Skip to main content

Lacretelle, Jacques de°


LACRETELLE, JACQUES DE ° (1888–1985), French novelist. As a schoolboy, he experienced the tensions produced by the *Dreyfus case and his masterpiece, Silbermann (1922; English version in: L. Lewisohn (ed.), Among the Nations, 1948), is the story of a young Jew persecuted by his schoolmates at the time of the trial. A passionate lover of French culture, Silbermann dreams of a fruitful intermingling of the French and Jewish genius, but his idealism is misunderstood and he is cruelly ostracized and eventually forced to leave the school. Lacretelle's tragic hero, a portrait partly inspired by his friend, the poet Henri *Franck, set a pattern in French literature: Montherlant (in a short story) and Duhamel (in The Pasquier Chronicles) both created Jewish heroes not unlike Silbermann. Lacretelle presents a far less favorable picture of his hero in Le retour de Silbermann (1929), a sequel to the earlier novel. Here he traces the decadence of the Jew who, having sought his fortune in America, fails in every endeavor. In spite of his brilliance, Silbermann is plagued by what the author calls a "typically Jewish" urge for self-destruction, which leads to his death.


A. Spire, Quelques Juifs et demi-Juifs, 2 (1928), 63–91; D.W. Alden, Jacques de Lacretelle… (Eng., 1959); C. Lehrmann, L'Elément juif dans la littérature française, 2 (19612), 97–102.

[Denise R. Goitein]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Lacretelle, Jacques de°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 24 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Lacretelle, Jacques de°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 24, 2019).

"Lacretelle, Jacques de°." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.