Publication Details

Cover Image for Penelope Fitzgerald and the Consolation of Fiction

Penelope Fitzgerald and the Consolation of Fiction

Author: Christopher J. Knight

Additional Authors:

Publisher: Routledge

Date: 09/21/2016

Image of Christopher J. Knight

Christopher J. Knight

Phone: (406) 243-2878


Office: Liberal Arts 115

Office Hours:

Wednesday & Friday 10:10am-11:10am.

Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position



American Literature I (ENLT 224)

American Literature II (ENLT 225)

Applied Literary Criticism (ENLT 301)

Shakespeare (LIT 327)

Studies in a Major Author (past courses on Jane Austen, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Penelope Fitzgerald) (ENLT 321)

Studies in Literary Form (Contemporary Women Fiction Writers: Lydia Davis, Kathryn Davis, Penelope Fitzgerald, Marilynne Robinson & Lorrie Moore) (ENLT 323)

Modern Poetry (ENLT 333)

History of Criticism and Theory (ENLT 420)

Seminar in British Literature: Penelope Fitzgerald (LIT 520) & Jane Austen (LIT 520)

Seminar in American Literature: Henry James (LIT 521) & T. S. Eliot (LIT 521)

Seminar in Comparative Literature: Modern Apophaticism (LIT  522)

Studies in the Film: Woody Allen (ENFM 381)


Ph.D. New York University

M.A. New York University

B.A. Manhattan College

Field of Study

Modern American and British Literature, Critical Theory & Film

Selected Publications


 Penelope Fitzgerald and the Consolation of Fiction. Routledge, 2017 (published September 2016), 297 pp.


Omissions Are Not Accidents: Modern Apophaticism from Henry James to Jacques Derrida. University of Toronto Press, 2010, 267 pp.


Uncommon Readers: Denis Donoghue, Frank Kermode, George Steiner and the Tradition of the Common Reader. University of Toronto Press, 2003, 506 pp.


Hints and Guesses: William Gaddis’s Fiction of Longing. University of Wisconsin Press, 1997, 302 pp.


The Patient Particulars: American Modernism and the Technique of Originality. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press and London: Associated University Presses, 1995, 252 pp.


Book Chapters:


“‘The Long Day’s Journey of the Saturday’: George Steiner’s Real Presences and the ‘Middle Space.’” The Wounds of Possibility: Essays on George Steiner. Ed. Gil Soeiro. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2012.


“Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons and the Premises of Classicalism.” Reprint. Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Detroit: Gale Research Co., forthcoming in 2013. 


“Late Style in Woody Allen’s Films.” Companion to Woody Allen. Ed. Peter J. Bailey and Sam B. Girgus. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.


“‘Trying to Make Negative Things Do the Work of Positive Ones’: William Gaddis and Apophaticism.” William Gaddis: “The Last of Something.” Ed. Crystal Alberts, Christopher Leise and Birger Vawesenbeeck. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 2009: 51 – 68.


“Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age: The Apophatic Impulse,” in Charles Taylor's Vision of Modernity: Reconstructions and Interpretations. Ed. Christopher Garbowski, Jan Hudzik and Jan Klos, Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009: 64 – 86. Also, in Polish translation, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University Press, 2011.


“George Steiner and the Religion of Abstraction.” Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 221 (CLC-221). Detroit: Gale Research Co., 2006.


“Woody Allen’s Manhattan and the Ethicity of Narrative.” The Films of Woody Allen: Critical Essays. Ed. Charles L. P. Silet. Lanham, MD, Toronto & Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. (Imprint of Rowan & Littlefield), 2006: 145 – 155.


“William Gaddis’s A Frolic of His Own: Whose Law? Whose Justice?” In William Gaddis. Edited & Introduced by Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004: 173 – 217.


“An Interview with Lydia Davis.” Short Story Criticism, Vol. 61 (Detroit: Gale Research Co., 2003).


“William Gaddis.” The Dictionary of Literary Biography on American Novelists Since World War II.  Edited by James R. and Wanda  H. Giles.  Bruccoli Clark Layman, Inc. (2003).


“Saul Bellow.” The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Life: 1960s (New York: Scribner, 2002).


“Lionel Trilling.” The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Life: 1960s (New York: Scribner, 2002).


“William Gaddis.” The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Life: 1997-99, Vol. 5 (New York: Scribner, 2001).


“Gertrude Stein.” The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Criticism and Theory. Ed. Martin Kreiswirth and Michael Groden. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.


The Hudson Review.” American Literary Magazines: The Twentieth Century. Ed. Edward E. Chielens. Westport, CT and London: The Greenwood Press, 1992.


“Marianne Moore: Appreciating Both the Trope of the Imagination and Wallace Stevens' Handling of the Same.” Marianne Moore: Woman and Poet, Orono, ed. Patricia C. Willis. Orono, Maine: The National Poetry Foundation/University of Maine Press, 1990: 419 – 30.


“Flemish Art and Wyatt's Quest for Redemption in William Gaddis's The Recognitions.” In Recognition of William Gaddis: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Steven Moore and John Kuehl.  Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1984: 58 – 69.



Journal Essays and Interviews:


“Between the Hither and the Farther Shore”: Penelope Fitzgerald’s Offshore. Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Winter 2014): 90 – 111.


“Concerning the Unpredictable: Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Gate of Angels and the Challenges to Modern Religious Belief,” Religion & Literature, Vol. 45, No. 3 (Autumn 2013): 25 – 57.


“Penelope Fitzgerald’s Beginnings: The Golden Child and Fitzgerald’s Anxious Relation to Detective Fiction.” Cambridge Quarterly. Vol. 41, Issue 3 (September 2012): 345 – 64.


“The Second Saddest Story: Despair, Belief, and Moral Perseverance in Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop.” Journal of Narrative Theory. Vol. 42., No. 1 (Winter 2012): 69-90.


“Two Sides to Every Story.” Review Essay on Frank Kermode, Concerning E. M. Forster. Twentieth-Century Literature. Vol. 56., No. 2 (Summer 2010).


“‘For Once, Then, Something’: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique and the Apophatic Beyond,” Literature/Film Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 4 (2009): 283-94.


“Lydia Davis’s Own Philosophical Investigation: The End of the Story.” Journal of Narrative Theory, Vol. 38, No. 2 (Summer 2008): 198-228.


“William Gaddis’s Parthian Shot: Social Criticism in the Posthumous Agape Agape and The Rush for Second Place.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 49, No. 2 (Winter 2008): 205-20.


“‘The God of Love is Full of Tricks’: Virginia Woolf’s Vexed Relation to the Tradition of Christianity.” Religion & Literature, vol. 39, no. 1 (Spring 2007): 27-46.


“Woody Allen’s Annie Hall: Galatea’s Triumph Over Pygmalion.” Literature/Film Quarterly (July 2004): 213-21.


“Contemporary American Poetry.” American Literary History, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Spring 2002): 181-93.


“William Gaddis: The New York State Writers Tapes.” Contemporary Literature, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Winter 2001): 667-93.


“William Gaddis’s Carpenter’s Gothic and the Shadow of Late Twain.” Q/W/E/R/T/Y, No. 10 (October 2000): 109-14.


“An Interview with Lydia Davis.”  Contemporary Literature, Vol. 40, No. 4 (Winter 1999): 525-51.

Teaching Experience

Prior Teachings Posts:

University of Wales at Aberystwyth

University at Albany, State University of New York

Miami University

Warsaw University

Marii-Curie Sklodowskiej University

The University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

The University of Texas at Austin

Stevens Institute of Technology

Pace University

York College, CUNY

New York University