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There is a good debate going on over at Charlotte Higgins' Guardian culture blog, who asks what is the greatest British post-war novel. The usual suspects come to mind, but for me it would have to be my own personal favourites (how can these things ever be definitive if even a fraction of the whole of the post-war output hasn't been read!?) like The French Liutenant's Woman, even more recently Georgina Harding's debut The Solitude of Thomas Cave and David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, Kazuo Ishigaru's The Remains of the Day would also need to be a contender but who else? I also got quite angry when Sam Jordison and Pongothecat (!) from GU claimed that Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis, could be considered a serious contender. Pah! I replied, how on earth could anyone think such a thing of this much over-rated piece of flabby pseudo-angry lad-lit crap?

And if anyone has spotted pieces of yellow note paper on their travels today (with scribbled quotes) then the explanation is that it's because it's Russell Hoban day! Apparently. I only read about a third of the way through Riddley Walker.

I'm not well, nausea, weakness, bad headaches (for the past week only yesterday did I finally feel like collapsing) hence the day in bed, taking advantage of the delivery of the Sebald novels - Austerlitz and The Emigrants. I've started on the latter and so far the character of Paul Betermeyer reminds me a lot of a young Austrian man who also served as a while as a teacher in a remote village - that man was Ludwig Wittgenstein. I'm not sure if that is who it is based upon - maybe not, but that's who keeps coming to mind the more I read of him.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

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