The Schmooze

In Bed with Émile Meyerson

The Lublin-born French epistemologist and philosopher of science Émile Meyerson died in 1933, but is still remembered for his dedicated Zionism and friendship with fellow Jews, such as author and activist Bernard Lazare. Yet until now, Meyerson has been little known as a man. On April 28, Les éditions Honoré Champion published “Miscellanies: Short Unpublished Works” by Meyerson, edited by Eva Telkes-Klein and Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent.

Meyerson’s archive at Jerusalem’s Central Zionist Archives contains revealing writings which portray the lifelong bachelor, who died of a heart attack at age 74, as an often-anguished insomniac. A Freud-inspired “Dream Analysis” from 1908 grapples with one nightmare during which Meyerson was lying in bed with a man “older than myself,” although in reality “even the idea of” sharing a bed is “unbearable” to him. During the 1897 London celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, a shortage of lodgings once obliged Meyerson and Lazare to share a “vast” bed, in which nonetheless, Meyerson spent a sleepless night.

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In Bed with Émile Meyerson

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