The following article was published in the July 1996 Western States Jewish History Quarterly (v. 28, n. 4). It contains both a list of Danziger's publications and a list of published references to him. The table of contents below was not part of the original article but is provided here as a means of quickly navigating to selected publications.
Adolphe Danziger deCastro Publications and References
Adolphe Danziger deCastro Publications
In addition to his careers as a dentist, journalist, lawyer and occasional rabbi, Gustav Adolphe Danziger (known as Adolphe deCastro after 1921) was a prolific literary writer. Over the course of a sixty-year career his writing included a collaboration on a short novel with Ambrose Bierce, a collection of short stories, at least five volumes of poetry, four novels, a "photoplay" (film script), a monograph of Talmudic history, and a biography of Bierce. The following describes briefly a selection of his literary works in chronological order.
The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter 1891
Danziger/de Castro found the story, "The Monk of Berchtesgaden" by Richard Voss, in a German monthly magazine. He translated the story into English then contracted Bierce to edit the story to improve on his "poor English" and prepare the story for publication. In October of that year, "The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter" was published in serial form in the San Francisco Examiner under the byline "Dr. G. A. Danziger/de Castro and Ambrose Bierce." The story was sufficiently successful that it was republished in book form.
In the Confessional and The Following 1893
This collection of stories was published in San Francisco by the Western Authors Association during the period when Danziger/de Castro directed the company’s publication of a volume of Bierce’s poetry called Beetles in Black Amber. The relative success of Danziger/de Castro’s book over Bierce’s volume of poetry was one of the sources of difficulty between the collaborators.
Whisperings from Flowerland circa 1900
Although no other references to this are known, in "Portrait of Ambrose Bierce" Danziger/de Castro describes reading from this volume of poetry while with Bierce in Washington, DC.
A Man, A Woman and A Million 1902
Published by Sands & Co. of London, and listed in the British Library, it is also listed in the inside back cover of "The Gauntlet", "Children of Fate" and "The Hybrid Prince of Egypt."
Gauntlet, A magazine for the Honest 1903
Danziger/de Castro published a single issue of this magazine in Chicago. It contains a short story, several poems, a searing essay on philanthropic "oily hypocrites," among whom he includes Carnegie and Rockefeller. It also includes two other essays on anti-saloon leagues and the lack of enforcement of liquor laws in Chicago.
Jewish Forerunners of Christianity 1903
This academic book, originally published in New York, is a comparison, based on Talmud history, that points out the religious and ethical agreement between Jesus and the Jewish thinkers before and after him. The volume was republished a year later in London. The identical material was repackaged as "Jesus Lived: Hebrew evidences of his existence and the rabbis who believed in him" in 1926.
Children of Fate: A Story of Passion 1905
A historical romance novel set in Warsaw and the rural village of Dobrzyn, Poland in the early 19th century, during the Russian occupation. The characters struggle with inter-class and inter-faith relationships in an environment of strong prejudices. It was published by Brentano’s, New York.
The Polish Baroness 1906-7
Not available in this country, but on record with the British Library in London, it is listed in the inside back cover of "Helen Polska’s Lover."
Helen Polska’s Lover, or The Merchant Prince 1908
A novel of ambition, prejudice, and pride set in Poland. A stranger rescues a young society woman from a burning house then disappears. The book was republished in London in 1909.
After the Confession 1908
A thin volume of 34 poems, including 7 in German. The introduction claims that he had written them much earlier but that the original manuscript had been stolen. This was published, as was the remainder of his poetry, by the Western Authors Association, of which he was the business manager.
In the Garden of Abdullah 1916
A larger volume of 58 poems, including the republication of 27 poems from "After the Confession," omitting only the poems in German. The forward is a longer, more elaborate version of the introduction of the former volume, expanding the story about how the original manuscript had been stolen.
