Chapter

Preface “Unnice Work” Knowledge Work and the Academy

Alan Liu

in The Laws of Cool

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780226486987
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487007 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226487007.003.0002
Preface “Unnice Work” Knowledge Work and the Academy

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

In David Lodge's 1988 novel, Nice Work, the heroine, Robyn Penrose, temporary lecturer in English literature, was challenged to confront the sooty business managed by its hero, Vic Wilcox, product of a Midlands technical college. Was this the utmost challenge that Lodge could imagine for the contemporary academic sensibility: to come to grips with the realism of “smokestack” industrialism as it has appalled fiction since the nineteenth-century industrial novel (Lodge's elaborate allusion) through at least D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers? If so, then we can adequately attribute Lodge's comedy to the slow, sly romance he builds between the academy and industry (and their protagonists)—to his deft dance of opposites that at last issues, if not in a classically comic wedding, then at least in the fleeting copulation of two faculties of expertise divorced since Victorian sages presided over the “idea of a university.” Just as Lodge's academic romance can be read in different tones, so too can our contemporary romances of knowledge work.

Keywords: David Lodge; Nice Work; knowledge work; academy; industry; business

Chapter.  3735 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.