To Kari (January 1963)

From Karl Polanyi
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My Dear Kari, I am sure that I am all mistaken that a year ago I wrote to you, what my father’s death meant to me. How many years went by until I stopped dreaming of him – he had in my dream returned to life; he had never died. I loved him so much![1] One of the certainties I understood was that he would have loved me to marry a girl just like mother is. Of course there was much about that was obvious since he adored my mother who belonged culturally to the Russian world, and I myself was in love with the thought of the Russian girl ideal (actually our Viennese Russian friends grew up as our own family to me). And so Ilona who was Polish and a revolutionary “filled the bill”, I suppose (our luck!). But the truth was that my father’s pure, unadulterated idealism of the Western brand (supported by the Hungarian standards of the XIXth Century) infiltrated my {sympathizing}, and it was this {mix} of Russian and Anglo-Saxon atmosphere that reached the Galileo students by way of my person. I suppose that my rigid adherence to educational privileges {aho?} came from there, and so I could not help wishing you had the equipment (also to do good). It was a temptation, but I loved you as parents love their children and for a long time I lost you. I know you have now long forgiven me, and I am happy for ever.

Editor's Notes

  1. French translation: « Je suis sûr que je me suis complètement trompé lorsqu’il y a un an je vous ai écrit ce que la mort de mon père représentait pour moi. Combien d’années passèrent avant que je cesse de rêver de lui – dans mes rêves il était retourné à la vie ; il n’était jamais mort. Je l’aimais tant ! »

Letter Informations

KPA: 59/02, 40-41