The Sephardic movement in Spain: A present day review estimated 1920’s by the American Jewish Archive
An apparently unpublished monograph on the history of Sephardic Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. It includes a review of prior authors on the subject, and concludes with a diatribe against anti-Semitism by American industrialists. The manuscript can be found in Box B-77-272 of the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College in Cincinatti. It is a 37-page typescript, unpaged.
The World Crucified 1921
A photoplay (film script) in which Christ appears as a modern man, befriends a despondent man and inspires him to saintly behavior. Together they save several people from sinful lives by motivating their faith. Their benefactors include a greedy industrialist and his estranged daughter who runs a den of iniquity. Despite the modern setting and Socialist overtones, the dialog is stilted in the manner of early biblical films.
In a Spanish language pamphlet El Mundo Crucificado [undated] which announced a translation in Spanish of The World Crucified to be run serially in a Los Angeles publication called La Prensa a short bibliography is included. The bibliography lists several works already described above as well as:
The 8-page pamplet was written by Danziger/de Castro himself in Los Angeles. In it he describes himself as an American attorney living in that city.
The Last Test 1928
Originally published as "A Sacrifice to Science" in the collection "In the Confessional", this version of the novella was largely ghost-written by horror-genre writer H.P. Lovecraft. It was first published in its new form in the pulp magazine "Weird Tales" in November 1928. It has been republished in a book of anonymous collaborations by Lovecraft called "The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions."
Portrait of Ambrose Bierce 1929
Although this book, published by Century-Appleton, was one of five Bierce biographies that were published within a period of a year and a half, it is the most recognized of all Danziger/de Castro’s work. It received numerous reviews in the natonal press and has been a reference for many later Bierce biographies. The majority of contemporary reviews of the book were not entirely favorable, criticizing it for its factual inaccuracies and for being overly idolatrous. However, he purposely wrote more of a memoir of his relationship and interactions with Bierce, rather than a definitive biography.
The Painter’s Dream 1940
This thin volume contains a single poem having the same title. It is obviously war-time propoganda: the painter in question is Hitler and the dream is The Third Reich. An inscription at the beginning indicates that the proceeds from the publication were to benefit victims of the war.
The Hybrid Prince of Egypt 1950
This is another thin volume of poems. It includes the epic poem for which the volume is titled, that describes the life of Moses. It also includes "Song of the Arabian Desert." The inside cover of this volume lists nearly a dozen of Danziger/de Castro’s previous publications.
Sources of Information about Adolphe Danziger deCastro
DeCastro is known primarily through his relationship with Ambrose Bierce, thus the primary sources for additional information about him are Bierce biographies. His own "Portrait of Ambrose Bierce" is a detailed, if occasionally inaccurate, source because it was written as a memoir and contains as much detail about himself as about Bierce. In addition, there are a number of articles about him during his early literary career in central California and his minor roles in California Jewish history throughout his life.
Cummins, Ella Sterling. "The Story of the File: A Review of California Writers and Literature." The Californian Illustrated Magazine, 1893, pp. 320-321.
This article briefly describes Danziger/de Castro and his early literary career. It includes a portrait and a quotation for his article "Two Great Jews." The article has several factual inaccuracies regarding his early life and publication history.
Derleth, August & Wandrei, Donald, Eds. 1968. H. P. Lovecraft: Selected Letters 1925-1929. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House.
This book contains a letter from H.P. Lovecraft to his grandson indicating his role as ghost-writer of Danziger/de Castro’s novel "Clarendon’s Last Test" and criticizing its "dragging monotony."
Fatout, Paul. 1951. Ambrose Bierce: The Devil’s Lexicographer. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.
This Bierce biography retells many of the stories from "Portrait of Ambrose Bierce" but includes many additional stories as well. It is an excellent source of references to Bierce’s San Francisco Examiner column called "Prattle" where he wrote about his relationship with Danziger/de Castro on several occasions.
Grenander, M. E. 1971. Ambrose Bierce. New York: Twayne Publishers.
