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Arthur C. Clarke$
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Gary Westfahl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041938

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041938.001.0001

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Biographical Sketch

Biographical Sketch

(p.9) Chapter 1 Biographical Sketch
Arthur C. Clarke

Gary Westfahl

University of Illinois Press

This chapter provides an overview of Clarke’s life, primarily drawn from Neil McAleer’s biography and Clarke’s reminiscences. It first notes the emergence in his childhood of the passions that defined his career: devotion to space, the oceans, and science fiction; close relationships with males; and an urge to make money. After summarizing his World War II experiences and early career as a science fiction and science writer, the chapter theorizes that the 1952 arrest of British cryptographer Alan Turing for homosexual activity drove the closeted Clarke, fearing similar persecution for homosexuality, to get married and abandon Britain for Sri Lanka, although the allure of skin diving was also a factor. There, he remained active as an author and television personality until his death in 2008.

Keywords:   Clarke, Arthur C., Turing, Alan, World War II, Sri Lanka, skin diving, oceans, homosexuality

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