“It is a curious fate to be objectified alive. Think with humor while reading": First Edition of Anton Reiser's Albert Einstein: A Biographical Portrait; Inscribed by Albert Einstein with an original poem
New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1930.
First edition of this Einstein biography written by Rudolf Kayser, a German literary historian and husband to Albert Einstein’s stepdaughter Ilse under the pseudonym Anton Reiser. Octavo, original cloth, frontispiece of Einstein. Inscribed by Albert Einstein with an original poem on the front free endpaper in German, which translates as, “It is a curious fate to be objectified alive. Think with humor while reading. A. Einstein.” From the library of Alexandre and Catherine Barjansky with her ownership signature to the verso of the front panel and notation below Einstein’s inscription, “S.S. ‘Belgenland,’ New-York, 14/XII/30.” Russian sculptress Catherine Barjansky, her celebrated cellist husband, and Einstein were all close friends of King Albert I and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium. Barjansky described her experiences creating the now famed and very intimate sculptural portraits of Elizabeth and Albert in her 1947 joint memoir with her husband Portraits with Backgrounds. Catherine had an international career, living at times in Rome, Berlin, New York, Vienna, Paris, and Brussels. Einstein was in New York at the time he inscribed the present volume, having arrived aboard the Belgenland three days earlier. Einstein travelled aboard the Belgenland several times. He was on the ship in March 1933, intending to return home to Germany, when he learned the alarming news that the Nazis had ransacked his summer cottage in Caputh. He soon decided it was too dangerous to return to Germany and when the ship docked in Antwerp, Belgium, he immediately reported to the German consulate in Brussels, where he turned in his German passport and renounced his citizenship. Einstein returned to America in October, beginning a new life as a member of the faculty of Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study. In near fine condition. A complex and desirable association.
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