Jacques Abeille

1942 - 2022
country of citizenship:  France
native language:  French
languages spoken, written or signed:  French

Jacques Abeille (March 17, 1942 – January 23, 2022) was a French writer. Influenced by the surrealist movement, in which he participated in the 1960s and 1970s, he is best known for the novel cycle Le Cycle des contrées set in an imaginary universe that started with the publication of Jardins statuaires (1982). He has also written several collections of poetry and short stories, and is the author of erotic literature, published in part under the pseudonym Léo Barthe. Jacques Abeille was born on March 17, 1942 in Lyon. An illegitimate child, he was raised by his paternal uncle after his father's death in 1944. During the 1960s he was part of certain circles in Bordeaux that were related to the surrealist movement. In his early 20s he discovered that he suffered from color blindness and such incapacity prevented him from becoming a painter like he originally intended since childhood. He then decided to become a writer instead, at one point expressing "I am a writer on the basis of [being] a failed painter." Abeille started his literary career in 1971 with the publication of his first erotic fiction, La Crépusculaire, which he published under the pseudonym "Bartleby." He published various erotic stories throughout his life using different pseudonyms. In 1982, Abeille published the novel Les Jardins statuaires, which would become the first installment in the novel cycle Le Cycle des contrées, the work for which he is known for in France. This was followed by Le Veilleur du jour in 1986 and seven other books in the series in the following years (the last one, La Vie de l'explorateur perdu, being released in 2020). He has named a number of influences in his overall writing and storytelling including Gérard de Nerval, Blaise Pascal, Leonora Carrington, Jean Ray, Gustav Meyrink, and Julien Gracq. Abeille originally wanted to study ethnology but he mentioned his economic conditions and the state of the field at the time as the reasons for which he chose psychology instead and in turn leaving that for philosophy. He was a teaching assistant of philosophy for ten years and later passed the competitive agrégation exam in plastic arts, earning admission to full teaching status. His teaching career ended in 2002. In 2010 Abeille received a lifetime achievement award from the Wepler Prize for his work, as well as the 2015 Jean-Arp Prize for French language literature and the 2021 Grand prix de l'Imaginaire. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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