October 1, 2001
Lodge to deliver 2001 Ellmann Lectures
British author David Lodge will share his satirical wit and academic
acumen in the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory Oct.
79. Lodges three-lecture series will be followed Oct. 10 by
a reading from his newest novel, Thinks
, a comic look at
the field of cognitive science. Following five years of research in cognitive
psychology for the book, the theme of Lodges Ellmann Lectures is
Consciousness and the Novel.
Lodge, retired from a 27-year career as professor of modern English literature
at the University of Birmingham, also is a best-selling author of social
comedies, including Changing Places (1975), Small World
(1984), Nice Work (1988), Paradise News (1991), and Therapy
(1999). He is best known for handling religious and academic dissatisfaction,
and often deals with the conflict between sexual desires and spiritual
boundaries. Lodges Catholicism is a common thread through most of
his fiction, and he described himself in an interview with The Guardian
newspaper in London as an agnostic Catholic hanging on by my fingernails.
is the tale of the hapless heroine Helen Reed and
a charismatic, sexually swashbuckling cognitive scientist aptly
named Messenger, according to Joyce Carol Oates in the [London]
Times Literary Supplement. She describes Reed as a novelist
so steeped in tradition that in times of crises she appeals to Henry James
and Andrew Marvell. Reed is overwhelmed by questions raised by cognitive
science, including how are mind and body connected, if they are connected;
what is the soul; and most importantly, are we simply brains with parts
lighting up like a pinball machine, as different emotions and sensations
Lodge was suggested by a three-person panel of scholars. According to
Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C. White Professor of English and director
of the series, 1999 lecturer A.S. Byatt had such a good experience that
she offered to invite Lodge personally.
The lecture schedule is as follows:
Consciousness and the Two Cultures, 4 p.m. Sunday,
Oct. 7. WHSCAB auditorium, followed by reception.
First Person and Third Person, 8:15 p.m. Monday, Oct.
8. Business school auditorium.
Surface and Depth, 8:15 p.m Tuesday, Oct. 9 Business
Reading and booksigning, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 Glenn Auditorium.
Those who want books signed but cannot attend the reading, books may be
purchased in advance at the Druid Hills Bookstore in Emory Village and
picked up later.
An exhibition of materials related to the Ellmann Lectures will be on display in the Schatten Gallery of the Woodruff Library.