Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Themerson, Stefan

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(1910-1988) Polish-born scriptwriter, photographer and writer, active in his native land before moving to the UK prior to WWII, after which point he published increasingly in English. He was a member of the Collège de 'Pataphysique, and founded and ran the Gaberbocchus Press, which published Surrealist texts (> Surrealism) with intelligence and vivacity. Of his fiction, Professor Mmaa's Lecture (1953) can be understood as satirical sf, but the book is structured in classic Beast-Fable format as a lecture, given by the eponymous termite academic, about the dangerous rise of mammals. In general his fiction utilizes – in a grab-bag fashion – various elements of the Fantastic, distorting them through the dislocating lens of Semantic Poetry (a term he invented), paradox, absurdity and spoof. In ST's last two exuberant novels – The Mystery of the Sardine (1986) and Hobson's Island (1988) – the wordgames are both more complex and more vivid. [JC]

other works: Bayamus (1949); Wooff Wooff, or Who Killed Richard Wagner? (1951); Cardinal Polätüo (1961); Tom Harris (1967); Special Branch (A Dialogue) (1972 chap); Factor T; Followed by Beliefs, Tethered and Untethered, and the Pheromones of Fear (coll 1972 chap); General Piesc, or The Case of the Forgotten Mission (1976 chap).

Stefan Themerson


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.