D O C U M E N T 2 4 0 A P R I L 1 9 2 4 2 3 7
queathed to me Bernard Shaw’s works in German
Now I am reading
them with such conscientiousness, as if it were my duty and I were a Prussian. I’m
delighted that you have
with you, that gem of a Swabian; her love of Italian
art is no less delightful for me.
Heartfelt greetings to all three of
from your
P. S. You’ve never gotten my letters? I can’t believe it. Else has just now reminded
me that I haven’t been as lazy as it seemed to me while writing the above.
240. To Max and Hedwig Born
[Berlin,] 29 April 1924
Dear Borns!
Your letter, dear Mrs. Born, was really exquisite. The agreeable thing about Jap-
anese society and art is, indeed, that the individual is set so harmoniously within
the greater environment that it is not he himself whom he mainly experiences but
Each one of us yearned for that in our youth and has been forced
to give it up. For, among all communities that pertain to us, I would not like to de-
vote myself to any, except the community of the true seekers, which at the time in-
cludes too few living members.
I canceled going to Naples by realizing, to my delight, that a defect in my health
provided me sufficient excuse for
instead, I am going again to Kiel for a lit-
tle while. Bohr’s opinion on radiation interests me very
But I won’t be
driven into abandoning strict causality before entirely different defenses have been
tried against it than hitherto. The thought that an electron subjected to a ray chooses
of its free volition the instant and direction in which it wants to bounce away is in-
tolerable to me. If so, then I would rather be a cobbler or even a casino employee
than a physicist. My attempts to give quanta tangible form have nevertheless al-
ways failed, but I haven’t given up hope yet, not by a long shot. And if it absolutely
doesn’t want to work, then the consolation always remains that the failure lies with
me alone.
Relish the beauty of that sunny country, and warmest regards from your
The comment about the advertisement bureau popped out entirely unconsciously
as an outcome of high spirits, without my being aware that you were in any way
wedded to it. I would pat your head for your nice remark, if that were somehow per-
missible with a married lady.
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