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News & Press: News from the Profession

Paul Ilie (1932-2017), In Remembrance

Monday, August 14, 2017  
It is with great sadness that we inform you that Paul Ilie passed away on July 18, 2017. According to a "Distinguished Alumnus" citation from Brown University in 1984, Paul was considered "one of the most significant authorities on modern Spanish literature." His broad interests included French-Spanish eighteenth century intellectual relations, Nietzsche in Spain, Unamuno's existentialism, Surrealism, Futurism, the literary grotesque, inner exile, poetry, fiction, and the painter Goya.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1932, the youngest child of immigrant Jewish parents from Romania, Paul attended Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn College (BA 1954). He had MA and PhD degrees from Brown University (1956, 1959). He taught at the University of Michigan from 1959 to 1982 and at USC from 1982 until 1997 when he retired.

His books include Unamuno: An Existential View of Self and Society (U Wisconsin P,1967); The Surrealist Mode in Spanish Literature (UMichigan P, 1968), Los surrealistas españoles (Taurus, 1972), La novelística de Camilo José Cela (Gredos,1978), Literature and Inner Exile (Johns Hopkins UP, 1981), The Age of Minerva. Volume I: Counter Rational Reason in Eighteenth-Century Thought. Volume II: Cognitive Discontinuities in Eighteenth-Century from Body to Mind in Biology and Art (U Pennsylvania P, 2009).

Paul had an elegant mind and a generous spirit. He tirelessly promoted and encouraged his students and mentees, although it was not always easy to live up to his high expectations. He was ever eager for intellectual engagement. Although in recent years, he lived very privately, we will miss knowing that his fertile mind is devouring the latest trends in literary criticism and formulating his acerbic critiques of them or fashioning them to his own inimitable approach to Spanish literature and art.

Roberta Johnson (friend and mentee) and Silvia Bermúdez (doctoral student and mentee)

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