In the Context of His Times: Alfred Dreyfus as Lover, Intellectual, Poet, and Jew (BOK)
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From the moment Alfred Dreyfus was placed under arrest for treason and spionage, his entire world was turned upside down. For the next five years he lived in what he called a phantasmagoria. To keep sane, Dreyfus exchanged letters with his wife Lucie and exercised his intellect through reading the few books and magazines his censors allowed him, writing essays on these and other texts he had read in the past, and working out problems in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. He practiced his English and created strange drawings his prison wardens called architectural or kabbalistic signs. In this volume, Norman Simms explores how Dreyfus kept himself from exploding into madness, by closely reading his essays, carefully placing them in the context of his century, and extrapolating from them the hidden recesses of the Jewish Alsatian background he shared with the Dreyfus family and Lucie Hadamard.