Chapter

President Schreber and the Memoirs of a Wandering Jew(ess)

Jay Geller

in The Other Jewish Question

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233618
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241781 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233618.003.0009
President Schreber and the Memoirs of a Wandering Jew(ess)

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This chapter situates Judge Daniel Paul Schreber's vision of the non-Jewish unmanned Wandering Jew (or “Eternal Jew”; der ewige Jude) in relation to contemporaneous constructions of the Wandering Jew as soteriological figure and antisemitic stereotype. Specifically, it undertakes analyses of Wolfgang Kirchbach's play The Last Men, Henri Meige's psychiatric monograph The Wandering Jew in the Salpêtrière, and Oskar Panizza's short narrative “The Operated Jew.” The chapter then presents Schreber's own gendered and ethnic characterization of the “Eternal Jew” and demonstrates his overlooked identification with that figure in his Memoirs of My Mental Illness. It explores the conditions for Schreber's identification by placing it in the context of devirilizing representations of Jewish men, his family ties to the Leipzig's Jewish community, and to his apparent syphilophobia.

Keywords: antisemitism; gender; Memoirs of My Mental Illness; Oskar Panizza; psychiatry; Daniel Paul Schreber; syphilophobia; unmanned; Wandering Jew

Chapter.  9239 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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