‘The Dreyfus-case Paris Cannot Be Figured by the Paris of Today’

J. Robert Maguire

in Ceremonies of Bravery

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199660827
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748929 | DOI:
‘The Dreyfus-case Paris Cannot Be Figured by the Paris of Today’

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Writing of the Dreyfus affair when at fever pitch, Carlos Blacker declared that ‘three beings alone knew the whole & entire truth, namely God & the two Military Attachés [the German attaché in Paris Schwartzkoppen and the Italian attaché Panizzardi]’. Blacker became the fourth such being when his intimate friend Panizzardi confided ‘the whole & entire truth’ to him. Together, the two developed a high-risk secret plan for establishing the innocence of Dreyfus and the guilt of Esterhazy. While thus occupied, Blacker received word from Constance Wilde that her husband had recently arrived in Paris and, concerned that he ‘does nothing now but drink’, asking Blacker to go and see him. At the highly emotional reunion that followed, convinced that the same intellectual and moral stimulus that had fired his own passionate commitment to Dreyfus’s cause would do the same for Wilde, Blacker was prompted to confide details of his secret plan to him. The subsequent disclosure by Wilde of Blacker’s confidences to his anti-Dreyfusard friends while resulting in his permanent estrangement from Blacker had at the same time a far-reaching effect on the course of events in the affair.

Keywords: bordereau; Esterhazy; Dreyfus; Schwartzkoppen; Panizzardi; Zola; Pellieux; Tornielli; Boisdeffre; Casella; Conybeare; Reinach; Sherard; Healy; Strong; Murray; Marguerite Pays; Grandmaison; Gilbert

Chapter.  9987 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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