Prossnitz, Judah Leib (Loebele)
- (c. 1670–1730)Shabbatean in Bohemia. A poor village pedlar, Prossnitz announced that Isaac LURIA, the cabbalist, and SHABBETAI ZEVI, had taught him in a dream, and prophesied the return of Shabbetai as Messiah in 1706. He was banished by the Moravian rabbis as a charlatan, but continued to tour Central Europe as a preacher and miracle worker, extracting money from the lingering groups of Shabbateans. PROUST, Marcel 1871–1922. French novelist. Proust was brought up a Catholic but was clearly influenced by his half-Jewish background. His mother, who came from the well-known Alsatian Jewish family of Weill, was the dominant figure in his life. He once wrote an article entitled, ‘Filial feelings of a Matricide’. His great novel cycle, A la recherche du temps perdu (1913–27), has been well-described as ‘a letter to his mother’, and its partly autobiographical hero, Swann, is of Jewish origin. It appeared in fifteen volumes, which were translated into English by C.K.Scott Moncreiff. The work shows the fragility of his integration into French society. It was Proust who persuaded Anatole France to come out publicly in defence of Captain DREYFUS. Proust was a snob and a homosexual, and his work contains elements of voyeurism and hypochondria. Edmund Wilson calls him ‘perhaps the last great historian of the loves, the society, the intelligence, the diplomacy, the literature and the art of the Heartbreak House of capitalist culture’. Samuel Beckett characterized him more briefly as ‘the garrulous old dowager of letters’.
Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. Joan Comay . 2012.