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Quinet, Edgar

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1803-1875) French author, mostly of idealist nonfiction, active from the 1820s, in exile during the reign of the second Buonaparte 1851-1870. Of sf interest is Ahasuérus (portions appeared 1833 Revue des Deux Mondes; 1834; trans Brian Stableford as Ahasuerus 2013), which as not infrequently found in works of Proto SF combines divine and secular narratives in its recounting of the long ordeal of its Wandering Jew protagonist. The tales begins with the Day of Creation and proceeds through Christ's cursing of Ahasuerus and his blighted subsequent existence, which climaxes after God's own Last Judgement is overturned, Ahasuerus is freed to wander for the joy of gaining new wisdom, and participates remotely in the secular unfolding of history into the Far Future. Merlin l'enchanteur (1860 2vols; trans Brian Stableford as The Enchanter Merlin 2014) is a fantasy, with some resemblance to Ahasuerus, as the eponymous figure, after his creation by the Devil, travels the world in search of wisdom, eventually gaining sufficient prowess to destroy his maker. [JC]

Edgar Quinet

born Bourge-en-Bresse, Ain, France: 17 February 1803

died Versailles, France: 27 March 1875


  • Ahasuérus (Paris: publisher not found, 1834) [portions first appeared 1833 Revue des Deux Mondes: binding unknown/]
    • Ahasuerus (Encino, California: Hollywood Comics, 2013) [trans by Brian Stableford of the above: pb/Daniele Serra]
  • Ahasuérus, et de la Nature du Génie Poétique (Paris: publisher not found, 1843) [anth: contains original text of the above plus 1833 essay on the book by Charles Magnin: binding unknown/]
  • Merlin l'enchanteur (Paris: Levy, 1860) [published in two volumes: binding unknown/]


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