Letter to Jaromír John (1941)

16 Oct. 41
Dear Sir, Forgive me for bothering you with this trifling matter. An opportunity has come my way that, given the parlous state of my family finances, of which you are aware, I have accepted. A by no means especially illustrious publishing house has asked me to create a version of Don Quixote for children. I have a knife at my throat and about three months to do the job. It won’t bring me fame, but I simply couldn’t turn down the offer of the few thousand that I will be in great need of in the near future. But then I realised with a shudder that I would be doing something that you have already done for Orbis, and so I would simply like to ask if you have anything against the plan. If I don’t do it, someone else will, so this is kind of like opting for the lesser of two opportunistic evils. I see no competition at all. Your Quixote was a literary event, whereas mine – if I may even take the liberty of calling it mine – will be thrown hastily together, though I will do my best not to serve up total garbage to children. So it is with shame that I confide in you, in the hope that you understand and take pity on me. And I await your reply and your kind consent to take up this offer.
Otherwise, I think back to a short stay with you that I wanted never to end and a study-cum-workshop that I envy you somewhat, and I look forward to fate once again bringing us together.
Yours faithfully,
Kamil Bednář
Subject: In the network
Author: Bednář, Kamil
Title: Letter to Jaromír John (1941)
Licence: Free license

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