Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Themerson, Stefan

(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

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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.