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Picture of Alfred and Lucie Dreyfus in the Phantasmagoria

Alfred and Lucie Dreyfus in the Phantasmagoria

Author(s): Norman Simms

Book Description

Alfred Dreyfus saw himself caught in a phantasmagoria, a great complex enigma that needed to be solved, but all the clues seemed to be an hallucination, a will-o’-th’-wisp, or what George Sand called “orblutes”. This book examines how Dreyfus and his wife found a powerful new kind of love through Jewish themes at the same time as they were forced to conceal their true identities. To see how Jewish Dreyfus was, the book explores his background in Alsatian culture, in the cosmopolitan Judaism of Paris, and in the customs of Mediterranean Jewry. A close reading of the Court Martial in Rennes shows Dreyfus as more than the “zinc puppet” he was called; the scenario emerging as a variation of horror fantasies popular in the fin de siècle. The book asks two questions: why did Dreyfus prefer Meissonier’s paintings to the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists we admire so much; and, why, although he appreciated Zola’s efforts on his behalf, did he not refer to his novels?


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4899-2
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4899-9
Date of Publication: 01/08/2013
Pages / Size: 515 / A5
Price: £59.99


American-born Norman Simms taught for more than forty years at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand and was editor of Mentalities/Mentalités. He has written scores of books, articles and reviews, often about the phenomenon of Crypto-Judaism, and, most recently, two books on Alfred Dreyfus.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-6039-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-6039-5
Date of Publication: 01/08/2014
Pages / Size: 508 / A5
Price: £39.99