Thank you for your letter which I very much enjoyed. I’d thought you’d too had cut ties with me.
I’ve made it a rule that from now on I will immediately respond to any letter. So, I’m writing to you too straight away. Wherever I go, I keep cursing. Just this morning I received a letter from Prague about taxes owed and inheritance fees. If you’re interested, I’m still a millionaire on paper. If only I didn’t regret it so much – not being a millionaire, but to have for years suffered at the hands of the tax offices, I’d have written a farce about it. I know I won’t see a penny of all this, but I’ve been crucified by the tax office for years. What’s more, they stole my typewriter. There was a fire next door and firefighters were in our office. So, I’m now writing on a borrowed piece of junk whose font annoys me. These are the pitiful worries of a little person who’ll suffer from the beginning of the world till the end.
Thank you for spreading the grand message about me, such as the one about me returning on my own steamboat. Carry on with this fabulation. The truth is – what is the truth? – that you can’t imagine that I would “find a catch to marry”, it’s not in my character, and as you know reality always adapts to our character. It would be nice, but, unfortunately, it’s not true that I have found myself a groom, and a rich one to boot.
It all gets on my nerves: grooms, typewriters, telephones, parcels, letters from the authorities, the clutter in the office and so on. As Tolstoy once said: I see everything today “black with red spots”.
I’d love to write, my head is like a whirlwind, I’m as eager as ever, and I can’t. What am I to think when they publish the gentlemen in our country for large sums and I can’t even get a line published, except in your magazine. But then I don’t even care anymore, believe it or not, the indifference is deep inside me. But when I’m angry like today it rises up with the other red spots.
Please pick up the things from Melantrich, they’re bastards, and do with them or don’t do with them what you want. I’m placing this matter in your hands.
I spoke with Jakobson about you, and he was more conciliatory, but don’t expect anything for the time being. You really can’t imagine his character. I got to know it practically to a tee here. He really likes me, and I think he speaks sincerely with me as with few others in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’d do something for me. He would, but under unpredictable conditions, perhaps, maybe, but he really can’t be relied on, not at all, even if he promises. It’s not that he wouldn’t want to, but somehow he’s just unable. He’s very strange. He’s extremely capable of doing things in his own interest. He’s really made a great career for himself here. But he basically only works for things directly related to his interests. Not that I fault him, it’s not exactly criticism, he’s just that way and can’t be otherwise. And despite his extreme cleverness and talent, I’ve heard that he’s only published here an old Russian manuscript with notes – an old thing. It’s entitled “Sound and Meaning” or something like that, it isn’t actually done yet; it should be out next year. That’s what
So much for the most important thing. I don’t want to write about any current matters. One day we’ll talk about it all. All is not lost that is delayed. I’m writing nonsense, but as I previously mentioned: it’s nefastus day.
Oh yeah, and so I don’t forget – I read here – and not until I was here – although I’ve been searching for it for years, Rousseau’s study that he submitted to the Dijon Academy. At the Public Library: you enter without any entrance fee or any formalities, you find the thing in the card catalogue, you fill out a card and in literally ten minutes you get the book. A beautiful critical edition, a facsimile, not as far as the letters are concerned, but the number of words on the pages, a model edition from 1946. That’s America. I ordered the book because it is an old dream of mine and, like all true dreams to which one gives blood and thoughts, it came true. I will write about it again in my study and I might send you that piece because it would more or less stand by itself. Write me if you’re interested in it.
But now that’s really enough. I’ll send a letter to the syndicate as you’ve advised me. Don’t abandon me if possible. And write me. Cordially yours, M. Součková