David Lodge

Last week I posted about my desk which brought me to thinking of other writers’ desks which then led me to the idea of posting a series of famous writers’ desks.

I used to be addicted to David Lodge‘s writing. I loved his sense of humor and I suppose, because I was in academia, I ‘got’ how he satirized academic life in such novels as Changing Places and Small World.

Small World and Nice Work were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Lodge‘s novels  cover a range of other topics: for example, the world of business in Nice Work, the world of television in Therapy, and deafness and Alzheimer’s disease in Deaf Sentence.

Author, Author is based on the life of Henry James and A Man of Parts on that of H.G. Wells.

Here’s his office. Don’t you just envy the spaciousness of it?

David Lodge

Photographer:   Eamonn McCabe 

Look at his chair. It looks like it might belong in outer space. Well, then, again, it is David Lodge.

Here are two of his quotes on writing:

“What do we mean – it is a common term of praise – when we say that a book is “original”? Not, usually, that the writer has invented something without precedent, but that she has made us “perceive” what we already, in a conceptual sense, “know”, by deviating from the conventional, habitual ways of representing reality. Defamiliarization, in short, is another word for “originality”. I shall have recourse to it again in these glances at the art of fiction.”
― David LodgeThe Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts

“but the creative juices dry up if they’re not kept in circulation.”
― David LodgeTherapy

It’s so true that the creative juices dry up. We’ve got to exercise that writing muscle.

 How do you keep your creative juices from drying up? 

22 thoughts on “David Lodge

  1. Hi Carol, a new follower here and fellow writer. I try and write in my journal every morning in a local cafe. As my books are non-fiction I try to stick to fiction in my morning writings, finding inspiration in the people around me.


  2. I am jealous of that bookshelf. *Drools*
    As for your question; if I am feeling dry I either play a classic RPG game, read the abundance of poetry on Wordpres, watch Evangelion 2.2 or The Matrix trilogy. Or I wander outside. Being outside always does it, the breeze, trees, smell of the grass.


  3. Ah, to have all those book shelves. How wonderful!

    “but the creative juices dry up if they’re not kept in circulation.”—Oops. Really must start on that new manuscript soon…


  4. Great office and so organized. Loving his quote “but the creative juices dry up if they’re not kept in circulation.”, No kidding! 🙂


  5. My surroundings aren’t anyway near as nice as David’s, but I do have a couple of things that help inspire me. My desk, small as it may be, sits next to a window so that I can see the front yard of the house, the street and the houses on the other side. When pondering, I’m usually looking out that window. Hubby bought me a wonderful chair many years ago for me to sit in while as my desk. It’s cloth, durable, has a high back and cloth-covered arms, rolls on the floor and the height can be adjusted. Yes, it’s quite comfortable.


  6. I love not only the spaciousness of the work space but the greenery outside the window! I realize that’s why I keep tropical plant in my home office – it just FEELS good to be there!

    As for staying inspired (which is another topic on its own), I follow Julia Cameron’s advice to “fill the creative well” with an Artist’s Date, getting visual and sensory stimulation by browsing interesting places or shops (like Michael’s, an art chain that recently opened in Montreal), cafes, etc. She recommends that we do this weekly and preferably on our own, so that we’re not distracted by conversation.

    Of course reading good fiction also inspires. I’m not really into historical fiction but a friend of mine recommended The Woman at the Light (St. Martins Press). A woman in the 1800s tends a lighthouse on an isolated island off Key West with her husband and when he disappears at sea, she’s left with 3 hungry children to feed. She makes it with the help of an escaped slave that washes up on her shore … beginning an unusual love story that flouts the social mores of the time. It was riveting!


    • Thanks for telling me about Michael’s. You’ll have to let me know how you found the novel The Woman at the Light.

      Yes, I agree with you that David Lodge has a great outdoor view. Interesting that you keep tropical plants in your home office. I wonder how many other writers do so?

      My desk faces a window and a tree.Now, of course it’s bare but sometimes I see squirrels flying from one branch to another or trying to figure out how to get off a window ledge. It’s all very intriguing for me. I’m not sure how it influences the creative process though but it’s a nice break.


  7. This made me laugh. Yesterday I finally replaced my decrepit writing chair with something called a Junior Typist Chair – its greatest virtue is that it is very small. Having said that, although my writing room is small, it is my own and full of bookshelves with a happy view of the garden – so no complaints.


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