Read Ebony Tower by John Fowles Free Online
Book Title: Ebony Tower|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 34.73 MB
v The author of the book: John Fowles
Date of issue: February 7th 2001
ISBN 13: 9781856952330
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Ebony Tower:Fowles is another one of those writers that uses writing in just the way I like: to elucidate ideas as clearly and concisely as possible, and not for the sake of showing off his profligate vocabulary or acrobatic verbal prowess, which is my opinion happens way too often with modern literature. What I like even more is that Fowles is obsessed with discovering and elucidating the themes that shape the modern world, and has more success than most writers. "The Ebony Tower," the first novella in this collection, is a brilliant critique of mid-twentieth century art and thought, and "Poor Koko" deals with the clash between the adrift generation coming of age in that time and the oblivious and helpless establishment (meaning literary, political and social). My favorite was probably "The Enigma," though, which is basically a round deconstruction of what we expect from the modern detective story, an idea I've seen done many times, whether in Paul Auster's book(s) The New York Trilogy or Michaelangelo Antonioni's films L'avventura and Blow-Up, but never so gracefully and satisfyingly.
My only gripe with Fowles is his rather silly obsession with sex, or, more specifically, the way men and women in his writing relate in terms of it. There's always this kind of weird domination dynamic between the male and female characters in his works, which he treats like a fact of life and which I don't buy. Essentially, women are always sexually subordinate to men, and men require this subordination in order to be "real men." Stupid and dated. Fowles admits to and deals with this hang-up in his later novel Mantissa, but I always find it really distracting nevertheless.
Read information about the authorJohn Robert Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, a small town located about 40 miles from London in the county of Essex, England. He recalls the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional. Of his childhood, Fowles says "I have tried to escape ever since."
Fowles attended Bedford School, a large boarding school designed to prepare boys for university, from ages 13 to 18. After briefly attending the University of Edinburgh, Fowles began compulsory military service in 1945 with training at Dartmoor, where he spent the next two years. World War II ended shortly after his training began so Fowles never came near combat, and by 1947 he had decided that the military life was not for him.
Fowles then spent four years at Oxford, where he discovered the writings of the French existentialists. In particular he admired Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, whose writings corresponded with his own ideas about conformity and the will of the individual. He received a degree in French in 1950 and began to consider a career as a writer.
Several teaching jobs followed: a year lecturing in English literature at the University of Poitiers, France; two years teaching English at Anargyrios College on the Greek island of Spetsai; and finally, between 1954 and 1963, teaching English at St. Godric's College in London, where he ultimately served as the department head.
The time spent in Greece was of great importance to Fowles. During his tenure on the island he began to write poetry and to overcome a long-time repression about writing. Between 1952 and 1960 he wrote several novels but offered none to a publisher, considering them all incomplete in some way and too lengthy.
In late 1960 Fowles completed the first draft of The Collector in just four weeks. He continued to revise it until the summer of 1962, when he submitted it to a publisher; it appeared in the spring of 1963 and was an immediate best-seller. The critical acclaim and commercial success of the book allowed Fowles to devote all of his time to writing.
The Aristos, a collection of philosophical thoughts and musings on art, human nature and other subjects, appeared the following year. Then in 1965, The Magus - drafts of which Fowles had been working on for over a decade - was published. A
The most commercially successful of Fowles' novels, The French Lieutenant's Woman, appeared in 1969. It resembles a Victorian novel in structure and detail, while pushing the traditional boundaries of narrative in a very modern manner.
In the 1970s Fowles worked on a variety of literary projects--including a series of essays on nature--and in 1973 he published a collection of poetry, Poems.
Daniel Martin, a long and somewhat autobiographical novel spanning over 40 years in the life of a screenwriter, appeared in 1977, along with a revised version of The Magus. These were followed by Mantissa (1982), a fable about a novelist's struggle with his muse; and A Maggot (1985), an 18th century mystery which combines science fiction and history.
In addition to The Aristos, Fowles has written a variety of non-fiction pieces including many essays, reviews, and forwards/afterwords to other writers' novels. He has also written the text for several photographic compilations.
Since 1968, Fowles lived on the southern coast of England in the small harbor town of Lyme Regis. His interest in the town's local history resulted in his appointment as curator of the Lyme Regis Museum in 1979, a position he filled for a decade.
Wormholes, a book of essays, was published in May 1998. The first comprehensive biography on Fowles, John Fowles: A Life in Two Worlds, was published in 2004, and the first volume of his journals appeared the same year (followed recently by volume two).
John Fowles died on November 5, 2005 after a long illness.
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