Amanda Craig

The Frightful Toil

The Practice of Writing

By

Secker & Warburg 288pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

‘Writing about one’s own work carries with it certain risks, including that of seeming egocentric,’ David Lodge acknowledges in this collection of essays, ‘but I have never felt that there was any conflict between being a self-aware creative writer and an analytical, formalist critic at the same time – on the contrary. T S Eliot drew the vital connection… in his essay ‘The Function of Criticism’: ‘Probably… the larger part of the labour of an author in composing his work is critical labour; the labour of sifting, combining, constructing, expunging, correcting, testing; this frightful toil is as much critical as creative.” Quite: but there is a vast difference between editing your own work and acting as academic critic of it.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter