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The British Museum is Falling Down

de David Lodge

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9292123,313 (3.53)27
Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. David Lodge's The British Museum is Falling Down was published in 1965 and is a brilliant comic satire of academia, religion and human entanglements. It tells the story of hapless, scooter-riding young research student Adam Appleby, who is trying to write his thesis but is constantly distracted - not least by the fact that, as Catholics in the 1960s, he and his wife must rely on 'Vatican roulette' to avoid a fourth child.… (més)
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» Mira també 27 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 21 (següent | mostra-les totes)
tfw a novel towards which you're immensely predisposed does everything in its power to disabuse you of your predisposition ( )
  aleph-beth-null | Mar 2, 2023 |
Adam Appleby está casado con Barbara y, como son católicos practicantes, militantes y recalcitrantes, rechazan los métodos anticonceptivos no aprobados por la Santa Madre Iglesia y optan por combinar la abstinencia y el método de la temperatura basal. Pero como la carne es tan débil y falible es el trasnochado método, Appleby es ya padre de tres hijos y el retraso del periodo menstrual de su mujer parece anunciar un cuarto que si llega desestabilizará definitivamente la economía familiar.
Adam Appleby prepara una tesis sobre las frases largas de la literatura inglesa y acude cada día a la sala de lectura de la biblioteca del Museo Británico.
Esta desternillante sátira repleta de jugosos guiños literarios, capaz de resquebrajar la más inquebrantable flema británica y de provocar las carcajadas del más ortodoxo católico, dio a conocer internacionalmente el talento jocoso y punzante de David Lodge y lo encumbró como uno de los más agudos humoristas de las letras inglesas.
  Natt90 | Dec 13, 2022 |
Lodge,David
  AFBIBLIOTECA | Dec 5, 2022 |
A short, comic novel, from 1965 and tied to its era, although not as securely as I'd wish. Adam Appleby is a graduate student in literature, commuting to the British Museum's reading room every day to work on his thesis. The thesis is going too slowly, his scholarship term is running out, and he, his wife, and their young children are squeezed into a too-small flat. As Catholics, Adam and Barbara are hoping fervently that the ongoing Vatican II council will allow the faithful to use more reliable means of birth control than the rhythm method they now follow. Meanwhile, though Adam is only 25 years old, they have three little ones - and Barbara's period is late.

The book follows Adam through a single day, as he tries to make scholarly progress while wondering how they'll feed a fourth child. The day proves to be an unusual one, with comic mishaps variously foreshadowing brighter or dimmer futures for Adam and his family. Lodge includes in each chapter a pastiche of one of the twentieth-century authors Adam is studying, including Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, and James Joyce, to name just the ones I was able to identify - e.g., to renew his admission card to the reading room, Adam gets a turn with the Museum's Kafkaesque bureaucracy. He must cope with eccentric colleagues and a mysterious American, and struggle to keep his aged motor scooter on the road. I laughed a few times, and smiled often.

My edition has an introduction written by Lodge in 1980, outlining his circumstances and thinking at the time - his life was not nearly as exigent in 1965 as Adam's, as he began his own career as a literary academic and author of comedies of academic life. He muses that Adam and Barbara eventually would have opted for the pill, regardless of Humanae Vitae.

It would be lovely to think of this novel only as a funny record of a vanished past. But I write the month after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and the right wing in the US is now calling for restricting the availability of contraception. An entire genre of story, once relegated to history, becomes currently relevant again. We will see many more young couples face Adam and Barbara's troubles - and worse. For me, that made the novel less enjoyable, seeming to look back not to 1965, but the introduction's 1980, a time that now seems more innocent. ( )
  dukedom_enough | Jul 17, 2022 |
A hilarious and self-conscious examination of Catholic views towards sex, marriage, and birth control, and a great parody on academia. The scene with the woman sobbing to save her doctoral dissertation is so spot-on, I howled with laughter. I've been there. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 21 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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Life imitates art.
     OSCAR WILDE
I would be a Papist if I could. I have fear
enough, but an obstinate rationality prevents me.
     DR JOHNSON
Dedicatòria
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To Derek Todd
(in affectionate memory of B M days)
and to Malcolm Bradbury
(Whose fault it mostly is that I have tried to write a comic Novel)
Primeres paraules
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It was Adam Appleby's misfortune that at the moment of awakening from sleep his consciousness was immediately flooded with everything he least wanted to think about.
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Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.
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Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. David Lodge's The British Museum is Falling Down was published in 1965 and is a brilliant comic satire of academia, religion and human entanglements. It tells the story of hapless, scooter-riding young research student Adam Appleby, who is trying to write his thesis but is constantly distracted - not least by the fact that, as Catholics in the 1960s, he and his wife must rely on 'Vatican roulette' to avoid a fourth child.

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