William Golding

Golding, William (Sir William Gerald Golding), 1911–93, English novelist, grad. Oxford (B.A. 1934). Praised for his highly imaginative and original writings, Golding was basically concerned with the realm of ideas, the eternal nature of humanity, and the immaterial, spiritual aspects of the world. In the work that brought him literary fame, the allegorical and, especially with adolescents, extremely popular Lord of the Flies (1954, film 1963), he described the nightmarish adventures of a group of English schoolboys stranded on a deserted island and traced their degeneration from a state of innocence to blood lust and savagery. His later works include The Inheritors (1955), Pincher Martin (1956), Free Fall (1959), The Spire (1964), The Pyramid (1967), The Scorpion God (1971), Darkness Visible (1979), and a maritime trilogy: Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), and Fire Down Below (1989). Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983 and was knighted in 1988.

See J. I. Biles, Talk: Conversations with William Golding (1970); biography by J. Carey (2010); studies by H. S. Babb (1970), V. Tiger (1974), J. I. Biles and R. O. Evans, ed. (1978), A. Johnston (1980), J. Briggs. ed. (1985), N. Page, ed. (1985), P. Redpath (1986), B. F. Dick (rev. ed. 1987), J. R. Baker, ed. (1988), S. J. Boyd (1988), J. Cary (1989), K. McCarron (1994 and 1995), H. Bloom, ed. (1996, repr. 2010), A. Hollinger (2000), I. Gregor and M. Kinkead-Weekes (rev. ed. 2002), and Y. Sugimura (2008).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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