Letter to Josef Hora (1940)

Prague, 7 Oct. 1940
Dear Friend,
Thank you very much for your message. If my reply is coming with a slight delay, it is only because I was late in picking up your letter: I do not go anywhere, everything bothers me, people disgust me, and I’ve bid my farewell to the Danuj. I feel best on my own and am exactly where I thought I’ve been heading for many years now. I hope that it will be to my benefit: for I am not angry with people, am not ill, and do not feel all of this within as an unbalanced state. I simply do not want to be involved in anything familiar and everything friendly and certainly not everything human, as I knew it. If I could go to the Sahara, I would jump on the first train. But let’s leave this aside and get back to Lermontov. I am slowly finishing it and am still enjoying it. But I can’t speak with Dr. Träger about the details as you advise me. You know the kind of relationship I have with Melantrich. I can’t help it – though I don’t fear them, I don’t believe in their sincerity. What if they begin with a pleasant look on their face, get me to start and then wave written proof that Černý
applied to them in vain? That is literally what I think about them! If they are willing to publish the study, let them send me a letter: We heard that you are preparing a study on L. We are preparing a translation of his work, so naturally we would be interested in your essay. – This does not bind them to anything, does not compromise them; here Dr. Träger is acting altogether impersonally on behalf of the publisher and as the guardian of its interests. I, on the other hand, act only on my own behalf. If they’re able to do what I’m saying here, then fine! I will negotiate with them, and we will easily come to an agreement simply because I’m lazy and don’t want to look for a publisher and because I’m completely financially indifferent: I am adamant about the exact form of the book, not about the money! If they can’t do what I I’m saying, then it’s no use! I thank you and everyone for your amicable willingness. Your old and devoted friend,
V. Černý
P.S. On Monday at 6 pm I am going alone and secretly to the pub U Paukertů. If you are suffering the incurable courage of p.t. writers, make your way there. But don’t take anyone with you who has overcome even the first difficulties of the Czech alphabet.
Subject: In the network
Author: Černý, Václav
Title: Letter to Josef Hora (1940)
Licence: Free license

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