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Charles Fort: The Man Who Invented the Supernatural
 
 
Author
Jim Steinmeyer.
Publisher Tarcher  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 1.05 inches
ISBN 9781585426409
Pages/Publication Date 352/2008
Daedalus Item Code 20326
This item is not available.
Description
Magician and historian Jim Steinmeyer, author of The Glorious Deception and Hiding the Elephant, here offers a biography of the 20th century's premier chronicler of the paranormal. Charles Fort, whose name gave rise to the adjective "fortean" to describe the unexplained, combed news reports to document a world that was stranger than generally suspected; frogs fell from the sky, mysterious airships (not yet known as UFOs) visited the earth, and people found themselves teleported (a word Fort coined) to distant locations. Steinmeyer evokes the life of Fort as a writer first and foremost, a best friend to Theodore Dreiser, and a patron saint of all who doubt the received wisdom about how the world works.

"Fort is generally remembered, when he is, as a crank's crank and a skeptical satirist, but Steinmeyer seems to argue for a more nuanced view; after all, Fort greatly influenced conspiracy maven Robert Anton Wilson, among other notables. Relying heavily on Fort's correspondence, Steinmeyer details Fort's relationship with Theodore Dreiser, who served as Fort's champion and protector, a post necessitated by Fort's far-reaching criticism and contrarian reactions to the thoughts and writings of other luminaries of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In his career, Fort wrote about victims of spontaneous combustion, introduced the concept of teleportation, and indulged in conspiracy theories and UFO yarns. Crank or delineator of modern concepts of the supernatural, he is a figure worthy of rediscovery. Esteemed not only by Dreiser, Fort was also dismissed by the New York Times and called a damnable bore by H.G. Wells, thus achieving a certain balance of critical appraisal in his own time. Steinmeyer's comprehensive work may allow readers to draw their own conclusions and certainly will afford them much entertainment."Booklist

 
 
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