Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Matson, Norman

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(1893-1965) US writer whose work is best-known today by virtue of its spinoffs into other media; The Passionate Witch (1941), which he completed from a posthumous fragment by Thorne Smith, was filmed as I Married a Witch (1942) dir René Clair, which may have distantly influenced the tv series Bewitched (1964-1972). NM's first solo fantasy, Flecker's Magic (1926), is an unadventurous tale of a US art student in Paris who acquires a magic Ring but is too pusillanimous to use it. Doctor Fogg (1929), in which James Elroy Flecker appears in a minor role, is the tale of a scientist whose apparatus conjures up a beautiful naked blonde; it too tends towards the moral that the ordinary is to be preferred to the extraordinary. Smith certainly did not believe this, so The Passionate Witch runs contrary to its initiator. The compensation partly made by the movie version was supplemented by NM in his solo sequel Bats in the Belfry (1943), in which the hero begins to regret preferring his secretary to the Witch as a life-partner. [BS]

Norman Matson


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.