John Fowles anyone ?
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I have an uncanny premonition that the story goes nowhere. Just mystery heaped on mystery like a literary variant of "Lost"
Maybe we can find people who think The Magus is a worthwhile read and find out why they think so.
The ending of TFLW didn't bother me. I thought both were in line with the way Fowles "broke the 4th wall". The ending of Magus was worse, esp. as it was in Latin.
I think you've got it--popular when it was first published, fascinating to some people, but lacks sticking power. More a product of its time than Fowles' other works. Now we have to find someone who recalls why they liked it.
PS: Jane, were you ever a reporter?
I don't think The Magus is "great"; it's suffused with a really sixties, really male self-centredness, weird semi-liberated attitudes toward women that make Fowles's female characters brilliant and fascinating but also compliant sex objects, and generally a cloying sense that all that's really going on on in Nick Urfe's head is a solipsistic delight at being the hero of his own story. In other words, it's got the flaws of Henry Miller, DH Lawrence, Kerouac, the existentialists, and I found it exhilarating for the same reason. (I was big on the "existential smile"). Fowles isn't the writer Miller is, and he's more pompous, but he's also got less cynicism (e.g. that Latin motto) and that appealed too. At that age you're sort of just at the end-cusp of still being able to believe in magic and alternate worlds and suchlike, and that made the first part of the book amazing. And when the psychiatric stuff started happening, it was pretty cool too--for somebody who was just starting to explore academia, the feeling that the whole way we see the world could be turned around by some weird mix of behaviourism, sex magick, and charlatanry from such exotic locales as a tempest-toss'd Greek isle and an English country house was exhilarating. Maybe I could do an internship there!
Oh, and the open ending made me think maybe me and my girlfriend would get back together. Does any of that make sense?
Excellent sense! How do you think you would find it now? Would you recommend it to other people?
I think it's just as interesting to find out why people of intelligence have different reading tastes than I do.