Thursday, January 18, 2018

The first letter to Janusz Korczaks newspaper The Little Review - 1926

The first uncorrected letter to The Little Reviev

The first corrected letter looks as follows: 
 “During the summer, we lived in Józefów near the station. Once, when I went out to wait for daddy, an express train from Otwock arrived and ran over a small doggie; the train cut off its paw. The little dog was squirming in horrible pain. A man couldn’t watch the little dog suffer and killed it. We dug a hole and buried the doggie.” 

I am answering this letter (wrote Korczak) not as if I was replying in a newspaper, but as in a private letter, to a friend. Therefore: “Dear boy, I remember when as a little boy I saw a ran-over cat in Muranów. The cat was meowing terribly. It kept jumping up in a strange manner. It wanted to run away but kept falling down. I saw blood. It was moving its front paws, but its back paws were just hanging there. Later, at night, I dreamt about this little cat. And I remember how we buried a canary: my sister and I. We cried when we came back from the funeral and the cage was empty. Later I had seen already a lot of horrible things: how people and animals suffer. Now I don’t cry anymore, I am just sad. Sometimes adults laugh when a child cries. They shouldn’t do that. A child hasn’t seen much suffering, so is not used to it yet.” I would write even more in a private letter. And now think about this—can I give such long answers to 47 letters in the newspaper. There wouldn’t be space for that. I will do this: every week, I will answer one person with a big letter in the newspaper or by mail, and I will reply briefly to others. I will print one whole letter, and put just excerpts from the others in the paper (you may say: fragments—passages—snippets).