Summary of: Small world by David Lodge.
Perse McGarrigle was a professor from Limerick and he was at a conference in Rummidge in April ’79. There he met Morris Zapp, Phlip Swallow, Robin Dempsey, Angelica Pabst and several other people. From the moment he first met Angelica, he was in love with het and he asked her to marry him, but she didn’t. Then suddenly she disappeared and he didn’t know were to find her. When he wanted to leave London, he met Cheyl Summerbee who worked at the airport. He asked her if she was able to show him the way to the chapel. He wanted to go there, because of Angelica. In the chapel he left a pray in which he said that he hoped that he would find her. There he saw a pray of his niece, Bernadette, who had a son, Fergus, and no husband. She did run away from home years ago. On a boat, Perse met the father of Fergus, Sidney Maxwell. After a long talk, Perse left with a copy of a legal document in which Sidney admitted paternity of Fergus and guaranteed Bernadette allowance for money which her could help her out of trouble. From now on Perse began to a lot of travelling to find Angelica, but this was very difficult. First he thought she was a sort of a hooker and left another pray in the chapel in which he asked God to help him forget her. But she left a note under it and it became clear to him that she had a twinsister, called Lily. But it was still hard for him to find her, because everywhere he came, he just missed her, because the train/ plain or something just left. He visited her father and met Sybil Maiden several times. Later on it became clear that she was the mother of the twin and that Arthur Kingfisher, who just had planned to get married to Song-Mi Lee, was the father. Arthur was the chair of literary criticism, the UNESCO. This happened in New York at the MLA, a very popular conference. Here Perse finally found Angelica, she was giving a paper and afterwards he kissed her and made love to her. After this happened, it became clear that the girl to whom he had made love was Lily instead of Angelica! Lily told him that he was not in love with Angelica, but with a dream. Angelica is engaged to Peter McGarrigle. He seemed to be the man who would have been appointed at Limerick for the job of Perse, but there was made a mistake and they appointed Perse. They both didn’t mind, because Perse loved the job and if Peter would have had the job, he would never had met Angelica. After all, Perse decided to go back to Heathrow, to Cheryl because he loved her too. When he arrived there, she had left the other day and now he was wandering were he would start for searching a woman in this small, narrow world this time.
At the conference (which took place in the beginning of the book), Morris and Philip met each other after 10 years again. Philip was still married with Hilary and still lived in Rummidge. Philip and Morris both went to many conferences all over the world. A couple of years ago, philip met a girl, called Joy, who was married and had a child. They made love and he had to leave the next day. The following year, Joy and her husband and son were killed in an air-crash. But when Philip was in Turkey for a conference he met Joy again, at a party. It was a strange meeting, because he thought she was dead. But she wasn’t on the plane, because she was 8 month’s pregnant and the child was of Philip and Joy, not of her real husband! When he went away from the party, she first didn’t want to join him, but decided that she would do that. They spent a couple of days together and decided to get married and get a divorce from Hilary, but when he got home, it wasn’t the right time to tell her of this plans. He had another conference in Greece and Jerusalem, so that he would be able to see Joy very often, because she didn’t live in England. In Jerusalem Philip was sick and he thought he had Legionnaire’s Disease. This was said during a conference by Rodney Wainwright, who had an unfinished paper, so he was glad this happened! After this, Joy and Philip broke up.
Morris came to Europe for the conference in Rummidge. He also went to other conferences such as one in Italy. Here he met Fulvia Morgana, with whom he intended to make love, but when her husband Ernesto came home, he wanted to join them, what he didn’t like! Another time Morris was in Jerusalem too and when he was jogging, he had been kidnapped. His ex-wife Desirée Burd was demanded to pay the ransom, but she didn’t want to and didn’t have to, because he was delivered, because the kidnappers got the instructions to set him free, because they probably would have been discovered (it were Fulvia and Erneste who were behind it).
There were few man who were in the running for UNESCO chair: Philip Swallow, Michel Tardieu, von Turpitz, Fulvia Morgana and Morris Zapp.
After 10 years Ronald Frobisher was going to write a new novel. Robin Dempsey had influenced him by using a computer, so that he stopped writing. The computer had found out that Ronald some words used very often. Dempsey is telling very much to this computer (called Eliza) because she gives answers to his questions. Josh always reads over Ronald shoulder and made use of it. This Ronald was an Angry Young Man.
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