Lucky Jim

by: Kingsley Amis

Important Quotations Explained

"It was a perfect title, in that it crystallized the article's niggling mindlessness, its funereal parade of yawn-enforcing facts, the pseudo-light it threw upon non-problems."

This quotation, thought by Dixon in Chapter 1 as he is riding in the car with Professor Welch, expresses Dixon's feelings about his own academic article, and scholarship in general. The quotation asserts that not only is Dixon's article—and academia in general—obscure, but also condemns the article for masquerading as something useful and revealing. This added offense of posturing prepares us for Dixon's hatred of academia and the false posturing of others throughout the rest of the novel. The quotation is also a good early example of one type of linguistic humor in the novel, which periodically uses multiple clauses to increase the ridiculousness of a situation. Finally, the quotation stands as our first evidence in Lucky Jim of Dixon's capacity for self-deprecating humor. He does not spare himself in his sardonic identifications of pomposity.

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