7 December 2015
TESLA, Nikola (1856-1943), Inventor, scientist. Autograph letter signed (“N. Tesla”), to George S. Viereck (1884-1962), Hotel New Yorker, New York, 20 December 1934. Three pages, 8vo, personal embossed stationery.
"WE ARE TWO ‘STORM-TOSSED SAILORS'" Writing to his “many sided friend,” Tesla thanks him for recent letters but fears “I will get a swelled head from your praise.” He does “not know whether I have brought out clearly the most striking feature of my mental adventure, namely, that everything I saw, heard or felt appeared entirely new to me. I never realized that I had actually lived the same life before until the final shock which shook my body like an earthquake. What I went through is not likely to be repeated for there is not more than one individual in millions who would survive. He suggests Viereck turn the subject of their recent correspondence into a magazine article. “We are two ‘storm-tossed sailors stranded on the selfsame reef.’ And a little of the filthy lucre would be soothing in this plight.” In February 1935 Viereck did indeed publish a piece in Liberty entitled, “A Machine to End War,” that outlined Tesla’s utopian vision of how a combination of eugenics and new technology would perfect human society by 2035. Tesla concludes by declining an invitation due to lack of time, and jokes, “you know that I have already cut down my proposed span of life by a quarter of a century in abandoning alcohol and must take good care to conserve the one hundred and twenty five years left.” Viereck, a controversial apologist for Germany in both World Wars, served five years in prison between 1942 and 1947 for being a Nazi agent.
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