Selected Bibliography of FitzGerald Criticism, 1959-2008
This list includes the major critical contributions of the last fifty years. It does not include notes or short articles, nor the many editions of FitzGerald's work, several of which contain very useful critical introductions.
Alexander, Doris. Creating Literature Out of Life: The Making of Four Masterpieces. University Park: Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 1996. Chapter 3 ("FitzOmar: Live Eagle") gives a biographical sketch that suggests the psychological background and context for FitzGerald's composition of the first (1859) version of the Rubáiyát.
Arberry, A. J. The Romance of the Rubáiyát: Edward FitzGerald's First Edition, Reprinted with Introduction and Notes. London: Allen and Unwin, 1959. In this scholarly centennial edition, Arberry makes use of FitzGerald's own notes, letters, and Latin version of the quatrains to show how the English poem emerged out of the Persian sources.
Black, Barbara J. On Exhibit: Victorians and Their Museums. Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 2000. In a chapter on the Rubáiyát and "the politics of collecting," Black argues that FitzGerald appropriated an oriental text in order to domesticate it.
Cadbury, William. "FitzGerald's Rubáiyát as a Poem." ELH 34 (1967): 541-563. Cadbury argues that the Rubáiyát is not lyric but "anti-lyric," since its coherence depends upon our imagining an implied speaker.
D'Ambrosio, Vinnie-Marie. Eliot Possessed: T. S. Eliot and FitzGerald's Rubáiyát. New York: New York Univ. Press, 1989. By his own account, T. S. Eliot's love for poetry began when he first encountered the Rubáiyát at the age of fourteen, although he also claimed that he soon outgrew FitzGerald's poem. D'Ambrosio's monograph examines the complex ways in which both the poem and the figure of FitzGerald himself continued to haunt Eliot throughout his poetic career. [End Page 15]
de Armas, Frederick A. "The Apocalyptic Vision of La vida es sueño: Calderón and Edward FitzGerald." Comparative Literature Studies 23 (1986): 119-140. Concentrating on one of the most important of the Calderón translations, de Armas offers a detailed analysis of FitzGerald's methods as a translator.
Decker, Christopher. "Edward FitzGerald and Other Men's Flowers: Allusion in the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám." Literary Imagination 6 (2004): 213-239. Decker discusses the many uses FitzGerald makes of earlier English poetry, including not only Tennyson, Shakespeare, and the Bible, but also, more surprisingly, Pope and Dryden.
Douglas-Fairhurst, Robert. Victorian Afterlives: The Shaping of Influence in Nineteenth-Century Literature. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002. The final chapter ("Edward FitzGerald: Under the Influence") presents an extended analysis of FitzGerald's characteristic attitudes and modes of thought—including his solitude, nostalgia, and literary borrowings—through nuanced close readings of both the letters and the poetry.
———. "Young Tennyson and 'Old Fitz.'" TRB 8, no. 2 (2003): 69-84. Douglas-Fairhurst describes how Tennyson and his poetry, particularly the earlier poems, appealed both to FitzGerald's admiration for the young and to his nostalgia for the old.
Gray, Erik. "Forgetting FitzGerald's Rubáiyát." SEL 41 (2001): 765-783. Gray argues that the poem not only preaches forgetfulness but induces it, through its stanza-form, its multiple versions, and its repeated sound and image patterns.
———. The Poetry of Indifference: From the Romantics to the Rubáiyát. Amherst: Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 2005. Chapter 4, on the poem's self-effacement, adapts and expands upon the article above. Chapter 5 traces a three-way poetical debate between FitzGerald, Robert Browning, and Tennyson, about the ultimate value of personal and poetic endeavor.
Jewett, Iran B. Hassani. Edward FitzGerald. Boston: Twayne, 1977. Jewett provides a useful introduction to FitzGerald and his works, including a substantial chapter on the Rubáiyát. [End Page 16]
Martin, Robert Bernard. With Friends Possessed: A Life of Edward FitzGerald. London: Faber and Faber, 1985. Martin's book adds considerable nuance and complexity to earlier portraits of FitzGerald. Among other things, it is the first full-length biography to address directly FitzGerald's homosexual inclinations.
Martin, William H., and Sandra Mason. The...