Jules Lequyer’s Abel and Abel followed by “Incidents in the Life and Death of Jules Lequyer”

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The first part of this book, Abel and Abel, is a story written by Breton philosopher Jules Lequyer which explores the questions of divine justice and human inequality. This is the first published English translation of this work. The second part is Donald Wayne Viney’s biography of Lequyer, which uses Prosper Hémon’s biography of Lequyer (Notice Biographique de Jules Lequyer) written in the late 19th century as well as a number of sources unavailable to Hémon. It is the most complete biography of Lequyer currently available.


“. . . an important new addition to Lequyer scholarship that will surely stimulate wider attention to his works among English audiences. It provides the very first English edition of Abel and Abel, Lequyer’s most finished work, and drawing on the widest range of sources to date, it is the most extensive work on Lequyer’s life that has been done in French or in English. Professor West’s fine translation captures the beauty of Lequyer’s prose while making the work more readable than the original through a judicious arrangement of the text. . . . provides an insightful, helpful commentary on Abel and Abel and on its philosophical opposition to other nineteenth century literary and artistic treatments of the Cain myth. . . . . Of particular interest in this book is [Viney’s] concluding section ‘Lequyer’s Legacy’, which traces the influence of Lequyer’s life and works in the realms of both literature and philosophy. . . . provides an important analysis of Lequyer’s influence on William Jam4es, meticulously tracing James’ use of quotations from Lequyer’s work and forcefully dispelling the notion the Lequyer’s influence on James was only of an indirect nature. . . . In analyzing Jules Lequyer’s life and work from both a literary and a philosophical point of view, Professors West and Viney have brought to English readers through their combined talents an authoritative, enjoyable work that should be welcomed by those interested in philosophy and literature alike.” – Carol Walker MacKay

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Foreword; List of Photographs; General Introduction
Translator’s Introduction: Background, Commentary and Rationale
Abel and Abel by Jules Lequyer
Incidents in the Life and Death of Jules Lequyer by Donald Wayne Viney
Photographs; an Unknown Philosopher; A Posthumous Pseudonym; Early Years, A Young Man; Renouvier and Fichte; Finances and Other Puzzles; Called Back to Paris; Mysticism; Political Ambitions and Seclusion; Inheritance, Confidences, Dinan; Le Prix de la Gloire; Denouement; the Controversy Over Lequyer’s Death; Something Unheard Of; Lequyer’s legacy
Bibliography, Index

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