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John Fowles & British

John Fowles is a British author who wrote several novels and essays that are characterized by critics as either modernist or postmodernist. Among his works are The Collector, The Magus and A Maggot. The last novel is what I will be mainly concerned with in this short essay. A Maggot was published in English in 1985 by the British Publishing company Cape. The title A Maggot has been explained by the author as an obsession or a piece of music that gets stuck in the brain. It refers to anything we cannot as humans let go of.

The author employs several techniques to bring the themes within the book to the foreground. He uses narration methods like interviews, third person narrations through letters and direct dialogues between the characters to discuss the themes the novel is concerned with. The novel includes elements of mystery and science fiction within it and through the character’s recounts and dialogues the tone of an imaginary fictional reality is set thereby enhancing the feeling within the reader of being an observer of a fictional show rather than feeling immersed within the story.

This makes classifying the book as a sci-fi postmodernist work even more plausible. The character’s experience with the non-human intelligence entity that some describe as a huge maggot and that the characters suspected to have been carrying aliens ,devils or time travelers , is a fascinating encounter between the human/familiar and the inhuman/unknown. This leads to an investigation that is never resolved making the story less of the usual fictional work with a beginning, climax and end and more of a real-life resemblance to how things can go in life at times.

I chose this particular novel because I truly believe that the themes and narration techniques within it are extraordinarily well presented to give us, the readers, the strange sensation of being both observers and participators in solving the mystery, a mystery that is never deciphered. The novel is concerned with themes that every individual can sympathize with. Issues as free will versus fate and religious/social belonging versus individual identity are central in the novel.

Those are a few of the dilemmas we are confronted with as individuals at a certain point or another in our lives. A Maggot is a very complicated but interesting work of literature that explores several concepts within the realm of both reality and science fiction. It employs lengthy philosophical discussions to clarify the main themes more which in turn makes it harder to follow at times as the characters easily digress from topic to another.

However, this does not make it less brilliant or interesting to read and certainly a recommendation for all who need a thought provoking piece of literary work. Works Cited. Sharkmaw (2008). Review: A Maggot by John Fowles. Retrieved June 25, 2009, http://newsgroups. derkeiler. com/Archive/Rec/rec. arts. sf. written/2008-04/msg00109. html Nye, Robert (1985). Magus’s Maggot. Retrieved June 25, 2009,http://www. guardian. co. uk/books/1985/sep/19/fiction. johnfowles

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