Two Comic Novels

Thursday 1.30 - 3.30

In this course we shall be looking at two examples of the genre – A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, and David Lodge’s 1975 ‘campus novel’, Changing Places. Kennedy Toole’s novel, written in the early ‘60s but not published until 1980, a decade after the author’s suicide, centres on (perhaps) utterly unique picaresque adventures of its main character Ignatius J. Reilly as he traverses the often seedy landscape of New Orleans bringing chaos wherever he goes. In Changing Places, the first of his ‘Campus Trilogy’, Lodge follows the fortunes of Philip Swallow, a conventional British Academic, who takes part in an Anglo-American academic exchange scheme with the flashy and high-profile Morris Zapp, charting how that professional ‘exchange’ becomes something more like an extricable entanglement of each other’s life and culture. We will read each book in turn, hopefully enjoying and laughing as we go along, and making comparisons – of form and character, structure and context – as appropriate, in our discussions.

Terms & Conditions

  • Course Tutor: Dr Stephen Palmer
  • Course Duration: 10
  • Course dates: 17 Jan – 28 Mar
  • Half Term: 21 Feb
  • Price: £48.00