Friday, November 7, 2008

Letter to Klein February 2, 1949

Letter 114

1130 Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago 15, Ill.


Dulcissime amice,

How should I begin? Would it interest you to know that we had trouble finding a house, but only because we demanded to take our dog Schwulch? That every difficulty was overcome only through the energetic interventions of Hutchins, who simply forced the housing office to find Schwulch and us a house? And that Schwulch, by of my and Miriam's hearts, had turned "the Big White Father" Hutchins into his servant? Or in other words, it all worked out for us because, in the words of "the lady from the housing office": "When the others complained you were a pain in the neck, I always told them you were a lovely person." She told me this as I was asking her to get the real estate agent to take $5 off the monthly rent, "because we have no use for the garage belonging to our apartment." She fulfilled my request, and now we rent the garage out for $5 a month. The great financial crisis was solved in a 2 minute long conversation with the dean of the division.

The apartment is majestic: "1 dining room, 1 living room, 1 study, 3 bedrooms, 1 breakfast room, 1 kitchen + butler's pantry, 2 sun parlors, 3 bathrooms." Kurfurstendamm? Alla aneu apeirokalias. I can only say: philosophoumen met' eutelias (my pass book is always open on my desk, and I also study "How to live within your income," a going-away present from Frau Lowe) kai philokaloumen aneu malakias.

One or two blocks from us is Chicago Heights (German Jewish refugees). Our local deli is owned by a former classmate from Marburg, and "the owner of the animal hospital" (in which Schwulch stayed while were living in a hotel) is a relative of a relative from Biebrich.

We see the Scofields. They were always very nice. Unfortunately things aren't going well for them. Same for Harvey Smith. And Lowith. Lowith's "call" to Chicago seems to me to be a fata morgana. In the fall he's going to the New School.

As to the university, I've seen very little, or as good as nothing. Scofield spoke about Mac Keon "along the familiar lines." I will try to avoid him, which will be much easier now that I am, according to the register, "professor of political philosophy in the Department of political Science." Lowith told me about a German clique lead by Bergstrasser, a group of SS types, who preserve the idiotic boche arrogance, totally uninfluenced by everything that's happened. Next semester ("spring") Riezler and Reinhardt are coming.

When are you coming? We are all waiting for you. Your "coach" awaits you. Your wash room (with all the amenities) awaits you.

When are you going to write about De Tyrannide?

Sincerely yours,


Note: Passages in quotes and italics written in English in the original.

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