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Penelope Fitzgerald$
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Hugh Adlington

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780746312957

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780746312957.001.0001

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Critical Writing

Critical Writing

(p.9) 1 Critical Writing
Penelope Fitzgerald

Hugh Adlington

Liverpool University Press

This chapter surveys the large body of Fitzgerald’s critical writing, only a fraction of which has been collected and is currently in print. This body of work includes more than fifty book, film and theatre reviews for Punch magazine, more than twenty essays on European art, literature and culture for World Review (the periodical that Fitzgerald co-edited in the early 1950s), and more than 200 reviews of fiction and biography in British and American newspapers, as well as introductions for books and editions, travel essays, art criticism, literary essays and journalistic sketches. The chapter considers the nature of Fitzgerald’s critical sympathies, priorities and tastes, and the marked stylistic continuities between her criticism and fiction. In particular, the chapter notes Fitzgerald’s fascination in her critical writing with what would become two of the most distinctive features of her own writing: a searching appreciation of the psychological and social interplay between fictional characters, and a prose style apparently without art.

Keywords:   critical writing, book reviews, Punch, World Review, House of Air, stylistic continuities

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