About, Edmond

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(1828-1885) French dramatist, journalist, author of several novels of sf interest, though the first of these, Le Cas de M. Guérin ["The Case of Mr Guérin"] (1860) – about a pregnant man – has not appeared in English. He is best-known for L'Homme à l'Oreille Cassée (1862 2vols; trans anon as The Man with the Broken Ear 1864; new trans Henry Holt 1867; new trans J E Maitland, vt Colonel Fougas' Mistake 1878 2vols); under a further vt, "A New Lease of Life", the tale was included in A New Lease of Life; and, Saving a Daughter's Dowry (coll trans 1880). The novel – which features a Napoleonic colonel in Suspended Animation from 1813 until his resuscitation in 1859 – is a mild Satire on French life and politics, though its main focus is upon the highly energetic Colonel Fougas and his confusion of a young contemporary woman with his beloved of 1813. About's third and final sf novel, which plays desultorily with something like plastic surgery, suggesting that to replace a missing nose with flesh from another's elbow was to flirt with Identity Transfer, was Le Nez d'un Notaire (1862; trans anon as The Nose of a Notary 1863; exp vt as coll with one story added, new trans Henry Holt as The Notary's Nose 1874; vt The Lawyer's Nose 1878); it was also incorporated into The Notary's Nose, and Other Stories (coll trans 1882). [JC]

see also: Money.

Edmond François Valentin About

born Dieuz, Lorraine, France: 14 February 1828

died Paris, France: 16 January 1885

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