Albert Einstein – Letters from His Inner Circle

The majority of the more than 95 letters are from Einstein’s inner circle of friends and associates to Dr. Aaron B. Lerner (1920-2007) as responses to his letters to the varied individuals as part of his research for his book “Einstein and Newton: A Comparison of the Two Greatest Scientists” (Lerner Publications, Minneapolis, MN, 1973). Over 40 of the letters are from Helen Dukas, Einstein’s long-time personal secretary. Others are from relatives of friends who died that Dr. Lerner was able to get in contact with for information he was looking for, usually from references given by others, especially Helen Dukas. There are also letters from Dukas and Einstein’s friend Dr. Rudolf Ehrmanm to Janos Plesch, another of Einstein’s close friends from Europe plus others between individuals of Einstein’s inner circle.

The letters are grouped according to the particular individual in Einstein’s circle they are from or concern. The notable content of the letters is biographical information about the respective individual, this individual’s relationship with Einstein including when they met, the basis for the relationship, and its overall course. Some of the letters are in German with the majority being in English, in some cases rough and rudimentary. Most of the letters were written to Dr. Aaron Lerner in response to his contact and inquiries as preliminary research for a book he was working on (noted above). These are dated in the latter 1960s. But there are some letters between individuals from the inner circle that have earlier dates, e. g., a 1946 letter from Dukas to Janos Plesch.

The letters are kept in their respective manila files as they were acquired, presumably as organized by Dr./author Aaron Lerner. In some of the files with the respective letters are background materials relating to the individual of the inner circle such as publications of the respective individual, notes by Lerner, and in the case of Max Talmey (from his daughter), materials relating to his interest in and promotion of a invented universal language known as Esperanto and his own devised language he called Gioro.

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Jose Rodriques Migueis, Portuguese Poet/Activist

Early Writings Archive (unpublished)

Jose Rodriques Migueis (1901-1980) was a Portguese poet and political activist born in Lisbon. He earned a law degree at Lisbon’s Facultade de Direito in 1924. After working in the field of law and his new interest pedagogy for a few years, in 1929 he began pedagogy studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on a fellowship, earning a degree in this field in 1933. During this period, he traveled throughout Europe and returned off and on to Portugal to continue his collaboration with the political-literary periodical “Seara Nova.” In opposition to a Salazar government that was becoming increasingly repressive and authoritarian, Migueis went into exile in the United States in 1935. He became a U.S. citizen in 1942.

Despite his exile, Migueis returned to Portugal for varying lengths of time throughout the rest of his life, and was recognized as an outstanding Portuguese literary figure. In 1976, he became a member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences; in 1979, he was awarded the position of Grand Officer in the Military Order of Santiago de la Espada.

Although Migueis’s diverse writings over his decades-long literary career include poetry, novels, short stories, and translations, he is often seen as a member of the Seara Nova group of mid-20th century Portuguese writers. The group got its named for its association with and regular contributions to the magazine of that name founded by Raul Proenca in Lisbon in 1921; founded with the aim of providing a forum for breaking out of Portugal’s intellectual, artistic, etc., isolation by bringing the country’s arts and culture closer to social realism. “Seara Nova” attracted many of Portugal’s leading intellectuals and writers. With the rise of Salazarism, it became a major center of opposition to the government. Migueis also contributed to Portuguese newspapers, including the weekly “O Globo” which was banned in 1933. Writings of Migueis’s have been translated into English, Italian, German, Russian, Czech, French, and Polish.

The voluminous and diverse writings of this manuscript archive of early Jose Rodriquez Misgueis writings prefigure and exemplify his abiding attachment to Portuguese culture, his developing leftist political leanings, the introspective mining of his own life and experiences for subject matter, and his unique reflection of the political and literary currents of modernism.

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