Lodge's major influences include other English Catholic novelists (the subject of his MA dissertation), notably Graham Greene.
Amongst his contemporaries, he has most often been compared to his friend Malcolm Bradbury, also an exponent of the campus novel. Lodge has acknowledged his debt to Bradbury: "The British Museum Is Falling Down was the first of my novels that could be described as in any way experimental. Comedy, it seemed, offered a way of reconciling a contradiction, of which I had long been aware, between my critical admiration for the great modernist writers, and my creative practice, formed by the neo-realist, antimodernist writing of the 1950s. My association with Malcolm Bradbury, and the example of his own work in comedy, was therefore a crucial factor in this development in my writing." Lodge says he "was once rung up by a man to settle a bet by declaring whether I was the same person as Malcolm Bradbury".
As an academic, Lodge was one of the earliest proponents in the UK of the work of Mikhail Bakhtin.
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