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Unsent Letters: Irreverent Notes from a Literary Life

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The postbag of Malcolm Bradbury - academic, author, lecturer, thinker - is crammed with requests for help and advice. 'Please help me with my thesis on the campus novel', 'Please come and talk to my faculty in remote area of the Scottish Highlands', 'Please adapt a classic novel for television', and so on. In reply, Malcolm Bradbury has prepared a book of imaginary letters to cover any request he may receive. There is a letter of thanks for his invitation to talk to three hostile students in a stuffy room and ...
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03/08/1989 Paperback Used-Good This book has been previously used but is in good, tight condition. The book does not show much wear and is clean with no damage to the pages. ... There may be some slight markings on the cover. Remember, we have a money back guarantee on all our books. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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03/08/1989 Paperback Used-Good This book has been previously used but is in good, tight condition. The book does not show much wear and is clean with no damage to the pages. ... There may be some slight markings on the cover. Remember, we have a money back guarantee on all our books. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

The postbag of Malcolm Bradbury - academic, author, lecturer, thinker - is crammed with requests for help and advice. 'Please help me with my thesis on the campus novel', 'Please come and talk to my faculty in remote area of the Scottish Highlands', 'Please adapt a classic novel for television', and so on. In reply, Malcolm Bradbury has prepared a book of imaginary letters to cover any request he may receive. There is a letter of thanks for his invitation to talk to three hostile students in a stuffy room and pass the night in a barn; a reply to the European student who wishes to know if he is the same person as David Lodge and which of the two stole his supervisor's umbrella; a letter describing the experience of being the academic who has cycled to L'Escargot for television production meetings; and scathingly funny letters on structuralism, the cuts in education and a great deal more. Above all, they may spare the author from having to write an autobiography.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although he admits to being a particularly poor correspondent, British novelist and critic Bradbury proclaims that he does compose letters in his head but just doesn't write them down. These irreverent notessamples of those he has imagined but never committed to paperare put-downs, indeed: absurd, ironic letters to imaginary correspondents, sometimes signed with imaginary names, about ``art and creativity, research and scholarship, publishing and editing, earning a living and making a crust,'' writing for the art market, TV or posterity, about writers' lives and spouses, about great books projected and even greater books lost or abandoned. Since Bradbury has spent much time in the U.S., many of these letters poke fun at American people, customs and institutions. Whether Americans will enjoy them or respond favorably to Bradbury's forced, sophomoric humor is a question that only individual readers can determine, but certainly some will wish that he had stuck to fiction and literary criticism. First serial to the New York Times Book Review. (July)
Library Journal
A British novelist and critic takes a satirical look at the life of a writer and scholar. Writing in the form of letters that he never got around to sending, Bradbury offers reminiscences and advice on topics from research and publishing in the academic world to writing for TV and organizing a conference. The results are very funny; the only drawback is the frequent British allusions, on which some of the humor rests. Test: Who are Ken Livingstone and Ian Botham, and what was Take It From Here ? Answers: A Labour party politician, a top English cricketer, a 1950s radio show. Bradbury's observations of American academic life compensate for anything lost in crossing the Atlantic. A joy for students, academics, and writers.Bryan Aubrey, Fairfield, Ia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780099609803
  • Publisher: Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/15/1989

Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Penguin Edition
1 The Wissenschaft File 1
2 Moon Shot 14
3 Remembering the Fifties 27
4 The Man with the Grey Flannel Head 41
5 I Have Answered Six Questions and That Is Enough 51
6 Time Called While You Were Out 73
7 Letter to the Mid-Century Book Club 88
8 Passencore Rearrived from North America 93
9 The Serial with the Little Extra Ingredient 99
10 The Adapter's Tale 112
11 Getting Started 126
12 The Spouse in the House 132
13 Orders from Editresses, and Other Fantasies 142
14 Notes from the Carl Stumpf World 151
15 The Nympholept's Tale 161
16 A Visiting Lecturer's Thank You 181
17 The Conference: A Lay-Person's Guide 189
18 Inspeak: Your Streetwise Guide to Linguistics and Structuralism 208
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