Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Two autobiographical volumes constitute the major nondramatic writings of James Bridie. Some Talk of Alexander, derived from his experiences in the field ambulance unit of the British army during World War I in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Transcaucasia, and Constantinople, was published in 1926. A second autobiography, One Way of Living, published in 1939, is a creative memoir written when Bridie had turned fifty. It is divided into ten chapters, each covering a five-year period of his life. There is an overlay of italicized portions in each chapter, in which an interior monologue of the author ranges freely over some imaginative, associative reflection, evoking the style of James Joyce in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). In addition to his two autobiographical works, Bridie wrote a collection of essays entitled Mr. Bridie’s Alphabet for Little Glasgow Highbrows (1934); a collection of short plays, fragments, essays, poetry, and film and radio scripts entitled Tedious and Brief (1944); criticism in The British Drama (1945); and still another collection of essays entitled A Small Stir: Letters on the English (1949; with Moray McLaren). Finally, Bridie was a prolific writer of articles, described by Winifred Bannister, his biographer, as “witty, teasing admonitions usually aimed at drawing people into the theatre, and even that part of the Scottish public not interested in the theatre could hardly avoid being aware of Bridie as a personality, for almost everything he said and did in public was news.”