Fast and Loose; And, the Buccaneers

Edith Wharton, Author, Viola Hopkins Winner, Editor University of Virginia Press $49.5 (514p) ISBN 978-0-8139-1482-4
As the alpha and omega of a brilliant literary career, the two works gathered here are of interest chiefly to scholars. Fast and Loose , Wharton's first full-length work, was composed in 1876-77 when she was only 14, and, although its thematic concern with social standing and individual happiness anticipates the novels of her maturity, its plotting and characterization clearly reveal the hand of a juvenile. The boldest and most original section, in fact, is outside the work itself. Her own harshest (and truest) critic, Wharton appended three ``reviews,'' one of which reads: ``Is not the author very, very like a sick-sentimental school-girl who has begun her work with a fierce and bloody resolve to make it as bad as certain popular fiction & has ended with a blush, & a general erasure of all the naughty words which her modest vocabulary could furnish?'' By contrast, The Buccaneers , left unfinished at Wharton's death in 1937, manifests a consummate artistry. (See Fiction Forecasts, June 28, for a review of Viking's Buccaneers as completed by Marion Mainwaring.) Included here is a facsimile of the version published by Wharton's literary executor in 1938; although Winner's textual notes are purely academic (e.g., ``That Eglinton girl had'' in one manuscript reads as ``That Eglinton girl there'' in another), her edition valiantly preserves the manuscript as a work-in-progress. Winner edited The Letters of Henry Adams. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.