D O C . 5 1 A R T I S T I C A N D S C I E N T I F I C E X P E R I E N C E 3 8 1
Published in Menschen. Zeitschrift neuer Kunst 4 (1921): 19, in February 1921. The autograph draft
[43 862] consisting of one unnumbered page is enclosed in a letter to Walter Hasenclever (1890–
1940), the draft of which in Ilse Einstein’s hand is dated 27 January 1921 [43 860] and written on the
verso of Hasenclever’s solicitation (see Walter Hasenclever to Einstein, 20 January 1921).
Einstein’s draft poses the title as a question. The coeditor of Menschen (Dresden), Walter Hasen-
clever (1890–1940), a playwright and poet, solicited the comment from Einstein in the belief that
modern painting and poetry served as “an intuitive premonition of your discoveries” (“eine intuitive
Vorahnung Ihrer Entdeckungen”). He hoped that Einstein might help convince a literary public of the
kinship between art and science (see Walter Hasenclever to Einstein, 20 January 1921).
Following Schopenhauer, Einstein argued that a powerful motive leading to accomplishment in
art and science is flight “from the shackles of one’s ever changing desires” (“aus den Fesseln der ewig
wechselnden eigenen Wünsche”; Einstein 1918j [Doc. 7], p. 29). On the theme of escape from merely
personal concerns, see also Einstein 1920i (Doc. 47), Einstein to Pauline Winteler, May 1897 (Vol. 1,
Doc. 34), and Einstein 1979, p. 6.
For Einstein’s views on the importance of experience in science, see Einstein 1920d (Doc. 42).