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Title: Il processo a Dreyfus: echi e trasformazioni dell’affaire in Schnitzler e Kafka
Authors: Pelloni, Gabriella
Keywords: Dreyfus AffairantisemitismHannah ArendttotalitarianismArthur Schnitzler’s Professor BernhardiFranz Kafka’s The Castle
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Gabriella Pelloni, “Il processo a Dreyfus: echi e trasformazioni dell’affaire in Schnitzler e Kafka”, in: Maria Carolina Foi (a cura di), “Diritto e letterature a confronto. Paradigmi, processi, transizioni”, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016, pp. 90-106
If it is true that the Dreyfus Affair brought the “Jewish Question” into the public
spotlight, then it is equally true that the trial of the French officer showed how
overnight society could deprive a man of his rights, make him a criminal and alienate
him. The scandal, which threatened the foundations of democracy and justice,
turned the Dreyfus Affair into a sort of paradigm. Literature responded with
tales of people whose behaviour and aspirations clashed with a society in which
legal equality had become an empty formula and the law was applied arbitrarily.
This article focuses on Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the Dreyfus Affair as it clarifies
various levels of meaning within German-Jewish literature, the authors of which,
though mainly sceptical of contemporary Zionism, pondered the Jewish Question
at length, tying it, as Arendt did, to the transformation of the modern State into
a totalitarian one. Against this setting, this article examines Schnitzler’s play Professor
Bernhardi and Kafka’s unfinished novel The Castle, two contrasting works in
which the crisis affecting Jewish assimilation was portrayed alongside an increasingly
corrupt apparatus and a world ever more prone to the logic of power.
Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 978-88-8303-740-5
eISBN: 978-88-8303-741-2
Appears in Collections:Diritto e letterature al confronto. Paradigmi, processi, transizioni

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