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->''"There's more than life to drugs and sex. It's better than nothing."''
-->-- '''Jerry Cornelius''', ''The Condition of Muzak''

Quite possibly the strangest incarnation of Creator/MichaelMoorcock's "Eternal Champion", Jerry Cornelius is a hipper-than-hip secret agent/assassin who acts as [[OrderVersusChaos a needed force of chaos]] in the world. He travels through time, dies (and gets better), and [[TheLostLenore pines for his beloved sister.]] He's a KarmicTrickster. Or maybe a SadClown. Or a TimeLord. Or maybe he's just a seedy kid from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladbroke_Grove Ladbroke Grove]] who has aspirations of being a jukebox hero.

He's probably all of them and a few other things besides.

One of the "New Waviest" of Moorcock's many {{New Wave|ScienceFiction}} works, the work has confounded those who like to assign genres to works since it was written.

As with Literature/TheElricSaga, there are many Jerry Cornelius books and stories, not written in the same order as the internal chronology.

* ''The Final Programme'' (1965), adapted to film in 1973 (retitled ''The Last Days of Man on Earth'' for American audiences), directed by Robert Fuest and starring Jon Finch as Jerry, Jenny Runacre as Miss Brunner, and Sara Douglas as Catherine.
* ''A Cure for Cancer'' (1968)
* ''The English Assassin'' (1972)
* ''The Condition of Muzak'' (1976)

These can be found in a single-volume compilation, ''The Cornelius Chronicles'' (later ''The Cornelius Quartet''), first published in 1977.

* ''The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the Twentieth Century'' (1979). Jerry is a supporting character in this, as his sister and their mutual friend/lover Una Persson take center stage.

* ''The Entropy Tango'' (1981)
* ''The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle'' (aka ''Gold Diggers of '77'', 1975), a crossover with the SexPistols film of the same name.
* ''The Alchemist's Question'' (1984)
* ''Firing the Cathedral'' (2002)

[[AC:Shorter Works]]
* "The Delhi Division" (1968)
* "The Dodgem Decision" (1969)
* "The Nature of the Catastrophe" (1970)
* "The Peking Junction" (1969)
* "The Tank Trapeze" (1969)
* "Sea Wolves" (1970)
* "The Sunset Perspective" (1970)
* "Dead Singers" (1971)
* "Voortrekker" (1971)
* "The Swastika Set-up" (1972)
* "The Entropy Circuit" (1974)
* "The Longford Cup" (1976)

''Note:'' The above short stories were compiled into a novella (WordOfGod: "The stories are presented in order of writing, and should be read as a continuous narrative"), ''The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius'', in 1976.

* "The Murderer's Song" (1981)
* "The Gangrene Collection" (1990)
* "The Roumanian Question" (1991)
* "All the Way Round Again" (1995)
* "The Spencer Inheritance" (1997), which can be read [[http://www.revolutionsf.com/article.php?id=1116 here.]]
* "The Camus Connection" (1997)
* "Cheering for the Rockets" (1998), which can be read [[https://web.archive.org/web/20130121143702/http://www.fantasticmetropolis.com/i/rockets/full/ here.]] (via archive.org)

[[AC:Comic Strips]]
* "The Adventures of Jerry Cornelius" (or "The English Assassin") was published in the British underground newspaper IT (International Times) from May 1969 to January 1970. It was illustrated by Mal Dean and Richard Glyn, with some strips scripted by M. John Harrison.

Moorcock also made the character available to other writers, making Jerry a sort of open-source character nearly 40 years before WebOriginal/JennyEverywhere. Most of the non-Moorcock Cornelius works are harder to find; notable examples include Norman Spinrad's "The Last Hurrah of the Golden Horde" and Creator/{{Moebius}}' ''Le garage hermétique de Jerry Cornelius'' (''The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius''). Other pieces (including some of the comic strips) have been compiled into the volume ''The Nature of the Catastrophe'' (1971, and not to be confused with the short story above).

Just to keep readers' lives interesting, different editions of short story compilations like ''The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius'' and ''The Nature of the Catastrophe'' have different contents. You can see those (and more non-Moorcock Cornelius story compilations) at the Wikiverse (a Michael Moorcook wiki) [[http://www.multiverse.org//index.php?title=Cornelius_(series) here.]]

