August 5, 1957
Dear Dr. Federn:
I have spent now five days with prof. Claude Schaeffer. He is unusualy charming; he is also very open minded and a change of six hundred years in ancient chronology does not frighten him. However, I found that his wife is a little different; and though she does not know anything in history, she expressed herself that the reconstruction would damage her husband’s work, since he “rehabilitated” the Canaanites and making them 600 years younger would deprive them of the glory of being the real creators of the culture that goes under the Hebrew name. She did not say so much, but if not she, I believe he would be even more helpful. He carries all these days Ages vol. I with him; he asks me daily to spend several hours in discussing the problems; he is prepared to follow my trend [...] and he will read the proofs of Ages [vol. II] which I leave tomorrow with [him. Then he] returns to Paris, and from the to [London] (Orient. Congress, also a meeting w[ith ...] and then via Venezia and the Greek Islands [...] work in the Middle East. He is p[repared to] choose from his material samples [for radiocarbon] tests; however, at an occasion [th...] wrote to a Dutch Univ. for such [samples] the fees asked were prohibitive.
We even discussed the writing of a book (World wide destructions in [historical times] as evidenced by archaeology, geology and [history]; he is writing the first part ; but prese[tly we have] shelved the plan for a later day [...] discussion.
Personally we like each other [...and] he is full of praise of “Worlds” and [...] is very serious about “Ages”. [But] he wishes first read vol. 2 before [coming] to conclusions.
My feeling is that he is not st[udent of] history (he admits that after Ramses III [he does] not know history] and possibly f[or this] reason he can easier give up e[stablished] notions; but certainly he is [very] broad-minded. I wish he wou[ld not be] influenced by his family. His [wife is the] sister of Emil Forer, the Hittit[ologist].
Our trip was very successfu[l...]. From Gardiner I had a nice le[tter in which] he explained that after the accident [with his nose] in cast—and this made him in[accessible] to visitors. In London I saw my [literary] agent; in Paris, too, as well [the translator] of “Earth” (I still work on the l[atter] and tomorrow in Zurich I may [...] .... publisher Frau Dr. Oprecht and [...] discuss the idea she had of [a concise book] in which I should discuss all [my books] (“All Roads” or “Alle Wege”).
To return we hope on Sept. [...] to Europa Verlag (Oprecht), 5 R[...] may reach me. My wife and I [send you] very good wishes. Upon return [I will devote] myself to finishing “Ages” and [“Oedipus”].
How is everything with you? How do you feel? Is you article already printed?
[the gaps are due to our photocopy of this letter being cut off on the right hand side; the words inside the square brackets are tentative restorations.]