Letter from Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz written 09.08.1939

9 VIII 1939
NP3  [No smoking for 3 days] NΠπ6 [No beer drinking for 6 days]
B                    B                      B                      B                      You must try Spiess’s ortedrine.
B                      B                      B                      B                      B A wonderful thing.


Honoured and Dear Professor: Thank you for the card. If my commissions  permit it, I will do Miss Popiel. I feel that you have a problem with this drawing with a turban [head scarf]. Please, you may cut out the turban and glue the drawing onto green paper (and the turban must be hidden away in a special file). I swear to you that as far as I know myself (and I am freudianised – everyone should be, like pasteurized milk), the reasons were as I said, i.e. technical, not hidden, psychological ones in relation to you, with whom my relationship is absolutely “pure”. May you burn this damn drawing, if it is to spoil our relations. Things have improved with the family, but it’s a difficult company. One Aunt and Cousin have eased off. The complaint was about the police visit, but the relations were such that I had to call the police – it’s nothing. Muddled heads. “C’est le crime qui fait la houte et non l’échafaud,” [ Fr. It is the crime which causes the shame, and not the scaffold] said Regent “et le comte de Horn futroné vif” [Fr. “And even Prince Horn was broken alive on a tortuous wheel”]. I understand that. You do not write whether you have finished my work and how you like it. Do you intentionally want to lead me to despair?
Smoking is the most hideous, depressing abomination. Unless there’s the war – then I will begin [to smoke] in order to fool myself and suffer less for humanity because I do not have the strength for it. If the acronym irritates you just like the turban (it can be a symbol of everything, e.g. dinner with turban, mass, trip), I can write everything [out]. But it is a g.[reat] relief, [it] does not discourage [me] from writing the letter.