John Fowles - 'The Magus'

'I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently above history to leave, of that monstrous dwarf Queen Victoria. I was sent to a public school, I wasted two years doing my national service, I went to Oxford; and there I began to discover I was not the person I wanted to be.'

The opening of The Magus by John Fowles. Born 31st March 1926, died 7th November 2005.

'As I type Tallis' O Salutaris Hostia is playing. Why Tallis? Why the Elizabethan composers? Why do I need to hear a Bach fugue every day, but could live the rest of my life without hearing another Prokofiev Symphony? Why does John Fowles' The Magus still move me?' - On An Overgrown Path, August 2004.

Photo credit - Dorset Books
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If you enjoyed this post take an overgrown path to Lux Aeterna (and not Ligeti)


Anonymous said…
I thought about our e-conversation last week when I heard about his death last night.

Me, I've always favored *Daniel Martin* best.
Pliable said…
Blackdogred - interesting comment re. Daniel Martin

Can't say I agree with it, but the Guardian obituary for John Fowles written by John Ezard said yesterday:

'The loss of pace in their successor Daniel Martin (1977) was all the more striking. .... Its vice - unprecendented for Fowles - was dullness.'
Anonymous said…
At the time I first read DM I had just come out of a period of reading Barth and Pynchon and Elkin; perhaps the dullness John Ezard complains of I found soothingly quiet after the dizzying noises.

I do recognize that I am one of the few Fowles' admirers who find DM the favorite. And I recognize that I am either particularly prone and/or particularly aware of how much things swirling around in my mind affect my opinions of things I'm reading, hearing.
Anonymous said…
I found it most interesting that JF had to listen to a Bach Fugue everyday!! It's like listening to a sermon by the master.

When I'm depressed, which is every 3-4 months, I don't take Prozac, I practice only Bach's Well Tempered Klavier, both books, every day untill my depression desolves into Joy. It works!! And the most it takes is three, sometimes four days. The first day is the hardest though!!

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