Letter from Hans Cornelius written 06.10.1938
Gräfelfing, October 6, 1938
My dear and honored friend and colleague,
n I have not yet replied to your kind letter from July and I just received your package with the fascinating Meliken magazine for which I would like to thank you very much. I immediately started reading your article which was so captivating that I finished it at once. I definitely concur – one could even say you cleaned out the Augean Stables, which is an unpleasant but very commendable undertaking. And the way you have tentatively ended it doesn’t just clarify ambiguities (which is already a crucial step), rather it appears to me that one can continue to build on certain areas. It struck me right away that your understanding of the whole literary work as a “multifaceted structure” could immediately and sensibly be applied to the musical work, if I haven’t misunderstood you, which means that it would not only have its place in the literary field. To me, this application of your perspective would be highly desirable, and it would therefore be difficult for me to limit it to the literary field.
n Well, instead of turning this letter into a scientific debate, I would like to keep it an interpersonal conversation which I am much better at. I can certainly empathize with you how much your nomination as the chairman of the board of examiners has burdened you. Due to the business-type responsibilities of the professorship, I am glad to have escaped the faculty – including the drama within this institution which is, unfortunately, often purely attuned to science. However, I do miss the lectures and particularly the seminars as well as my interaction with students. Since any competition between emeriti and the “younger” staff is discouraged over here, I did not even receive an answer when I inquired whether I could give lectures in Munich (they would allow it in Frankfurt without any further complication). Hence, I have no choice but to humbly withdraw.
n Unfortunately, I will be unable to accept Leszczynski’s invitation. Firstly, because I have been suffering from my chronic illness, gout, in the last couple of weeks and I am still suffering the after-effects which make it impossible for me to travel. Every day, I live in fear not knowing when another attack might strike and leave me immobile and helpless. And secondly, because I am currently tied down by legal proceedings which might continue until Christmas. Although I could travel between the hearing dates, the periods between the hearings are too short for such a long trip. Therefore, I will have to postpone a reunion with my Polish friends, of which I have become extremely fond, until a later time. I hope fate will allow me to have this pleasure another time – I have turned 75 years old and, according to human calculation, I don’t have much time left in this world.
n I suppose you have already returned from your stay in Zakopane and am therefore addressing this letter to Lwów instead. I sincerely hope this letter finds you well, my friend. Please send my warmest regards to your honored colleague Ajdukiewicz.
n n Warmest regards from your grateful and devoted,
n n n n n n H. Cornelius