EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Five autograph letters signed ("Papa") to Eduard Einstein, Princeton, and n.p., n.d., [December 1933] - 19 November 1944. Together 9 pages, folio and 4to, one with wartime censor's pale colored watercolor stripes, crossing but not obscuring text.
EINSTEIN AT PRINCETON: "THE WORLD IS NOT MADE SO THAT WE CAN UNDERSTAND IT EASILY"
Letters spanning a decade of Einstein's life and work in America. Undated [December 1933]: "I've been here two months, in Princeton, near New York, and only now have found time to write...As always I am in pursuit of elusive scientific truth, with pounding heart and little success." Referring to his recent experiences, Einstein writes that "terrible things have happened since we last saw each other...I am one of the most hated men, and even the Swiss newpapers speak against me. But I have kept my sense of humor...Men are like the sea, sometimes calm and friendly, sometimes stormy and treacherous, but on the whole, just water." Princeton is "calm, quiet and pretty. There is a little university, with clever professors and students who play football and are always making a racket..." 3 December 1934: Einstein hears that Eduard's treatments are helping, and hopes this cure will prove successful. He advises patience with "the problems you may still encounter," and predicts "how happy you will be when you are healthy and have recovered an inner balance." Though he writes seldom, he often thinks of Eduard. 25 May 1937: Einstein has not written because he has had to "martyr my old brain with a difficult problem...but it all came to nothing...The world is not made so that we can understand it easily. But it's a beautiful spring, the birds sing without a care and are only interested in finding worms and insects. Of the latter there are all kinds, and all the windows here have screens...I have a pretty little garden with a large tree that I can see from my study window. I am living now like a solitary old man, gradually preparing for the end. This has its charm. It gives one the right to and possibility of contemplation and uninvolvement in the mundane things of life which once seemed so important." He characterizes life in America as a "reckless, inconsiderate striving; a savage, hateful dance around a golden calf." He recommends that Eduard read a translation of the Odyssey: "I do that when I'm depressed." Undated [late 1930s]: Has Eduard received from Vienna Freud's Introductory Lectures in Psycholanalysis? "They caused me to admire the author, even though I remained unconvinced of the correctness of his views...I've slowly come to believe at least the main theses from little experiences of my own." He is re-reading Schiller and hopes to read Shakespeare. He has been extremely busy and remarks on the importance of work and the drive to learn. 19 November 1944: Writign near the end of World War II, Einstein says that he has received Eduard's aphorisms, which the doctor sent, and was surprised by their power. Creating something is always the most satisfying activity, he realizes, now that his own life is coming to an end and he shares the detachment of all elderly people. He suggests that Eduard read Tolstoy: War and Peace, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Powers of Darkness; and the dramas of Aeschylus, especially Prometheus. On the verso is a letter from Maja Winteler- Einstein to Eduard.