Farewell to playwright and non-fiction scribe Lionel Abel, who died April 19 at the age of 90, according to the New York Times.
The son of a rabbinical father and short-story writer mother, Lionel Abelson got his intellectual foothold in the Greenwich Village of the 1940s and 50s. He'd go on to teach English at SUNY Buffalo (even though he never received a bachelor's degree) and serve as a professor emeritus of philosophy at NYU.
The author, who shortened his name to Abel, was known for his essays on major figures in art and literature, such as Jean Genet, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Bertrand Russell and for serving as official translator of Jean-Paul Sartre. Abel also had four plays done Off Broadway, according to the New York Times, including the Obie-winning Absalom in 1956. Abel also argued for the concept of a "metatheatre," in which a self conscious acceptance of the artifice of theatre is preferred over merely having drama realistically mirroring life.
According to the NY Times, books by Abel include his 1984 memoir, "The Intellectual Follies," and the essay collection "Important Nonsense."
— By David Lefkowitz