Skip to main content

Sperber, Manès


SPERBER, MANÈS (1905–1984), French author and editor. Born in Zablotov, Eastern Galicia, Sperber spent much of his youth in Vienna, where he was prominent in the *Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir Zionist youth movement. He was assistant to the psychologist Alfred *Adler, whose life and work Sperber discussed in a study published in 1926. From 1927 to 1933 he taught psychology in Berlin and founded a psychological review. For some years he was an active communist, but finally left the party in 1937. After the Nazis came to power in Germany, he escaped to France. Later he became a director of the important French publishing house of Calmann-Lévy and turned to literature, first writing in German and later in French.

His main works were Et le Buisson Devint Cendre (1944; The Burned Bramble, 1951); Plus Profond que l'abîme (1949; The Abyss, 1952); La Baie Perdue (1952; Journey Without End, 1954), an epic of the underground; the essay Le Talon d'Achille (1957; The Achilles Heel, 1959); and Man and His Deeds (1970), an alternative to the politics of the present. Like Arthur *Koestler, he depicts the moral collapse of the revolutionary edifice and the disillusionment of its architects. He parts company with Koestler when he propounds a positive attitude to Jewishness and is deeply immersed in Jewish culture. This is particularly noticeable in the story "Qu'une larme dans l'ocẹan," which forms part of La Baie Perdue. Here the novelist sets forth the eternal spiritual resistance of the Jews. In his preface to the book, André Malraux (d. 1976) eulogized it as "one of the Jewish people's greatest stories."


C. Lehrmann, L'Elément Juif dans la Littérature Française, 2 (1961), 178–83; G.L. Mosse, in: New York Times (Nov. 11, 1970).

[Arnold Mandel]

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sperber, Manès." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 25 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Sperber, Manès." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 25, 2019).

"Sperber, Manès." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 25, 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.