little package with a bow on top stay awayThe book starts out with a straightforward narrative but later there is a epistolary chapter a chapter of newspaper clippings excerpts from student manifestoes and student handouts remember the setting is 1969 and the last chapter is written as a movie screenplaySince as it turns out Changing Places is the first entry in what came to be known as Lodge s Campus Trilogy which might explain its open ended non conclusion one could read the other books to see how it all played out for the two professors And I may do thatFinally in doing a little research I discovered why the novel was set in 1969 and why universities based on Birmingham and Berkeley were chosen as settings It was in that year that an English professor at Birmingham did have the experience of serving as a visiting professor at Berkeley His name was David Lodge

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Changing Places

Read Changing Places Changing Places Review ☆ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Replace one another at their respective institutions gives greed pettiness and pretense full re. One of the advantages of a reading group is that you are forced really much too harsh a word to read books you ve always meant to and that many people have recommended but that you ve just never gotten around to Such was the case with David Lodge s Changing Places What a delight This is one of the funniest books I have read in a long time It chronicles the events in the lives of two professors Philip Swallow of Rummidge College in England and Morris Zapp professor of English at Euphoric State University the Jane Austen expert whose ambition it is to write the definitive work in multiple volumes summarizing all that has been and could be said or written about Jane Austen They are participating in an exchange program Morris discovers after wondering what the odds are that he could be the only male on a planeload of women flying to England that it is a special charter flight for pregnant women on their way to England for abortions He then has the misfortune to wander into a striptease club and to discover he is the only one there where the artiste is Mary Makepeace his seatmate from the plane who decided not to go throughwith the abortion Of course she recognizes him and it s all downhill from therePhillip meanwhile grants special permission to a student to enter his class late only to have the student lead the entire class out on strike it takes place during the sixties no offense intended Lodge makes constant spirited fun of all the academic stereotypes One of many favorite scenes takes place in Zapp s lodging house where the young daughter of his landlord has gotten ahold of Zapp s Playboy Zapp of course would like it back but Shea his landlord retorts he has destroyed the magazine The skeptical Zapp didn t believe him Inside thirty minutes he would be holed up somewhere jerking himself off and drooling over the Playboy pix Not the girls of course but the full colour ads for whiskey and hi fi euipment

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Read Changing Places Changing Places Review ☆ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB S an amusing and accurate send up David Lodge portraying two American and British professors who. Is humour a fragile or robust artform A discussion took place here and one could not hope for a apt example of the issues involved than this book Paul kicked it off with the comment that Comedy may be one of the frailer arts because it depends so much on the immediate cultural situation Some of the best comedy does indeed depend on the immediate situation around it and its life span is sadly short as a conseuence Culturally referenced comedy less so than political which is breathtaking in its immediacy here today gone tomorrow but still fashion dependent culture of the moment certainly will suffer the same fateHere we have a book a comedy firmly locked into its period of approximately 1970 The humour resulting from that is the shakiest part of the book Incipient women s lib ban the bomb hippies the emergent sexual revolution I m guessing if you didn t live through it or were close enough for it to be in the ethos still this would not be particularly amusing At the same time we have the central theme of the book which is academia how it functions and behaves and this is really awfully funny And so far it remains timeless Yes I do want to say that Right now I d say it is timeless but surely I mean really surely it can t remain so Because the implication that nothing has changed over the last forty years in terms of the inadeuacies of academia on which the humour is based is well a bit shocking really These days I d say we would be pretty embarrassed by the very term women s lib we wish our parents hadn t been hippies marijuana is not exactly flavour of the month and if we talk about uni students having sex we would not dare say with the opposite sex It goes without saying that a uni student might have sex with or less anything Animal vegetable mineral I imagine The presumptuousness of the opposite sex would be humourlessly politically incorrectAnd yet when Lodge speaks of academia it is a frozen world in which nothing has changed Indeed even though it is set in that period where something that might have seemed momentous was happening students insisting on being part of the system not merely the object of it it still has not aged one bit I wonder if the students realise how becoming part of the system has not changed it in the least So much as I spent this book giggling and chuckling and snorting with laughter at the same time it niggled me to think that the things he sends up so obviously in need of reform have not changed one tiny bit I m astonished by academia s capacity to protect itself from outside interference and judgement Astonished that it doesn t see as the self regulatory community it evidently is that things should change Or perhaps sees but does nothing is like itWell maybe one thing has changed in that world Part of the outmoded humour is based on sex and the involvements real and hoped for and fantasised about by academics lusting after students However much this is still in their hearts maybe it is not these days talked about so often or proferred as a source of humour Yes I m only guessing but the ugly threat of sexual harrassment although offputting I expect to the school teacher must also be an issue for the academicIn Australia one has only to think of the money reaped by Helen Garner for The First StoneThe First Stone is at once an account of one of Australia s most explosive sexual harassment cases and an investigation into the soul of sexual politics To provide the framework for her inuiry Helen Garner takes the very public case of a University of Melbourne college master accused of sexual harassment by two of his students After reading about the charge in the newspaper Garner a longtime feminist impulsively wrote a letter of support to the accused man The letter was made public and in the wake of much criticism over her support of the man Garner set out to explore the women s claims Along the way she uncovers issues that challenge her notions of feminism political activism gender relations and power dynamics With a journalist s eye for detail Garner leads the reader into a riveting examination of the nature of sex and power in contemporary society really do like a no holds barred approach to humour and yet there are things that somehow seem to be humorous in one period and repugnant in another I go to a lot of old musicals 1940s and 1950s A routine part of the humour is violence against women jokes about it not the act itself I can only suppose that what made it funny once was that we didn t believe in it whereas now that we know it really exists it is not possible to find it funny I m not uite suggesting this pertains to Lodge but I do wonder if what further decades will do to the legitimacy of his humour here and thereWell one thing we do know His wonderful observations about the academic world will not have changed in their impact whatever else might and since it is the important part of his work surely it will continue to be timelessIt makes me think of the Rumpole books My gut feeling is that they will never date and when one asks why that is the answer is just the same The legal system is even able to protect itself from change than academia It doesn t change and therefore the humour does not lose its punch Think of the cutting observations of the processes of the law Dickens makes in Bleak House and how completely pertinent they seem today We find them amusing because everything is still as it always was Thus with the law and thus it would so appear with academia I wonder what the historical antecedent to Lodge s books areOr and this just comes to me maybe academia did change and Lodge documented it Maybe in some dim dark past it was a community of idealistic scholars on a search for the truth Is that possible Ohstop laughing would you