Letter from Sigmund Freud to Albert Einstein, May 3, 1936
Vienna IX, Berggasse 19
May 3, 1936
Dear Professor Einstein
You struggle in vain against my answering your charming letter.1 I really must tell you how delighted I am to learn of the change in your judgment, or at least a move in that direction. Of course I always knew that you admired me only “out of politeness,” and that you are convinced by very few of my assertions. But I have often asked myself what indeed there is to admire about them if they are not true—i.e., if they do not contain a high degree of truth. Incidentally, don’t you think I should have been far better treated if my doctrines had incorporated a greater percentage of error and folly?
You are so much younger than I; and I may hope that by the time you have reached my age you will have become a disciple of mine. Since I shall not be here to learn of this, I am now anticipating the satisfaction. (You realize what I have in mind: “In proud fore-feeling of such lofty bliss I now enjoy,”2 etc.)
With warm devotion and unswerving admiration
Notes to “Letter from Sigmund Freud to Albert Einstein, May 3, 1936”
1 For Freud’s eightieth birthday.
2 Quotation from Goethe’s Faust, II.
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