Dear Mr. Chalupecký,
It’s with a heavy heart that I’m plucking up the courage to write you this letter, and if it were not for the exhibition, I probably would not have found the resolve to do so. I thought that if you’d wanted to get in touch with me, you would have. I spoke with one gentleman who told me that you might not be angry with me, but he may be wrong. I have accepted your criticism of me, in an all-inclusive manner, and I cannot argue. Just for your own information: I do not have here any moral or material support or benefits; the information sent by my colleague is completely incorrect; he thinks that he’s so smart and that everyone is stupid in comparison – in short, quem Deus perdere vult prius dementat. I’m not trying to say that ruination awaits him, most likely a career does. But I do believe that one cannot build upon lies. I’m not saying this as a moralist, but factually. That is – and has been – the primary sin of Czech criticism, that it knew everything, just not what really happened in a book or was painted in a picture. The most abstract ideas must possess an honest reality, otherwise they will fall, sometimes like a house of cards, another time like an empire. But I didn’t want to write to you about this, it’s just out of habit. I also want to remind you that it wasn’t the lady from Podskalská who decided it. Maybe someday you will understand this completely. I would like this to happen since I sincerely respect you and have amicable feelings toward you that are tied in with my work. It wasn’t easy, believe me, giving up everything – but what am I saying? I just wanted to say that I accept your view first and foremost. I can imagine that it is negative or positive but can’t imagine that it is woeful. That alone would surprise me, which is why I decided to write you.
As for the paintings that were in my apartment, please leave them there. They belong to my goddaughter Zdenka. I know that my father-in-law would dig up the dead with his own hands just to add a little fame to his name. I very much hate this trait. And Zdenek also said that he will add to his will that no one is allowed to write a dissertation or habilitation thesis on his misfortune. All of the paintings are at his place (with the father-in-law) and in the custody that you arranged. That’s probably enough for that first-class funeral. You yourself must know that it will not be a vibrant exhibition; in the best-case scenario – as he put it – it will be a smuggling of values. It doesn’t have anything to do with me. The artist in question and his paintings are as far away from me as, say, Bonnard. I do not have family relations with him. What is close to me is my autobiographical facts and nothing else. That’s why I would like for you to temporarily forget about those three paintings and talk it over with my father-in-law. From a human perspective, not with regards to me, but to other people.
Cordially yours, M. S.
If you feel like writing me, I can be reached at: Mr. D. Rimini, Hotel Embassy, 70 Street & Broadway, New York City, N. Y.