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Creator/AlanMoore had Jerry make a guest appearance in ''Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen: 1969''

!!The books provides examples of:
* AnachronicOrder: ''The Final Programme'' is the notable exception. ''A Cure For Cancer'' invokes it:
-->'''Note to the reader:''' ''This book has an unconventional structure.''
* BadHabits: Jerry disguises himself as a priest from time to time, and it's hard to tell if Bishop Beesley is actually defrocked or not.
* Music/TheBeatles: Jerry's a big, big fan.
* BigBad: Miss Brunner, representing cruel, unyielding order to Jerry's joyous chaos.
* CommediaDellArte: Motifs from the ''commedia'' figure largely in ''The Condition of Musak'' and ''The Entropy Tango''.
* CoolBoat: The ''Teddy Bear'', a steam yacht which figures in the later novels and some of the short stories.
* CoolCar: Several, though the best may be the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI in ''The English Assassin'', with jeweled controls and [[AmphibiousAutomobile the ability to become a boat or a minisub.]] And it's pink too. How [[Series/{{Thunderbirds}} FAB!]]
* CoolGuns: Not real-world guns for once, but Jerry's [[FlechetteStorm needle gun]] and [[BrownNote vibragun.]]
* CoolPlane: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_X The Dornier Do X]] Jerry pilots in ''The Condition of Muzak''
* DarkIsNotEvil: Jerry's photonegative self[[note]]black skin, white hair... and black teeth[[/note]] in ''A Cure For Cancer'' isn't any less moral (or amoral) than his regular self.
* DeathIsCheap: Lots of people die and get better through the series. It is very significant that [[spoiler: Jerry's mother]] does not.
* DeusSexMachina: Jerry and Miss Brunner attempt to create "The Messiah to the Age of Science" this way in ''The Final Programme''.
* DrugsAreBad: Heroically averted, though there's something like "Good Drugs, Bad Drugs" going on as Frank's drug use is portrayed as unpleasantly as he is.
* {{Eagleland}}: Jerry journeys through a particularly demented Type 2 in ''A Cure For Cancer'', complete with BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins Indians and a GeneralRipper.
* TheEdwardianEra: We start seeing this timeline in ''The English Assassin'', though the SchizoTech, ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld and references to rock music suggest an AlternateTimeline.
* EndlessDaytime: In ''A Cure For Cancer'', the villain's attempts to impose more order on existence causes this.
-->"The sun hasn't moved for anó for some tó" Mitzi gave up. "It isn't moving."
* EntropyAndChaosMagic
* {{Epigraph}}s: Quotes from various sources (song lyrics, news articles, advertising) are sprinkled throughout the works.
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: Cornelius Brunner, a messianic sexual fusion of Jerry and Miss Brunner in ''The Final Programme''. Left out of the film adaptation.
** EverybodyWantsTheHermaphrodite: Everyone who see C. Brunner follows it (see below), culminating in a mass exodus of European population centers that ends when they all march lemming-like into the ocean.
** ItIsDehumanizing: A strange downplaying or aversion: Cornelius Brunner is referred to in the narration as "it". Given that it apparently has the personalities of both the people who were combined to create it, "they" might've been a better choice. But it was 1965 and neither Michael Moorcock nor anyone else really had a good precedent.
* LifeEnergy: Frequently stolen from and/or transferred to others by Jerry and Miss Brunner.
* LossOfIdentity: Jerry has to fight this periodically. The whole series can be read as a sort of QuestForIdentity, as Jerry (and sometimes other characters) loses, regains, or tries to build new identities.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In the 1990s stories, "Baroness" Brunner becomes a blatant caricature of UsefulNotes/MargaretThatcher.
* ThePowerOfRock / MagicMusic
* [[ViewersAreGeniuses Readers Are Geniuses]]: The books contain a huge number of literary and cultural references. Moorcock admitted that there were far too many for any individual reader to keep track of.
* TheSixties: Not just when the book series started, but seemingly a favorite time for Jerry. Certainly he likes its music the best.
* SpeculativeFictionLGBT: Featuring recurring character Una Persson, who varies between being bisexual and exclusively lesbian at different times and in different timelines.
* TangledFamilyTree: Oh, you have no ''[[http://www.multiverse.org//index.php?title=Category:Cornelius_Family idea]]''. Jerry is told about it by his mother in ''The Condition Of Muzak'' ("Incest on top a bloody incest, eh?"). It's quite likely that Jerry is in some way related to most of the series' other important characters.
* TimeStandsStill: When the bad guys' attempts to increase order [[GoneHorriblyRight go horribly right]] in ''A Cure For Cancer''.
* TimeTravel
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: The film's Jerry endlessly munches on chocolate cookies, having nothing else in his fridge.
* WholePlotReference: A goodly chunk of ''The Final Programme'' is a retelling of the [[Literature/TheElricSaga Elric of Melniboné]] stories "The Dreaming City" and "While the Gods Laugh."