1 4 V O L U M E 1 , D O C U M E N T 3 4 a blame yourself in any way. I beseech you at least not to despise me because of what I, after overcoming the worst struggles, still wrested from the miserable weakling’s nature.[2] I have done nothing that deserves crushing hatred […] only disdain I cannot and must not explain these words to you and […] not be able […] perhaps later […] my [foolishness] is Vol. 1, 34a. To Pauline Winteler Zurich, Friday [21 May 1897] Dear little Mama No. 2,[1] There’s beckoning sunshine outside, & I’m free & haven’t got anything to do, & yet I’m not persuaded to leave my room for the outdoors. It seems to me as if the dear sun were smiling down on everyone, just not on me—and I do know that it’s not true & I’m seeking solitude so that I can then silently whimper about it. And I couldn’t say why I’m feeling so strange I am still the same peculiar fellow as be- fore… Don’t be cross with me for choosing such a time to respond to your kind words I was just motivated to do it right now, & even if it doesn’t come out nicely, it comes from the heart. First of all, I should reassure you by saying that the “divine” greeting card ar- rived at the right address & duly kindled sparks, was mischievous & nice. My pho- tographs also arrived fine I thank you warmly for procuring them & shall see to it that I part with them very soon. There was a mysterious comment about a “Zurich goddess” on the edge of the card, with Anna’s[2] impish face practically peering out from behind it—so I went to the Menzi’s [3] on the very same day, thinking that she could be there in the end. But Mrs. Menzi didn’t know a thing & had such an in- quisitive, surprised, & yet strangely revealing look on her face that I could hardly prevent myself from bursting out laughing—we didn’t know each other at all be- fore, you know. That was an absolutely hilarious little scene I wish you could have seen it. As far as my coming to visit is concerned, you are entirely right, unfortunately.[4] It simply must be tolerated. But now I realize even more that those were the most beautiful days I ever experienced, in your dear home. The most beautiful memory is a double-edged sword, I feel, until we can view it from a dis- tance but then the sweetest charm is gone. From Fritz Steiner I heard that Mathias might be coming to Zurich.[5] He must stay with me then, of course. One half of my bed is always available to him! But
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