Saturday, October 20, 2012

Top ten literary parodies

D.J. Taylor is the author of two acclaimed biographies, Thackerary (1999), and Orwell: The Life, which won the Whitbread Biography Prize in 2003. His novels include Derby Day (2011), At the Chime of a City Clock (2010), Ask Alice (2009) and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006).

His new book is What You Didn't Miss, "a hilarious collection of literary lampoons and an alternative history of modern English literature" culled from the popular Private Eye column of the same name.

One of Taylor's top ten literary parodies, as told to the Guardian:
David Lodge on Salman Rushdie

Ralph Messenger, the hero of Lodge's 2001 novel Thinks, is an expert in artificial intelligence and human consciousness whose students are encouraged to produce parodies of modern novelists. Hence What is it like to a be a Bat? by S*lm*n R*shd** ("What kind of question is that, sir? With all due respect, what you say if I asked you, 'What is it like to be a man?'") The bat in question turns out to be hanging from the coat hook of a toilet in the first-class cabin of an Air India jet. Read by Lodge with great attack at literary festivals.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue