Jules Torquemal is a middle-aged civil servant in the Ministry of Education living shortly before the First World War blew up the Belle Époque. His life is settled and his hobby is philosophizing of the complacent variety. One day, told by an indignant friend of a petty injustice, Torquemal finds questions he had thought long closed re-opening and the ground slipping beneath him. The world he believed morally moored and logically consistent suddenly appears to him anything but.
The Derangement of Jules Torquemal by Robert Wexelblatt is a wickedly clever (and haunting) philosophical puzzle.
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Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University’s College of General Studies. He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals, two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, a book of essays, Professors at Play, and a short novel, Losses. His novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction.