Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Viereck, George

(1884-1962) US journalist, best-known as a writer for his collaborations with Paul Eldridge (1888-1982). He was one of the literary "Bohemians" who attempted to import into the USA the aesthetic ideals of European Decadence. The House of the Vampire (1907) is a homoerotic tale of psychic vampirism (> Vampires) seemingly inspired by Oscar Wilde. With Eldridge, GV wrote a trilogy of erotic fantasies begun with My First Two Thousand Years: The Autobiography of the Wandering Jew (1928), which transformed the traditionally miserable figure of the Wandering Jew into an urbane opportunist whose war against "the Great God Ennui" takes the form of a Quest for the secret of "unendurable pleasure indefinitely prolonged". In pursuit of this end the wanderer frequently meets his female counterpart, whose parallel tale is told in Salome, The Wandering Jewess (1930). This Salome's quest is the liberation of women, but she is perennially defeated by biological circumstance and sets out in the end to engineer a new hermaphroditic human species. The Invincible Adam (1932) tells the story of Kotikokura, who has evolved from protohumanity to acquire civilized charm and intelligence but is still subject to the urgings of the "rib" (a penile bone), which other men have lost but he retains. The trilogy's pretensions to psychological depth are cleverly parodied in The Memoirs of Satan (1932) by William Gerhardie (1895-1977) and Brian Lunn (1893-1956). GV's peculiar combination of prurience and eccentric Feminism is given freer but more lighthearted rein in his solo novel Gloria (1952), a comedy which proposes that all the great lovers of history and legend were, in fact, woefully inept. [BS]

George Sylvester Viereck

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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.