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John Fowles' "The Magus"

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Jonny Glat

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John Fowles is one of my favorite authors and "The Magus" is in my top 5 favorite novels of all time. I first read it when I was in high school (about 16 years young) and have reread it three times since then. I love Fowles' writing style which so expressive, honest, and descriptive. I love his ability to construct an original plot that is such a beautiful blend of philosophical inquiry, suspense, romantic exploration, and internal conflict.

Particularly regarding "The Magus", I fell in love with Nicholas Urfe, the protagonist, who is such an irrational, contradiction-riddled character that I couldn't help but see shades of myself and others around me in him. His ethical system that guides his life seems to be at timse Objectivist, at times Nitzchean, and other times a a Don Juan sort of subjectivist who is unknowingly in self-destruct mode.

His constant love for freedom is to be admired, however his dishonesty about his feelings with the two love interests in the novel are dreadful, manipulative, and evil. His commitment to his selfish interest and rejection of his parents' lessons of DUTY to God and Country are praiseworthy but his poetic cynicism, and masquerade of pathological victimization is juvenile, spoiled, and evasive.

I don't love this book because Nicholas is an ideal Man, like Roark or Galt, but rather because of Fowles fierce and deep portrayal of a flawed man who in the end learns a lesson about himself, abour freedom, and about love.

If anyone has any comments on Fowles or The Magus I would love to get a discussion started. I've also read The Ebony Tower, The Collector, and The French Lieutenant's Woman FYI...

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