“From Then to Now and Next”

An interview with David Lodge

by François GALLIX, Vanessa GUIGNERY, Sophie GABEREL-PAYEN

I. An introduction

David Lodge’s latest book, Author, Author, published in 2004, appears as a complete change of direction in his literary production. Even though the indication “novel” appears on the cover of the book, the generic status of Author, Author is uncertain, hesitating between the historical novel and the biography. The book reads like a fascinating novel displaying narrative tricks, a polyphony of voices, a play on focalisation and strategies of suspense, but it is also a selective biography of Henry James containing a few invented episodes which Lodge enumerates and comments upon in the acknowledgements. In the frame story, which opens and closes the book, Lodge chooses to focus on the last few weeks before James’s death in 1916, while the main story deals with his middle years, the 1880s and 1890s, when James decided to write for the theatre but suffered failures such as that of Guy Domville (1895), an episode which is wonderfully but also excruciatingly related in Lodge’s book.

Cet article-entretien a été publié dans Novelists in the New Millenium. Conversations with Writers. V. Guignery. Basinktoke: Palgrave Macmillan (2012) et dans Sources 18. Orléans: Ed. Paradigme. Printemps 2005, pp. 9-28.