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The Other Jewish QuestionIdentifying the Jew and Making Sense of Modernity$
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Jay Geller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233618

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233618.001.0001

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

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

(p.233) Chapter 8 President Schreber and the Memoirs of a Wandering Jew(ess)
The Other Jewish Question

Jay Geller

Fordham University Press

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

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