B.S. Johnson is mainly known as a novelist — “Britain’s one-man literary avant-garde of the 1960s,” according to Jonathan Coe’s biography of the writer, Like a Fiery Elephant. Johnson published six novels between 1956 and 1971 before taking his own life at the age of 40 in 1973. (Another one, the first in an intended trilogy, was published two years later.) What’s often overlooked, however, is that Johnson was an unusually industrious polymath: he also published poetry; variously scripted and directed several plays, short films, and a TV program; and regularly contributed articles and essays to a wide range of magazines, journals, and newspapers. A lifelong Chelsea supporter, in the mid-1960s Johnson reported on weekly English league and cup matches for The Observer, plus 32 World Cup match reports for the Times of India  when it was held in England in 1966 (including England’s 4-2 World Cup victory over West Germany, which is reprinted verbatim in Coe’s biography). During the same period he also covered a handful of major tennis tournaments.
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