Unsent Letters: Irreverent Notes from a Literary Life

Unsent Letters: Irreverent Notes from a Literary Life

by Malcolm Bradbury
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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… See more details below

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.

Read More

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 - 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140107050
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
07/01/1989
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >