1 5 2 D O C U M E N T S 1 4 3 , 1 4 4 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 8 143. Aphorism on Snobbery [February 1928][1] Snobbery is philistinism’s tip of the hat to intellectuality.[2] A. Einstein 144. To Maja Winteler-Einstein [Berlin,] 3 February 1928 Dear sister, Even the least garrulous person sometimes speaks up, so that one sees that he is not completely mute.[1] In your tranquil life you can scarcely imagine what a nervous tizzy we are in. Work, my activity as a “Jewish saint,”[2] and sociability, including noble musica, so diligently fill life that I’m hardly aware of myself. The latter has something to be said for it—all at once you’re dead and don’t even notice it because you’re so busy with important activities. Elsa has probably written to you about my boys.[3] Albert has become a good bridge-builder and a good-natured twit and as such has allowed himself to be ensnared by an old biddy from a family with psycho- logical problems.[4] He lives in Dortmund and works as an engineer. Tete will also soon be eighteen years old.[5] He writes extremely well, is a little too intellectual, and is crazy about tigers, because they don’t have any of his weaknesses.[6] It’s too bad that you don’t know him he’s interesting. Unfortunately, compared with good sense, bookish wisdom comes up short. I probably can’t visit you with him in the foresee- able future, because I have a certain skeleton in the cupboard, which could have fatal consequences in such a case.[7] I may go to Celerina with Elsa at the end of this month to visit the children.[8] We both really need that. I’ve gone completely gray. Elsa has too, and the gray hair has been accompanied by a well-earned woman’s bel- ly, but is far from being able to rival you. Luigi A. was recently here[9]—for the most part, one doesn’t become nobler as one ages that’s an illusion. Mrs. Masslun was also here her eloquence makes one dizzy. I hope you’ll soon start on your contract.[10] It wasn’t smart of you to bother your relaxed head so much about that, because people are very seldom eager to get fine art, and one must be happy when a buyer is found for it. Warm regards to you and Pauli[11] from your Albert
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