Thursday, March 16, 2023

The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Welcome to Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please join me to share the opening sentence (or so) from the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.


Now it is the autumn again; the people are all coming back. The recess of summer is over, when holidays are taken, newspapers shrink, history itself seems momentarily to falter and stop.
-- From The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury. I love campus novels and Malcolm Bradbury wrote some of the best of them, including his first novel, Eating People is Wrong

The History Man was published in 1972 and is a spot-on period piece describing radical campus life in the late '60s and early '70s. The "history man" of the title is Professor Howard Kirk, a sociologist and dynamo of academic vacuity. He waltzes through history, reflecting every cultural, political, and sexual fad. It is dark satire at its best. 


Please add the link to your book beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings.

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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From The History Man:
Well, to understand it, as Howard, always a keen explainer, always explains, you need to know a little Marx, a little Freud, and a little social history; admittedly, with Howard, you need to know all this to explain anything. You need to know the time, the place, the milieu, the substructure and the superstructure, the state of and the determinants of consciousness, and the human capacity of consciousness to expand and explode.
It's not a book for the faint hearted, but it is trenchant and very funny.

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