The Dreyfus Affair: J`accuse and Other Writings

Paperback | February 17, 1998

byEmile ZolaEditorAlain PagèsTranslated byEleanor Levieux

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In September 1894 the French authorities intercepted a letter which they claimed emanated from a Jewish army captain, Alfred Dreyfus, which they claimed to be proof of espionage on behalf of Germany. Dreyfus was subsequently court-martialed and imprisoned on Devil's Island, and the efforts of his family to have him released provoked an anti-Semitic controversy that split the French intellectual world down the center. Most famous among the participants was France's greatest living novelist, Emile Zola. This book is the first to provide, in English translation, the full extent of Zola's writings on the Dreyfus affair. It represents, in its polemical entirety, a classic defense of human rights and a searing denunciation of fanaticism and prejudice.

The book opens with the complete text of "J'Accuse," Zola's public letter to the French authorities. It also includes impassioned "open letters" to leading French newspapers, interviews with Zola at his home, intimate letters to his wife and friends written during his year-long exile in England (a direct result of three trials and a prison sentence for his part in the defense of Dreyfus), and his final articles, written when Dreyfus was close to being pardoned. Zola's texts constitute a unique and outstandingly eloquent primary source that is essential for a complete understanding of the Dreyfus affair. They shed brilliant new light on the official mind of France and were crucial in reversing public opinion, securing a retrial, and ensuring Dreyfus's rehabilitation. The significance of Zola's cause—and his scathing and passionate prose—resonate from his time to ours.

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This book is the first to provide, in English translation, the full extent of Zola's writings on the Dreyfus affair, and features the complete text of "J'accuse", Zola's public letter to the French authorities, a century after its first publication in 1898. It also includes impassioned "open letters" to leading French newspapers, inter...

From the Publisher

In September 1894 the French authorities intercepted a letter which they claimed emanated from a Jewish army captain, Alfred Dreyfus, which they claimed to be proof of espionage on behalf of Germany. Dreyfus was subsequently court-martialed and imprisoned on Devil's Island, and the efforts of his family to have him released provoked an...

Zola was the spokesperson for the naturalist novel in France and the leader of a school that championed the infusion of literature with new scientific theories of human development drawn from Charles Darwin (see Vol. 5) and various social philosophers. The theoretical claims for such an approach, which are considered simplistic today, ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:244 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.55 inPublished:February 17, 1998Publisher:Yale University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300073674

ISBN - 13:9780300073676

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From Our Editors

This book is the first to provide, in English translation, the full extent of Zola's writings on the Dreyfus affair, and features the complete text of "J'accuse", Zola's public letter to the French authorities, a century after its first publication in 1898. It also includes impassioned "open letters" to leading French newspapers, interviews with Zola at his home, intimate letters to his wife and friends written during his year long exile in England, and his final articles, written when Dreyfus was close to being pardoned. The documents represent, in their polemical entirety, a classic defense of human rights and a seating denunciation of fanaticism and prejudice."The book offers a fascinating juxtaposition of the grand public Zola, breathing fire and sweeping history before him, and the lonely, conflicted, doubt-ridden figure in exile". -- James R. Oestreich, New York Times"Zola's many essays and open letters balance a seething fury at injustice with unrelenting, fiercely logical assaults on Dreyfus's accusers. Balancing these polemics are Zola's poignant, s