EINSTEIN, Albert. Seven autograph letters signed ('Papa', 'Albert' once) to Eduard Einstein, Leiden, Caputh, Old Lyme, Princeton and n.p. (three), 27 July 1932 - 13 September 1935 and n.d. (two), one undated letter on the same leaf as a letter to Mileva Einstein-Maric, together 8 pages, 4to, and 2 pages, folio (letter of 27.7.1932 has slight staining to centrefold; fingermarks to margin of letter of 30.8.1932; letter of 13.9.1935 has very slight soiling and creasing, and minor wear to upper right and lower left corners).
Late letters to Einstein's second son, with revealing discussions of psychology, Nietzsche and Freud. The letters respond to Eduard's philosophical musings with unguarded considerations of feminine psychology, of cognition and the fusion of different psychological conditions (a long and detailed letter of 13.9.1935), of nervousness as an affliction, of philosophy in relation to science ('in [philosophy] clarity is everything, and novelty is less important. The situation is different in the sciences, since new facts which require interpretation are constantly to be considered'), and of Nietzsche in comparison with Freud and Schopenhauer: 'Nietzsche is an extremely talented stylist, but one of the most horrible scoundrels ever to have picked up a pen, a man who seduces all weak and insecure people with his clever swindles. If I could hate anythng, it would be Nietzsche's writing'). Einstein admits to his own inexperience in such discussion ('I am neither well read in such things, nor a good observer'), and in one letter compares his struggles with philosophy to 'Meyrink's millipede, which was no longer able to walk after the dung beetle asked it how it could manage to do so with so many legs'. The letters make more guarded and uncertain references to Eduard's own psychological difficulties ('I am sorry to hear that you are suffering so badly'), though sometimes drawing on Einstein's own experience to make characteristically robust recommendations for confronting his son's crises: Eduard lacks 'the independence of outward life which one only achieves through order and a fixed routine of day-to-day life ... I know these weaknesses because I too have struggled against them'. The earlier letters look forward warmly to meetings with Eduard, but personal matters are discussed less and less as the series progresses.
Always prone to depression, Eduard Einstein began to show signs of mental illness early in 1932, and was briefly committed to the Burghölzli clinic outside Zurich in the autumn of that year. He was readmitted, after a brief period of recovery, early in 1933, and was to spend much of the remainder of his life there; he died in 1965. (10)