Correspondence with Gottfried Benn (Briefwechsel mit Gottfried Benn)


Dear Herr Dr. Gottfried Benn,

you received a letter from an exiled writer, from ‘near Marseilles’, and replied to it in the newspapers and radio. You quote, above all, and repeatedly, from the letter, that for its author you, Herr Dr. Benn, are the very epitome of the highest standards, and a no less than fanatical purity. Now, letters to artists sometimes contain somewhat exaggerated compliments, of which no tasteful recipient would boast, but you needed such praise to legitimate yourself to a new audience and defend yourself against your old one. However, even your repeated reproduction of the declaration of your fanatical purity does not conceal the fact that you quote another sentence of the letter, according to which your admirer told you that the emigrants are living in the minor resorts in the French Mediterranean coast and in the hotels of Zurich, Prague and Paris, incorrectly.

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