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Todd, Ruthven

Entry updated 12 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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(1914-1978) Scottish scholar, poet and author, in US from 1947-1958, and then Majorca; his most important nonfiction work, Tracks in the Snow: Studies in English Science and Art (1946), effectively argued the imaginative power – when conjoined – of the two subtitled categories, instancing at length the work of William Blake (1748-1827) and John Martin; as R T Campbell, he wrote several detective novels, beginning with Unholy Dying (1945) [none contain fantastic elements, and are not listed below]; and as Todd, two metaphysical tales, both labouring under the 1930s misconception that Franz Kafka wrote allegories. The quest plot of Over the Mountain (1939), which takes its protagonist into a kind of Lost World, is heavily consanguinous with a search for political self-understanding; the protagonist of the surrealist The Lost Traveller (1943), stranded (perhaps posthumously) in a strange Dystopia, finds himself ordered to quest for a brace of auks, becoming – at the moment of his (final?) death – one himself. In his introduction to the 1968 reprinting of the latter, Todd recognized influences from Wyndham Lewis to Rex Warner. The Space Cats sequence for children, beginning with Space Cat (1952), features a runaway cat who stows away on a Spaceship. [JC]

see also: Fantastic Voyages.

Ruthven Campbell Todd

born Edinburgh, Scotland: 14 June 1914

died Majorca, Spain: 11 October 1978

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Space Cats

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