Letter from Irena Krońska written in 10.04.1947

Paris, 4/10/1947

Dear Professor!

   c    A few days ago, I received a letter from Wroclaw. Professor’s book has not arrived yet, it seems like it will take a little while. I am very curious about it. – I could not find out exactly how much you would have to pay for French translations: roughly, however, it is 1000 Fr per a print sheet. The royalties vary: publishers pay 15% for books. How much does Revue Philos and related Journals pay I do not know, but I will find out in a few days and let you know.
   c    Returning to the local philosophical situation, I do not want to say anything for now. I have only certain impressions at the moment – but these are negative. I will refer to existentialism as the currently victorious and prevailing philosophical fashion. Speaking of people, Koyré is undoubtedly a valuable read. He is very educated and thinks clearly and deeply philosophically. I read his dissertation on Heidegger in recent “Critique” (the occasion was Heidegger’s latest book on truth being published) and it made the best impression. However, I think that if it were not for the current political and philosophical situation, Koyré would have nothing to do with the Collége Philos circle. In contrast, Wahl, who is currently the most influential and fashionable, is a completely different type of man. Of course, I write completely privately considering the sensitivity of the situation. He has a great feel for commerce and propaganda, and this is something to be reckoned with in France, because here philosophy has to be fashionable and pay off. So, Wahl is a philosophical XXX, the opportunity to earn a living for a whole host of “followers”, philosophical writers, and poetizing philosophers. If my husband and I had a strong survival instinct, which we probably should, then we would have enthusiastically joined this group, as it is not exclusive – as a traditional and “officially” French philosophy – it has a XXX and an international trend, has big and private publishing possibilities , conferences, etc. – Meanwhile, however, every day of life and of reading moves us further away from this current, which is not a good indication of the state of our survival instinct, and with regards to virtue or truth it is still a problematic merit.
   c    Sartre has not published anything new recently. Maybe he wrote too much before, and XXX, and therefore he does not have much left except for exemplification, and the audiences are bored by it. They want more and more distant horizons, and that is what Wahl and the people he creates provide. All events are flooded with their publications. What do they write about? Mainly about poets who were existentialists. Wahl published the history of existentialism again. One is tempted to use a word that always seems easy and unfair, and yet it is sometimes appropriate: bluff. Of course, he is only bluffing from the philosophical point of view. – Because Wahl is very well and comprehensively read. But the relations are associative and impressionistic. There are no problems. Angoisse, metaphysical sadness etc. is not a problem. And poetry is not philosophy.
   c    If I were in Professor’s situation (what anti-existential expression), I would cooperate with these people. They can only provide you with opportunities, and they cannot take anything away from you.

   c    I shall finish for now, I will and write again soon.

   c         c    My deepest respect and friendly regards

   c         c         c         c         c         c         c         c    I Krońska