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John Fowles, RIP

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des
Posted on Monday, November 07, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

Just heard that John Fowles has died. A *big* hero of mine since reading THE MAGUS in the sixties. There is a certain chapter in the DANIEL MARTIN has stuck with me forever.

He also invented the 'nemo' (in contradistinction to the 'ego' or 'id') in his book THE ARISTOS.
des
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 07, 2005 - 10:49 pm:   

One of my heroes as well. A great writer.
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paulw
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 06:54 am:   

Elizabeth Hand's essay on the muses, available on her website, has much of interest on the subject of Fowles.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 07:45 am:   

I adored Fowles' early work, expecially The Magus--I never had the heart to read the revision he later published. I'm sorry to hear he's gone.
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des
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 07:49 am:   

The revision of THE MAGUS was not as good as the original, in my opinion. But that may be me seeing my first reading of the original in 1969 with young idealistic rose-tinted spectacles!
des
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des
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 08:23 am:   

And thanks for the reference above to E. Hand's essay. Just read it. Fascinating. And satisfying in how it ties up some previous preoccupations of mine re Alain-Fournier, Oliver Onions and Fowles himself.
des

"The nemo is an evolutionary force, as necessary as the ego. The ego is certainty, what I am; the nemo is potentiality, what I am not. But instead of utilizing the nemo as we would utilize any other force, we allow ourselves to be terrified by it, as primitive man was terrified by lightning. We run screaming from this mysterious shape in the middle of our town, even though the real terror is not in itself, but in our terror at it."
-- John Fowles 1964 (from 'The Necessity of Nemo' in 'The Aristos')




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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 04:04 pm:   

I should read The Magus, sometime.

The French Lieutenant's Women uses an interesting device.

I like the quote.
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Geoffrey Maloney
Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 - 03:09 am:   

Des, thanks for posting this. I re-read A Maggot last year and Mantissa and went hunting on the internet at the time to see what had become of Fowles. I found that he was the curator of the museum at Lyme-Regis (did I spell that correctly?)and it gave me an incredible sense of there being something right about the world afterall. In what now seems like a moment of synchronicity I read, for the first time, Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes immediately after Mantissa. Thanks, to Paul W for mentioning Elizabeth Hand's excellent essay on the muses and illuminating those wonderful connections.

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