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Snake's Hands:  The Fiction of John Crowley

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Snake's Hands: The Fiction of John Crowley

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Author: Alice K. Turner
Michael Andre-Driussi
Publisher: Cosmos Books, 2003

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Book Type: Non-Fiction
Genre: Science-Fiction / Fantasy
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Brilliant, poetic, a master of fantastic symbolism and emotional portraiture, John Crowley is one of the finest contemporary American novelists. As Harold Bloom writes in his Preface to this book, "Crowley writes so magnificently that only a handful of living writers can equal him as a stylist... Of novelists, only Philip Roth consistently writes on Crowley's level." Engine Summer; Little, Big; Aegypt; Great Work of Time; The Translator: these are only the highlights of a twenty-five year literary career of extraordinary depth and eloquence. Yet Crowley has not been the subject of a full-length critical study until now; Snake's-Hands remedies this lack, in full. In Snake's-Hands, Alice K. Turner and Michael Andre-Driussi assemble a host of brilliant essays on the fiction of John Crowley, by such eminent writers and critics as John Clute, Thomas M. Disch, James Hynes, Brian Attebery, and Bill Sheehan. Explore with them Crowley's fantasticated retellings of the Hundred Years' War and of innumerable beast fables; his subtle rendering of the bucolic decline of Earth; his astonishing, multi-leveled vision of the fairylands deep within mundane reality; his British Empire upon which the sun, heartbreakingly, never can set; his glowing, brooding trio of Hermetic masterpieces; his tale of poetry at war with nuclear annihilation. Wonders of artistry, the artistry of wonder: Crowley is a genius, and Snake's-Hands demonstrates this alluringly, in a potent mosaic of insights. Snake's-Hands: The Fiction of John Crowley is the essential guide to the work of a great writer, and a landmark of criticism in its own right.

Table of Contents:

Preface by Harold Bloom

Deep Thoughts: John Crowleys 15th-Century Game of Kings, by Alice K. Turner
Off the Deep End: a Defense to the Conclusion to John Crowley's First Novel, by Michael Andre-Driussi

John Crowley's Great Blond Beasts, by Michael Andre-Driussi

A Poetic Novel, by Thomas M. Disch
One Writer's Beginnings: Engine Summer as a Portrait of the Artist, by Alice K. Turner
"It Doesn't Get Better": Little Belaire, the List, and the Riven World of Engine Summer, by Adam Stephanides
The Great Knot Unraveled, Or Not, by Michael Andre-Driussi
Many Lives (Synopsis of a Proposed Novel), by John Crowley
"Learning to Live with It": The First Engine Summer, by Adam Stephanides

Best and Biggest, by Thomas M. Disch
About Little, Big, by John Crowley
Little, Big Girl: The Influence of the Alice Books and Other Works of Lewis Carroll on John Crowley's Little, Big, or The Fairies' Parliament, by William S. Ansley
Little, Big for Little Folk, by Alice K. Turner

The Novelty of Ægypt, by Michael Andre-Driussi
Timelines for Great Work of Time, by Michael Andre-Driussi
Time's Great Work and Strange Turnings, by Brian Attebery
Memory and the World of John Crowley: Technology and the Art of Memory, by Jennifer k. Stevenson
Antiquities and Four More Tales, by Alice K. Turner

Genre Trouble, or John Crowley's Unfinished Symphony, by James Hynes
The Ægypt Series, by John Clute
Astrology and Thematic Structure in the Ægypt Novels of John Crowley, by Don Riggs
Pierce Moffett the Ass: Apuleian and Brunonian Themes in John Crowley's Dæmonomania, by Sondra Ford Swift
"The Words of Mercury are Harsh...": Love's Labour Lost in Ægypt, by Matthew S. S. Davis
Blackbury Jambs, and Other Misunderstandings, by Graham Sleight
Time in Ægypt, by Alice K. Turner
John Crowley on the Ægypt Series (an Interview by Alice K. Turner)

Life after Ægypt: Notes on John Crowley's The Translator, by Bill Sheehan
The Fiction of John Crowley: A Bibliography, by Graham Sleight
Screenwriting by John Crowley, by Matthew S. S. Davis
Selected Non-Fiction by John Crowley: Reviews and Articles, by Matthew S. S. Davis


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