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he personally is concerned, as through gossamer cobwebs. But behind him the griz-
zly bodies close up again and the very shafts of light that they let pass through turn
into claws and tusks. . .
I found an old letter of yours in which you invited me into a hermitage to read
I often considered becoming a hermit, myself. Right now, I
still want to see Vero safely
so that he can take care of his future as he
deems right.—Then I would just like to submerge myself. Thoughts come halt-
ingly, the obscurities that I had otherwise evaded by knowing that others have just
the same ones or even worse, torment me. I have the feeling that if one really makes
an effort, some can rise to vivid clarity about life’s questions. It happens quite often
to me that I see, face-to-face, if only for a flash, what I otherwise only had supposed
about others, as if in allegory. It was a horribly superficial (albeit sometimes won-
derfully fleeting) thought. Don’t you also think that the renunciation by which you
abstained from the important things—you told me about that under the arcades of
—might not have been final, after all? That it might be worthwhile
to return from the potent soulless universe into the desert again to seek one’s soul?
Whether your potent ability to concentrate can’t, after all, make you into the wise
man that people expect of you? In whom particularly Americans (and American
women) in their
in which they are perhaps less disturbed than us
Europeans with our brilliant vanities of art and science, can wait for greatness: can
you become the wise man that these Americans welcomed and enthusiastically
applauded? Yours,
200. From Arnold Sommerfeld
Munich, 2 August 1921
Dear Einstein,
I thank you very much indeed for your acceptance for the beginning of
We start with lectures on the 2nd of November; hence it would be
more convenient if your lecture took place after the 2nd of Nov. rather than before.
But we shall, of course, guide ourselves entirely by you. Do also discuss this date
with Anschütz in
and then inform me definitively, also about whether in
addition to the more philosoph. relativ[ity] lecture you would speak again specially
for a colloquium, which would be very nice. Naturally, you could not do otherwise
in the Lusitania matter than as you deem
A letter from the Quakers, who
are completely astonished about the unofficial character of the medal, shows me
that my publication was thoroughly appropriate. Goodbye! Yours,
A. Sommerfeld.
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