This biography contains a few mentions of Danziger/de Castro, including specifics about his agreements with Bierce regarding the publication of "The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter." It also includes a reference to Danziger’s consulship in Madrid, Spain in 1903. Of the non-contemporary biographers of Bierce, this author, by far, has the most negative view of Danziger.
Hart, Jerome A. 1931. In our second century. San Francisco: Pioneer Press.
This history of the San Francisco newspaper the Argonaut contains the most thorough account of Bierce’s disappearance into Mexico, including Danziger’s role in promoting his own version of the story.
This article contains a paragraph describing Danziger’s role in Oakland’s Jewish history.
McWilliams, Carey. 1929. Ambrose Bierce: A Biography. New York: Albert & Charles Boni.
In this biography, the author critiques several of the stories given in Portrait of Ambrose Bierce" as being inaccurate. It also discusses Bierce’s use of his column "Prattle" as a public forum for his and Danziger’s private battles.
Monaghan, Frank. "Ambrose Bierce and the Authorship of The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter," American Literature, II (January, 1931), 337-49.
This article exposes "The Monk and the Hangman’s Daughter" as being plagiarized from "The Monk of Berchtesgaden" by Dr. Richard Voss.
Neale, Walter. 1929. Life of Ambrose Bierce. New York: Walter Neale.
In this biography of Bierce, Neale’s hostility toward Danziger is evident as he describe the interaction between Bierce and Danziger without ever mentioning Danziger by name. However, this volume is the source used by later biographers for one anecdote about Danziger as a witness in a court proceeding again operatic tenor Enrico Caruso.
O’Connor, Richard. 1967. Ambrose Bierce: A Biography. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co.
This is another biography that retells many of the stories from "Portrait of Ambrose Bierce" but includes many additional stories as well, including Neale’s story about Caruso. It also describes the Bierce-Danziger feud and its public carrying out in "Prattle."
Stern, Norton B. "A San Francisco Synagogue Scandal of 1893," Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly, 6:3 (April 1974), 196-203.
This article is a detailed account of an incident where Danziger was accused by synagogue members of publishing a story exposing an unseemly episode with the cantor, his wife, and a new rabbi. The article repeats Cummins’ factual inaccuracies, but is otherwise an excellent source of references to some of Danziger’s early publications.
Additional Sources from an unpublished reference by Maurice "Bob" I. Hattem, archivist of Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel in Los Angeles
Some of his other published works include, Went East in 1900 [in German] and Romance of Imagination. He also contributed as many as 1900 short stories published in newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Europe. The American Jewish Archives holds his unpublished autobiography, All I Care to Tell, consisting of approximately 400 pages.
The following are some citations from The Reform Advocate which was edited by Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch in Chicago. An exhaustive examination should be made on this source for additional bibliographical items prepared by Dr. G.A. Danziger. It is likely that some of the items below and others like them but unrecorded here were incorporated into books by Danziger/de Castro.
Danziger/de Castro was a contributor as San Francisco correspondent to The Jewish Voice of St. Louis whose publisher regarded him as "a keen observer and a sharp critic" in June 1893. There are indications that he contributed frequently at least between 1888 and 1893, often with lengthy series of articles (spanning weeks to months) on single themes. For example: "Extracts of the System of Jewish Philosophy and Religion of Maimonides" and "The Position of Laboring Men Among the Ancient People, Especially Among the Ancient Jews in Palestine" were serialized in 1888 and "The Story of Joseph, The son of Jacob: From the Legendary Lore of the Hebrews" was serialized in 1889. He also contributed a regular column "Golden Gate Notes" in 1891.
Danziger/de Castro wrote a report for the Jewish Voice which was reprinted in the Jewish Times and Observer on a conversation between famed Jewish-British writer Israel Zangwill and famed San Francisco attorney, Col. Henry I. Kowalsky. It was a witty conversation and recorded with wit. The article is preserved in Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly with a brief introduction by Norton B. Stern, in the July 1987 issue, pp. 315-318.
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