Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Pardon?

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1277 (Published 17 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1277
  1. John Quin, consultant physician, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
  1. Jdquin@aol.com

    David Lodge’s latest novel is the most interesting literary work on deafness since Oliver Sacks’s Seeing Voices, says John Quin

    ISBN 978-1846551673

    What’s that you say? Not another novel from David Lodge? Britain’s answer to John Updike is back and on form. Critic, essayist, dramatist, and novelist, he is thus pompously labelled with all those poncy P words, like prodigious and protean. Now we learn in his acknowledgments that, more profoundly, he is hard of hearing. This then informs his new novel, which characterises deafness as essentially comic. Lodge has always been a funny guy—he’s here to amuse us, and Deaf Sentence has its fair share of guffaws. Being by Lodge the book also gives you his persistent obsessions: the campus, Catholicism, literary theory, and linguistics are all present and correct. Obscure words such as “phatic” are casually placed for you to dig out the dictionary, and there’s his guilt ridden sex, or as he might call it houghmagandy, that has troubled his texts since How Far …

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