Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies
This hilarious spoof is one of the merriest books in many a moon. Catholics will particularly enjoy St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies, but readers of any religion – or none – will appreciate its fresh and funny approach.
"Bellairs somehow manages to be neither moralizing or immoral, merely irreverent as opposed to profane...he is obviously so versed in the subject that you can't help but feel a little love for the universe he so artfully skewers." - J. Ergo.
"...an excellent satire. I thoroughly believe it should be required reading for all teaching orders of nuns."- Louis J. Iasillo.
"Sick." - Father Thurston N. Davis, S.J., (1965).
About the Book
St. Fidgeta orignally cost $2.95, as shown on the inside flap of the book jacket; today, having been out of print for decades, it commands high prices from most online booksellers.
St. Fidgeta was chosen as a representative of parody for a Shimer College Humanities course. Bellairs taught the class during the spring 1967 semester, part of his one year teaching at the small Illinois college.
The character of Saint Fidgeta has a cameo in The Pedant and the Shuffly.
Marilyn Fitschen relates a story that twenty years after publication, a copy of the book was found in an abandoned missionary cottage on an island off the coast of Borneo.
The photo of Bellairs seen on the back flap of the dust jacket was the only picture of the author to ever appear on one of his books.
Jacket design for the book was by Loretta Trezzo.
Out of print for decades, the book was released as part of the 2009 Bellairs anthology, Magic Mirrors.
There are no known adaptations of this work.
William X. Kienzle's book Death Wears a Red Hat (1980) alludes to St. Fidgeta, specifically the story of St. Pudibunda as seen in chapter one.
I would like to thank my friends, Dale and Marilyn Fitschen, for all their help. They suffered through endless readings from the Urtext and gave me many suggestions and ideas. I would also like to thank my friend Bernard Kent Markwell, to whom St. Fidgeta first appeared on rainy day in front of the Oriental Institute in Chicago. He was struck to the ground by the vision, and after he had rolled about for a bit, he got up and told me what he had seen. He also gave me many ideas: in fact, if you do not like some part of this book, you may attribute it to him.
John Bellairs, December 1965
Dale Fitschen was a longtime friend of Bellairs, having first met him while both were students at the University of Chicago. While Bellairs wrote, Dale edited and his wife, Marilyn Fitschen, illustrated. Bernard K. Markwell (1938-2003) was another friend from the University of Chicago. Coincidentally all three would go on to become former flimsies in John’s second book.
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