Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Adair, Gilbert

(1944-2011) UK writer and journalist whose first novels – Alice Through the Needle's Eye: A Third Adventure for Lewis Carroll's "Alice" (1984) and Peter Pan and the Only Children (1987) – are Sequels by Other Hands to, respectively, Lewis Carroll's Alice books and J M Barrie's Peter Pan works. "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" (1988 Observer) features Sherlock Holmes. The first novel is of perhaps the greatest interest, taking Alice into a Wonderland where her adventures are (it eventually proves) governed by the letters of the alphabet, in correct order (she initially falls into an A-stack, is bothered by spelling bees, makes her way to the sea, etc.). Of his later novels, The Death of the Author (1992) alertly parodies the voice of Vladimir Nabokov, is textually haunted by the ghost of Paul de Man (1919-1984), and concludes with an intricate play on the conventions of the Posthumous Fantasy. In The Postmodernist Always Rings Twice: Reflections on Culture in the 90s (coll 1992) he subjects various icons, from Batman to Umberto Eco, to an analysis based on the argument that the media through which culture is transmitted are themselves a form of product. He has also translated La Disparition (1969) by Georges Perec (1936-1982) as A Void (1994); both original and translation avoid using the letter "e". [JC]

Gilbert Adair


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.