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Scholes, Robert

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic, Editor.

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(1929-2016) US academic and sf critic. One of the better-known US theorists in structuralism, he is the author of a number of books on literary theory. In its sustained argument that the essential storytelling element in fiction contradicts any prejudicial inclination to think of the realist novel as more than a phase, The Nature of Narrative (1966; rev vt The Nature of Narrative: Revised and Expanded 2006) with Robert Kellogg (1928-2004) contributes to a fuller understanding of Fantastika as a whole; the revised edition adds an update chapter by James Phelan (1951-    ). Texts with special relevance to sf include The Fabulators (1967) (see also Fabulation), which deals with various authors including John Barth, Vladimir Nabokov and Kurt Vonnegut in terms consistent with his previous book; Structural Fabulation: An Essay on Fiction of the Future (1975), Science Fiction: History · Science · Vision (1977) with Eric S Rabkin (whom see for further details) and Fabulation and Metafiction (1979). The first two and the fourth of these are academic in approach, the second especially for its attempted definition of the sf genre (see Definitions of SF).

With George Edgar Slusser and Rabkin, Scholes edited Bridges to Fantasy (anth 1982) and Co-Ordinates: Placing Science Fiction and Fantasy (anth 1983), both early collections of critical essays in the long-running Eaton Conference Papers sequence. He also introduced the 1975 US edition of Tzvetan Todorov's Introduction à la littérature fantastique (1970; trans as The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre 1973), and wrote many shorter critical pieces on sf, including The Left Hand of Difference: Le Guin & Derrida (1983 chap). [PN/JC]

see also: Critical and Historical Works About SF.

Robert Edward Scholes

born New York: 19 May 1929

died Rhode Island: 9 December 2016

works (selected)

works as editor


Eaton Conference Papers


previous versions of this entry

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