September 30 , 1958
Dear Dr. Federn:
Your letter of September 22, postcard of Sept. 24, and letter of September 25, all arrived on time. I made two attempts to contact you by phone (one the other week, and one yesterday) but there was no answer. Actually I could all put in a letter, but I thought that in your excitement you would like to hear me and know my reaction. My feeling is Janus-kind. I am very happy for you that you, after a long interval, go through the throes of bringing out a new idea, a discovery as you think; on the other hand, for my work, I think your going astray, may be less fortunate. It is quite possible that some experiences of Amenhotep III were in the legend attributed to his heir—Akhnaton. But from all what you rather enigmatically wrote—I cannot see any reasonable point of collating the legend of Oedipus with a generation earlier than where it belongs. At first and for years you resolutely negated a possibility that this legend had for its prototypes the later kings of the 18th Dynasty, and so you said no so long ago to Elisheva. Now you remove Oedipus and Jocasta to a generation too early. In my story anyone and everyone of the group (Akhnaton, Tiy, Ay, Smenkhkare, Tutenkhamen, etc.) has his image revived in the Greek legend. I do not see where are your strong arguments, and see only the missing identifications. You are free and even obliged to go following your thoughts, but in order to help me, please, be not so enigmatic, first, and then, follow my trend of thought, second. In other words, I wish to have some suggestions useful for my work. You say you have solved the riddle of the Sphinx upon reading my “Oedipus and Akhnaton”, finding the solution in “Cippi of Horus”. Where can I read this? The plagues of times earlier than the Exodus were personified in their agent—Hathor, or the Sphinx, and this famous structure at Gizeh was built long before the Exodus and the Middle Kingdom. But in the plagues of the Exodus the people of Egypt may have seen a revival of the activities of the same Hathor. I do not get you when after having studied my “Ages” I, you ascribe how Exodus to the time of Thutmoses IV (“is now definitely established”)—by whom? By you?
Of course I appreciate that some scholar found in a newly published inscription of Hatschepsut the name that could be possibly read Solomon. But what childish reason it is not to communicate me this very intgeresting item (already published), to me, but in this enigmatic way (“I do not dare to tell you where [published]).
All in all I am happy that you are enthusiastic about this idea of finding the origin of the legend of Oedipus in Egypt; so after all I was not on a wrong track; some of the literature you indicated I had had already in my mands. I write you this in advance of my call by phone. I intend to be tomorrow in New York. If you think it is worthless to work on the German version of “Earth in Upheaval”, I shall inform so Doubleday from whom today came a letter urging me to return the translation. I am not sure that I have the right to insist on a new translation, but certainly I have the right to insist on a correct translation.
Today I shall show a few pages of the translation to Erich Kahler, an author who lives in Princeton, to hear his opinion, too. The demand to publish vol. 2 of “Ages” is very insistent, esp. in England. So please at every possible occastion of being in the libraries and seeing new literature, esp. on excavations, try to find additional arguments, of archeological nature, to my scheme. Prof. Schaeffer wrote me that I have to go through the records of later excavations in the lands of the Middle East; he gave also a list of some of these excavations and publications; he thouht that these records would be adverse to my scheme; but, since I trust in the correctness of my scheme, I shall also expect to find with every new excavation some new difficulties for the established scheme and support for the reconstruction. I have written a long letter to Schaeffer, several weeks ago, but have not had yet a reply; probably he is already in the East, excavating.
By writing this I may our future telephone talk—should I reach you by phone (I shall try during the day, and before evening)—conciser; but should I miss you again, just write me, and I shall call you on another day.
My energy returned to me in full, and I hope to produce soon Oedipus and Ages, with your help.
Warm regards from Elisheva.