John Fowles

John Fowles, 1926–2005, English writer, b. Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, grad. Oxford, 1950. A complex, cerebral writer and a superb storyteller, Fowles was interested in manipulating the novel as a genre. His central philosophical proccupation involved the conflict between free will and determinism. His first published novel, The Collector (1963; film 1965), is a study of a clerk who is psychologically impelled to kidnap and murder—that is, "collect" —a girl to whom he is attracted. The Magus (1966, film 1968, rev. ed. 1977) tells of its young protagonist's struggle with the powerful and mysterious title character, the ruler of a Greek island who has garnered a cult following. His best-known work, The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969; film 1981) is a multilayered "Victorian" novel that has three alternate endings; it reflects a modern self-consciousness about 19th-century England and the form of the novel itself. Fowles also wrote The Aristos: A Self-Portrait in Ideas (1964) and other nonfiction works; The Ebony Tower (1974), a collection of stories; and the novels Daniel Martin (1977), Mantissa (1982), and A Maggot (1985).

See his The Journals, Vol. I, 1949–1965 (2005), Vol. II, 1966–1990 (2006); biography by E. Warburton (2004); D. L. Vipond, ed., Conversations with John Fowles (1999); studies by P. Wolf (1979), D. Pifer, ed. (1986), C. M. Barnum (1988), K. Tarbox (1989), P. Cooper (1991), T. C. Foster (1994), J. Acheson (1998), and W. Stephenson (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

John Fowles: Selected full-text books and articles

The Therapeutic Narrative: Fictional Relationships and the Process of Psychological Change By Barbara Almond; Richard Almond Praeger Publishers, 1996
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "The Magus (John Fowles): A Literary Psychodrama"
Modern/Postmodern: A Study in Twentieth-Century Arts and Ideas By Silvio Gaggi University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "Writing about Writing: John Fowles and John Barth"
'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and the Evolution of the Narrative By Tarbox, Katherine Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring 1996
Self, World, and Art in the Fiction of John Fowles By Onega, Susana Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring 1996
Techniques of Subversion in Modern Literature: Transgression, Abjection, and the Carnivalesque By M. Keith Booker University of Florida Press, 1991
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Transgression without God: Sexuality, Textuality, and Infinity in The French Lieutenant's Woman"
Heraclitus against the Barbarians: John Fowles's 'The Magus.'(John Fowles Issue) By Lorenz, Paul H Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring 1996
Astarte's Game: Variations in John Fowles's "The Enigma."(John Fowles Issue) By Martinez, Maria Jesus Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 42, No. 1, Spring 1996
Unsolved Mysteries: Agents of Historical Change in John Fowles's A Maggot By Roessner, Jeffrey Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 36, No. 3, Summer 2000
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Writers and Philosophers: A Sourcebook of Philosophical Influences on Literature By Edmund J. Thomas; Eugene G. Miller Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian's tip: Discussion of John Fowles begins on p. 66
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