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The Magus is a postmodern novel by British author John Fowles , telling the story of Nicholas Urfe, a young British graduate who is teaching English on a small Greek island. Urfe becomes embroiled in the psychological illusions of a master trickster, which become increasingly dark and serious.

Considered an example of metafiction , it was the first novel written by Fowles, but the third he published. In he published a revised edition. In , The Magus was ranked on both lists of Modern Library Best Novels , reaching number 93 on the editors’ list and number 71 on the readers’ list. He started writing it in the s, under the original title of The Godgame. He based it partly on his experiences on the Greek island of Spetses , where he taught English for two years at the Anargyrios School.

Despite gaining critical and commercial success, he continued to rework it, publishing a final revision in The story reflects the perspective of Nicholas Urfe, a young Oxford graduate and aspiring poet. After graduation, he briefly works as a teacher at a small school, but becomes bored and decides to leave England.

While looking for another job, Nicholas takes up with Alison Kelly, an Australian girl he met at a party in London. After beginning his new post, he becomes bored, depressed, disillusioned, and overwhelmed by the Mediterranean island; Nicholas struggles with loneliness and contemplates suicide.

While habitually wandering around the island, he stumbles upon an estate and soon meets its owner, Maurice Conchis, a wealthy Greek recluse. They develop a sort of friendship, and Conchis slowly reveals that he may have collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

Nicholas is gradually drawn into Conchis’s psychological games, his paradoxical views on life, his mysterious persona, and his eccentric masques. At first, Nicholas takes these posturings of Conchis, what the novel terms the “godgame”, to be a joke, but they grow more elaborate and intense.

Nicholas loses his ability to determine what is real and what is artifice. Against his will and knowledge, he becomes a performer in the godgame. Eventually, Nicholas realises that the re-enactments of the Nazi occupation , the absurd playlets after Sade , and the obscene parodies of Greek myths are about his life, not Conchis’s life. The book ends indeterminately. Fowles received many letters from readers wanting to know which of the two apparently possible outcomes occur.

He refused to answer the question conclusively, however, sometimes changing his answer to suit the inquirer. The novel ends quoting the refrain of the Pervigilium Veneris , an anonymous work of fourth-century Latin poetry, which has been taken as indicating the possible preferred resolution of the ending’s ambiguity.

John Fowles wrote an article about his experiences in the island of Spetses and their influence on the book. The novel was adapted for film with a screenplay by Fowles, directed by Guy Green , and released in It was filmed on the island of Majorca. The adaptation generally was considered a failure as film; when Peter Sellers was asked if he would do anything differently with his life, he said he’d do “everything exactly the same, with the exception of watching The Magus “.

Caine said that it was one of the worst films in which he had been involved because no one knew what it was about. In , a new television miniseries adaptation of The Magus was announced to be in development at Neal Street Productions , with Johan Renck being looked at to direct based on a screenplay written by Tom Edge.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the novel by John Fowles. For the book on the occult, see The Magus Barrett book. For other uses, see The Magus disambiguation. Main article: The Magus film. The Guardian. Modern Library. Retrieved 28 October April Retrieved 26 October The Fictions of John Fowles: Power, creativity, femininity.

Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. ISBN Retrieved 17 July — via Google Books. John Fowles — the web site. Retrieved 6 November Twentieth Century Literature. John Fowles issue. Hofstra University. Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved 17 July — via FindArticles. Adventures in the Screen Trade. New York: Warner Books. Retrieved 3 September Retrieved 25 March Categories : fantasy novels British novels British novels British novels adapted into films English-language books Novels by John Fowles Novels set in Greece Novels set on islands Jonathan Cape books Postmodern novels Fiction set in Novels set in the s.

Hidden categories: EngvarB from September Use dmy dates from September Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. First US edition. Tom Adams.


The Collector by John Fowles | Vintage Classics | Penguin Shop

The Collector by Fowles, John and a great selection of related books, frequently explores the tensions between free will and the constraints of society. She closed the book. “Tell me about yourself. Tell me what you do in your free time.” I’m an entomologist. I collect butterflies. “Of course,” she said. Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, art student Miranda.


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