In Remembrance: Irwin Primer ’61PhD Died on December 1 2020

Irwin Primer ’61PhD (English) died on December 1, 2020.  He was a professor of English at Rutgers-Newark for 40 years. 

Irwin’s primary scholarly contributions were as an editor and interpreter of Bernard Mandeville’s works. He was a master of Mandeville’s uses of satire and paradox and enjoyed pondering on the meaning of his provocations. Along with his historical textual work, he detailed the complex interrelationships between Mandeville’s writings and that of others, notably predecessors Erasmus, Shaftesbury, Bayle, and La Rochefoucauld. Irwin acted as a central reference point for the international community of Mandeville scholars. He also edited seventeenth- and eighteenth-century translations of La Rochefoucauld’s maxims into English, tracing their dissemination into the English-speaking world. 

Irwin also was a fine calligrapher and photographer. He was beloved for his wit, care, kindness, and his encouraging friendship and mentoring. He is survived by his wife, Blossom; his brother Milton; two sons, Jeremy and Joel; and two grandchildren.

—Submitted by the family.

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