The Campus Novel: Why Is It So Bad & Hated

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And the same sort of joke permeates Nabokov too

gin and catatonic (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:55 (two months ago) link

Have we talked about “A Separate Peace” or “The Rules of Attraction” yet?

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 28 October 2021 23:11 (two months ago) link

Gaudy Night is good imo, if you can put up with its being a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 28 October 2021 23:17 (two months ago) link

^ yes

Ross Macdonald's The Chill comes to mind too ... sometimes the campus novel is improved by murders

Brad C., Thursday, 28 October 2021 23:26 (two months ago) link

Is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets a campus novel y/n

gin and catatonic (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 29 October 2021 00:14 (two months ago) link

i recall richard russo's 'straight man' being v. funny and good

mookieproof, Friday, 29 October 2021 00:27 (two months ago) link

Characters in Small World, some of whom had appeared in the campus novel Changing Places, maintain that the campus novel is obsolete.

alimosina, Friday, 29 October 2021 03:53 (two months ago) link

at the more fantastic end of campus novels: loved giles goat-boy in my teens, really not sure what i'd make of it now in the unlikely event of ever revisiting. only other barth i've read is end of the road, also a campus novel from my vague recollection of it.

trying to remember if there was a chapter on this subject in fiedler's waiting for the end? they definitely get covered to some degree there in any case.

also re: pnin, yes!

no lime tangier, Friday, 29 October 2021 04:43 (two months ago) link

Gaudy Night is good imo, if you can put up with its being a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery.

in the same realm, a number of michael innes (a.k.a. professor j.i.m. stewart) novels are set on campus. can remember a good one based at a circa 1950s so-called red brick university.

no lime tangier, Friday, 29 October 2021 04:57 (two months ago) link

Well there's Hangsaman...

abcfsk, Friday, 29 October 2021 08:34 (two months ago) link

xp I just started reading that! It's called Old Hall, New Hall

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Friday, 29 October 2021 08:40 (two months ago) link

In a similar vein, many of the Gervaise Fen mysteries by Edward Crispin are set on or around campus

Critique of the Goth Programme (Neil S), Friday, 29 October 2021 08:41 (two months ago) link

my takeaway here: campus novels are less bad and hated when characters are regularly being killed off

mark s, Friday, 29 October 2021 12:38 (two months ago) link

Nobody gets killed off in Gaudy Night though, it's a murder-free mystery.

Lily Dale, Friday, 29 October 2021 13:25 (two months ago) link

Seem to be having a campus novel year: have read Stover at Yale, Pnin, and Cather's The Professor's House this year, and just looked at my unread copy of The Art of Fielding (put it back on the shelf). Also watched The Group last night, though not enough time on campus to make that a campus movie/novel (read the book years ago and gave it to my sister as a questionable graduation present).

bulb after bulb, Friday, 29 October 2021 13:45 (two months ago) link


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