August 20, 2018 – The New Republic
The New Campus Novel
Julie Schumacher’s “The Shakespeare Requirement” is a playful, sharp satire of the horrors of modern academia.
“The Shakespeare Requirement takes on a department in a terrible state. English at Payne is not so much an intellectual nest of idiot vipers, as in The History Man, but rather a collection of people with very little energy left to give, trying in their semi-competent way to keep their subject alive in a hostile culture. Fitger is perhaps the least competent among them—he can barely use email, for example—but the travails of the novel end up testing his worth as a human being, not as an administrator.”
Posted in Bez kategorii, campus novel, college novel, The New Republic
Tagged Changing Places, David Lodge, Dear Committee Members, Elif Batuman, John Williams, Julie Schumacher, Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim, Malcolm Bradbury, Mary McCarthy, Nice Work, Pictures from an Institution, Pnin, Randall Jarrell, Small World, Stoner, The Groves of Academe, The History Man, The Possessed, The Shakespeare Requirement, Vladimir Nabokov
Posted in Bez kategorii, blogs, campus novel, college novel, The Guardian
Tagged A Very Peculiar Practice, A.S. Byatt, Alison Lurie, Andrew Davies, Bret Easton Ellis, Chad Harbach, Changing Places, David Lodge, Disgrace, Don DeLillo, Donna Tartt, Franny, I am Charlotte Simmons, J.D. Salinger, J.M. Coetzee, Jane Smiley, Jeffrey Eugenides, John Updike, Jonathan Franzen, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates, Kingsley Amis, Lorrie Moore, Lucky Jim, Malcolm Bradbury, Mary McCarthy, Memories of the Ford Administration, Michael Chabon, Mudwoman, Nice Work, On Beauty, Pale Fire, Paul Auster, Philip Roth, Pictures from an Institution, Pnin, Porterhouse Blue, Possession, Randall Jarrell, Ravelstein, Richard Powers, Saul Bellow, Small World, The Accursed, The Corrections, The Dean's December, The Groves of Academe, The History Man, The Human Stain, The Marriage Plot, The Rules of Attraction, The Secret History, Thinks…, Thomas Pynchon, Tom Sharpe, Tom Wolfe, Vineland, Vladimir Nabokov, White Noise, Wonder Boys, Zadie Smith
“All writers have been students, and nowadays a sizable number are teachers, so it seems nearly unavoidable that we write about the golden groves we knew.
It’s easy to dismiss “Tom Brown’s School Days” or “Stover at Yale,” or to make fun — as Tom Wolfe did more recently in “I Am Charlotte Simmons” — of a fictionalized Duke University. But there’s a sizable shelf of books about bookishness — some of them first-rate — which take education as their subject and explore the idea of learning as initiation rite. As with any other category (the Southern novel, the Jewish novel, the on-the-road novel) there are excellent and execrable texts. It’s a question not so much of genre as of how well it’s done. […]
As suggested above, there are bad books as well that deal with the circumstance of education. The professoriate makes an easy target; so does the undergraduate. Often a writer gets tempted to make intellectual molehills into mountains; lord knows it’s easy enough to overstate the cultural significance of freshman year. The risk is that of stereotype and even caricature: the absent-minded professor, the scheming administrator, the idealistic and then disillusioned student — stock figures from English 101. But the college campus is no more and no less fertile a place to situate a story than is, say, a boxing ring or tenement or cattle barn.”
April 13, 2012, Chicago Tribune
English 101 by Nicholas Delbanco
Posted in campus novel, Chicago Tribune, college novel
Tagged A New Life, Alison Lurie, Bernard Malamud, Blue Angel, Chad Harbach, Changing Places, David Lodge, Francine Prose, Giles Goat-Boy, I am Charlotte Simmons, James Hynes, Jane Smiley, Jeffrey Eugenides, John Barth, John Williams, Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim, Moo, Pictures from an Institution, Pnin, Randall Jarrell, Stoner, Stover at Yale, The Art of Fielding, The Lecturer's Tale, The Marriage Plot, The War Between the Tates, Tom Brown's School Days, Tom Wolfe, Vladimir Nabokov