Series:

Joyce Block Lazarus

Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life is the first biography in English of Geneviève Straus (1849-1926), a Parisian salon hostess and political activist. Joyce Block Lazarus explores myths surrounding Straus and offers an account of her life and accomplishments. Making use of historical materials, including previously unpublished letters, Lazarus shows that Straus was a female intellectual during an era when women were non-citizens.
Scholars have well documented the Dreyfus Affair (1894-1906), but have overlooked archival documents which spotlight Straus’s role as a political activist in the affair. In Geneviève Straus: a Parisian Life, Lazarus highlights Straus’s thirty-four-year friendship with Marcel Proust and examines her influence on Proust’s novel, In Search of Lost Time, finding echoes of Straus and her family in his masterpiece.

Series:

Don Harrán Z"l

In discoursing on music, three early modern Jewish scholars stand out for their originality. The first is Judah Moscato, who, as chief rabbi in Mantua, preached sermons, one of them on music: there Moscato presents music as a cosmic and spiritual phenomenon. The second scholar is Leon Modena, the foremost Jewish intellectual in early seventeenth-century Venice. Modena deals with music in two responsa to questions put to him for rabbinical adjudication, one of them an examination of biblical and rabbinical sources on the legitimacy of performing art music in the synagogue. Abraham Portaleone, the third scholar, treated music in a massive disquisition on the Ancient Temple and its ritual, describing it as an art correlating with contemporary Italian music. The introduction surveys the development of Hebrew art music from the Bible through the Talmud and rabbinical writings until the early modern era. The epilogue defines the special contribution of Hebrew scholars to early modern theory.