Letter from Hans Cornelius written 14.12.1937
Gräfelfing, December 14, 1937
My dear friend,
n I have made you wait for a reply to your precious letter for far too long. Initially, I had to type substantial amounts of business correspondence on the typewriter which caused a strain on my right hand leading to a gout attack. Hence, I had to stop writing letters for a while. Therefore, I am asking you to kindly excuse my laggardness. I truly hope that you have overcome your illness by now!
n I would like to especially thank you for the explanation regarding the logistics which showed me so strikingly and clearly its fundamental error. Almost simultaneously, I received a letter from Witkiewicz in which he described the fundamental errors of logistics quite similarly. In the past, I never dared to entertain the idea of abandoning efforts of understanding the fundamentals of logistics, but this was mostly because I did not comprehend these expressions and I unsuccessfully attempted to see a clear scientific sense behind these “magic” formulas. Now, however, I no longer worry that I might be neglecting a fertile area of philosophy and I can make peace with closing this case. Although Leśniewski promised to fill me in on the fundamentals of logistics the next time fate brings us together, I am hoping that I will not gain any new insights of significant importance from him.
n I was quite interested in what you wrote on Ajdukiewicz. I was unable to understand his logistical work in the two books by Studia Philosophica you so kindly gave to me. Therefore, I cannot make any judgment. However, I had come to know him as a very clear and sensitive thinker when I spoke with him after my lecture, and I was surprised to hear that he actually supports logistics. I even doubted my scientific talent, primarily because I was unable to grasp this technique that he applied so effortlessly. Your letter somewhat comforted me, although I still don’t understand how a man of such intellect and lucidity could get lost in these oddities. Thus, some uncertainty remains on my part wondering if there may actually be something of value. Well, I will have to wait and see how this strange enigma will be resolved. Perhaps the extra-theoretical reasons you mentioned for his emotional attitude toward logistics will provide an explanation.
n By the way, I did not notice that you were in a supposedly poor intellectual state when I visited Lemberg! I would rather say that I too have been in a poor intellectual state over the past couple of weeks which did not allow me to find the peace and tranquility to read the books you kindly sent me and to share my thoughts on those books with you. I truly hope that this will soon be the case. I am currently dealing with various business-related problems and some of them are rather unpleasant. At this time, it is difficult to determine when these problems may be resolved. Fortunately, I do not have to produce any scientific work; otherwise, I would be in a real tight spot due to a lack of time.
n Furthermore, I have not made any progress regarding my learning Polish for the same reason. While I shall not assume that the younger Polish generation will be able to speak German as well as the older generation whose fluency in German surprised me during my last visit, I am quite interested to know whether it would be a good idea to publish some of my philosophical books in Polish. Mr. Jan Leszezynski (in Tarnowiec pod Jasłem) would make a splendid translator for my books – he would even be willing to translate “Introduction into Philosophy”; however, he does not know any publishers who might be interested in publishing such a book. I would appreciate it very much if you could use your connections to find such a publisher. Perhaps you will remember this matter the next time you meet with a Polish publisher? It would be comforting for me to know that my philosophy would take root in Poland, a country of which I have grown so fond. Nevertheless, I will continue to try to improve my Polish as I am capable.
n Well, before I go, I would like to again apologize for the delayed reply. I am sending you my best regards and hope that you have fully recovered from your illness!
n n n n n Yours,
n n n n n n n n Hans Cornelius