David Lodge ironically quotes from James Joyce as an epigraph to Small World, to illustrate the allusive character of his comic novel, in which the theory of intertextuality is practically demonstrated. Among the various sources deliberately used by Lodge, the writings of T. S. Eliot occupy a prominent position in Small World, and the poet's presence, only incidental in previous novels, is all-pervasive in this one. The Waste Land provides an excellent literary background for a piece of social criticism about the contemporary academic world, a portrait -or caricature- which emphasizes the futility of the barren life led by many present-day scholars. Once Arthur Kingfisher -a modern Fisher King- is healed, Lodge stops referring to The Waste Land and turns to Four Quartets instead, in order to depict the beginning of a renewed existence full of hope for everyone.
Lodge, David; Small World; The Waste Land; The Four Quartets; Eliot, T. S.; Literatura inglesa