Ronald Harwood Rosalind Wade - Essay

Rosalind Wade

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It was a bold and imaginative decision on the part of Ronald Harwood's publishers to issue simultaneously two such widely different examples of his work as César and Augusta and One. Interior. Day. (p. 45)

One of the main points of interest about One. Interior. Day. is that the two books could be so different. No matter how closely an author may identify with historical characters, the fact that he is interpreting rather than creating obliges him to be reticent to some extent about his own reactions and experiences. In these nine stories about the film industry, Ronald Harwood is even more involved than is customary, for the outline of life as lived by the chief character, Edward Lands, is charted by the well known landmarks of Ronald Harwood's own professional career.

This does not inhibit progress as severely as might have been anticipated. The strange no-man's land between reportage and creativity produces a curiously tantalising world of semi-make believe. One longs to know more about Edward and his wife in their day-to-day routine at home; why they remain such easy prey to the dupes and charlatans and what is going to become of them in the end. The lightish humour and gentle etching in of character might well have been undertaken merely in order to prove the author's versatility. Certainly, they are a startling contrast to the savage emotions which tear César and Augusta apart. (pp. 45-6)

Rosalind Wade, in a review of "César and Augusta," in Contemporary Review, Vol. 233, No. 1350, July, 1978, pp. 45-6.