Cronin and the Chronotope: place, time and pessimistic individualism

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    A.J. Cronin’s 1937 novel The Citadel (and its 1938 film adaptation)was an immensely wide-reaching and influential fiction depicting a version of industrial south Wales to the world, popularly perceived as a radical attack on medical practice in Britain. After a brief critical summary of the novel this essay considers Cronin's representation of fictionalised place and historical context, especially in the sections set in Wales, looking at the novel first in each case and then laying some of the personal experience Cronin drew on and actual historical detail alongside it. By a close examination especially of the chronology of the novel as it matches and mismatches history it shows that the chronotopic structure of The Citadelis shaped to serve a fundamentally pessimistic and individualistic view of humanity largely at odds with any supposed radicalism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages16
    JournalNorth American Journal of Welsh Studies
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sept 2013


    • individualism
    • AJ Cronin
    • The Citadel
    • literary criticism
    • time-space structure of the novel
    • place
    • history
    • Fictional depictions of South Wales


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