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Raine, Craig

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1944-    ) UK poet whose first book, The Onion, Memory (coll 1978 chap), demonstrated his capacity to illuminate the world through estranged images, a technique which came to full fruition in A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (coll 1979 chap), the title poem of which represents – in language which convincingly manifests a principle central to Fantastika as a whole, that the fantastic may be best grasped through the literal – an Alien's tabula rasa vision of normal human activities; the poem instigated a short but intense "Martian Poetry" movement, redubbed "Martianism" to encompass prose like Martin Amis's Other People: A Mystery Story (1981).

Raine's libretto for an opera by Charles Osborne, The Electrification of the Soviet Union (1986 chap) is somewhat fantasticated; and "1953": A Version of Racine's Andromache (1990 chap) is a Hitler Wins tale in play form, set in an Italy which, now ruled by Mussolini's son, has conquered England, bombing London flat in the process. His book-length narrative poem, History: The Home Movie (1994), invokes the supernatural, including an astral appearance by Arthur Conan Doyle. [JC]

Craig Anthony Raine

born Bishop Auckland, County Durham: 3 December 1944

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