Adair, Gilbert

Tagged: Author | Critic

(1944-2011) Scottish literary theorist, critic, translator and author, in France 1968-1980, subsequently in the UK. His fiction has some fantasy interest, including his two Sequels by Other Hands for Young Adult readers, Alice Through the Needle's Eye (1984) and Peter Pan and the Only Children (1987), respectively sequelling Lewis Carroll and James Barrie (1830-1937); his adult novels – though they engage their protagonists in extreme situations, and explore thin partitions between Cinema and verifiable reality – are not fantastic, though The Death of the Author (1992) teasingly Equipoises between murder mystery and literary theory. His famous translation of Georges Perec's La Disparition (1969) as A Void (1994), which like the original eschews use of the letter "e", is a powerful exercise in Oulipo, but again not literally fantastic. He is of sf interest almost exclusively for nonfiction analyses of contemporary culture on the cusp of transformation, including Myths and Memories: A Dazzling Dissection of British Life and Culture (1986), The Postmodernist Always Rings Twice: Reflections on Culture in the 90s (1992) and Surfing the Zeitgeist (coll 1997) (see Postmodernism and SF).

The Evadne Mount trilogy of spoofish detective novels, beginning with The Act of Roger Murgatroyd (2006), echoes Agatha Christie's tropes and titles. The third book And Then There Was No One (2009) uses the postmodern ploy of featuring Adair himself alongside his fictional detective Evadne Mount; there is an inset Sherlock Holmes pastiche, "The Giant Rat of Sumatra". [JC/DRL]

Gilbert Adair

born Edinburgh, Scotland: 29 December 1944

died London: 8 December 2011

works (selected)

series

Evadne Mount

individual titles

nonfiction

works as translator

  • Georges Perec. La Disparition (Paris: Denoël, 1969) [binding unknown/]
    • Georges Perec. A Void (London: Harvill, 1994) [trans by Adair of the above: hb/Mark Moran]

works as editor

links

Previous versions of this entry

Website design and build: STEEL

Site ©2011 Gollancz, SFE content ©2011 SFE Ltd.