Letter to Jan Pilař (1947)

Olomouc, 11 April 1947.
My Dear Friend!
Thank you for your informative letter both about you, which I read with great interest, and addresses of professors Krejčí and Mágr. I had to go to Olomouc on the insistence of Fišer, Úlehla and, above all, Bělehrádek, as they need help, so even though I enjoy once again working with many people, I am nonetheless ashamed since one of you younger people should have my position. It is already the nature of things that activities in newspapers, whatever they may be, cannot satisfy you, and I recall my years as cultural editor in the daily Lidové noviny. There’s a big gap between want and opportunities, so I often thought it would be ideal if I had my own magazine. So, I understand your situation. The public is a terrible boulder that is not moved by the individual, and that development of the higher level first happens automatically rather than intentionally by one of us or by some self-saving, let us say enlightened, institution. I’m a sceptic in these matters. Perhaps it is best if we perform our own task for the public with the best conscience and if we find the center of gravity within ourselves, and you in poetry. I enjoy pondering your poetry. And you are not alone in your crisis with it. It’s nice that you have finished your doctorate. I feel that much of the poverty of Czech writing comes from the small idea that they are improvisations, in poetry and especially prose, which are to be written by people who have lived a life and done a lot of thinking.
Thank you for your letter and once again all the best this spring,
As always, devotedly yours,
Subject: In the network
Author: John, Jaromír
Title: Letter to Jan Pilař (1947)
Licence: Free license

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