Mantissa (Back Bay Books) [John Fowles] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In Mantissa (), a novelist awakes in the hospital with. Serious modern fiction has only one subject: the difficulty of writing serious modern fiction.” So says Fowles’ alter-ego here. And, if that idea was. In Fowles’s latest novel, however, the heroine’s part in this catalytic process is less easy to determine. For in Mantissa Fowles was not content merely.

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The summary here on Goodreads is sadly short and not at all indicative of the true content of the novel, otherwise I I haven’t read anything by Fowles yet, and judging by some of the reviews here this was a very bad one to start with.

Mantissa (novel) – Wikipedia

A most sublime read for those interested in such topics; and perhaps a gruelling bore to those who aren’t. By definition I’m in despair. Fiwles enjoy feeling smart when I read something or am matissa something. There he conversed, warred and made love with his fictional female character in ping pong fashion.

I may come back to it, maybe it was just unfairly picked up by me at the wrong time. Fowles then spent four years at Oxford, where he discovered the writings of the French existentialists. The title alone should be an indication of the book.

Just as happily, the hilarious and pointed asides about deconstructionists, postmodernists and other weirdos of 80s academia who “proved” that authors don’t write their own books are barbs now missing their target, since I can see no evidence that readers bother to even buy postmodernist books. So confused by this book.

View all 3 comments. Paperbackpages. In Mantissaa novelist awakes in the hospital with amnesia — and comes to believe that a beautiful female doctor is, in fact, his muse. Of his childhood, Fowles said “I have tried to escape ever since.

Then it descends into meta-chaos and endless pages of conflicting and testing dialogue between the two leads, ending with very little understanding or likability for either of them, especially the female, but I think that’s more the author being anti-feminist in execution.


There are no discussion topics on this book yet. It reminded me of another book I didn’t finish Giles Goat-Boy in that it’s so steeped in its own metaphor that it became unbearably difficult to care about the words on the page, because those words weren’t telling a story, they were Making A Point.

But I don’t, no matter how well written it is. Fowles self-parody; his most comic novel although there aren’t many belly-laughs. Erato confuses lung with Erica Jong. Outside of the bizarre but kind of unique ‘plot’ of the novel in the sense of the characters themselves and what actually happens outside of the dialoguethis book really is a mantissa.

In that sense, it is perhaps an ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ of novel-craft, or a Stanislavski-type yarn, a ‘realities-bending’ fiction. One minute he had the upper hand, the next moment she did; back and forth it proceeded until, in the end, they both fell helplessly into fosles others arms.

I enjoyed the symbolic room which brought the reader into the fictional writer’s brain. Musings on literary movements! The summary here on Goodreads is sadly short and not at all indicative of the true content of the novel, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have wasted the money buying it.


Aug 28, Jason Mashak rated it really liked it. Per my, verbally, far more interesting book, “Are the English Human? He continued to revise it until the fpwles ofwhen he submitted it to a publisher; it appeared in the spring of and was an immediate best-seller.

It’s one of those things where you feel like you’ve been hanging out at someone’s house for dinner and you realize they’ve spent the last three hours talking about how Seriously Awesome they are in every fowls, and you just want to go home and forget the evening entirely because there was nothing of actual value manntissa the whole thing. The book opens with Green immobilized on a bed in a padded room. In the end, it could be said that the fictional male writer was at war with his inner male and female self.


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.

MANTISSA by John Fowles | Kirkus Reviews

First, it has fully accepted that it is only fiction, can only be fiction, will never be anything but fiction, and therefore has no business at all tampering with real life or reality The time spent in Greece was of great importance to Fowles.

Imagine Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel written as a fictitious dialogue with himself.

No trivia or quizzes yet. His expression of being a man of his era as well as a feminist, a man both so finely tuned to the feminine mind, as well as one ready to admit it could still baffle a part of him, set as it is in direct parallel to artistic endeavour, was particularly courageous. Her character changed repeatedly, from a Goth boi to a demur, sensitive young girl. Between and he wrote several novels but offered none to a publisher, considering them all incomplete in some way and too lengthy.

Jun 19, Natalia Oprea rated it liked it. It is critical, unflattering, amusing, fascinating and demanding. In some parts I enjoyed his verbal jousting and sparring with his two characters, but mantissa I tired of being yanked back into reality and the theory of the modern novel. But the Point is the only mantiss, meaning the book just isn’t for me.

Fowles admitted it was a bagatelle, a mere side-note novel hence the titlebut I found the book mor Fowles self-parody; his most comic novel although there aren’t many belly-laughs.

I love John Fowles, but this is ridiculous. Sign mantiswa here to receive your FREE alerts. And, however richly executed, this remains an overextended intellectual vaudeville-sketch–alternately fascinating and tedious, with distinctly special, limited appeal.