“Dear Phantasy”

  • Kurt H. Wolff
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 51)


There is so much, it seems disconnected, but it all converges on me. There is “Dear Phantasy” as the addressee of this letter, if it is a letter. I don’t know the addressee, who I imagine is a woman but who may not be a person I am acquainted with or a person at all. There is the last—before—last evening before our leaving Florence, with a heart that’s dragged down. There is that today my father — in six months it will be fifty years that he died — would be a hundred-and-thirteen years old. There is the question, not only whether this is going to be a letter, but whether it is going to be part of Surrender and Catch, in which case it would follow the letter to Elizabeth, a real person, though Elizabeth is not her name. This is interesting: why this further removal from reality, this phantasying? Is this where I feel at home, am at home, and where I go — to where I return? — when? When the pressure of work lets up (Five sent one copy of the manuscript, as well as the York transcripts home, taking the other of the two copies with me, so I could not, even if I would, keep on working on the book) and the pressure of life increases? (Increases: leaving Florence and preparing for the States, Boston, Newton, Brandeis; the mystery anyway of movement, of movement from one to another ‘culture,’ from one ‘vividura’ living place — Américo Castro’s expression — to another; the mystery of this historical moment [something tiny on this in the letter to Elizabeth, but there is somuch more about it, of course] — but the sense of mystery only growing apace with the desire to demystify, understand, get clear, see straight; the two are inseparable in their assault.)


Publishing Company Olive Tree Real Person Historical Moment Life Increase 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt H. Wolff
    • 1
  1. 1.Brandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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