Letter from EG to Dreiser, Theodore, Sep 29, 1926

By Emma Goldman (1926)

Entry 652


From: holdoffhunger [id: 1]


Untitled Anarchism Letter from EG to Dreiser, Theodore, Sep 29, 1926

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(1869 - 1940)

Russian-American Mother of Anarcho-Communism

: She is an Anarchist, pure and simple. She represents the idea of Anarchism as framed by Josiah Warren, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy. Yet she also understands the psychologic causes which induce a Caserio, a Vaillant, a Bresci, a Berkman, or a Czolgosz to commit deeds of violence. (From: Hippolyte Havel Bio.)
• "The individual educator imbued with honesty of purpose, the artist or writer of original ideas, the independent scientist or explorer, the non-compromising pioneers of social changes are daily pushed to the wall by men whose learning and creative ability have become decrepit with age." (From: "Minorities Versus Majorities," by Emma Goldman.)
• "...Anarchism, or any other social theory, making man a conscious social unit, will act as a leaven for rebellion. This is not a mere assertion, but a fact verified by all experience." (From: "The Psychology of Political Violence," by Emma Go....)
• "Man's greatest battles have been waged against man-made obstacles and artificial handicaps imposed upon him to paralyze his growth and development. Human thought has always been falsified by tradition and custom, and perverted false education in the interests of those who held power and enjoyed privileges." (From: "The Place of the Individual in Society," by Emma ....)

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Letter from EG to Dreiser, Theodore, Sep 29, 1926

 Photo by ho visto nina volare, CC BY-SA License

Photo by ho visto nina volare,
CC BY-SA License

Paris, Sept. 29th 1926

Dear Theodore Dreiser

Before you leave Paris I want to let you know how much I have enjoyed the evening with you and thank you for it. I can not begin to tell you how hungry I am for some of the people who have been in my life in America-people who began their struggle almost at the same time with me and whom I have seen grow and do worth while things. To me it was never so important whether these people have chosen the thorny path that was mine, but that they set out to give something out of the ordinary. You are among them and one who has certainly given lasting work. And what is more, you have not stopped growing, that is more than can be said for other of our own generation. It is therefore not idle flattery when I tell you that my heart leaped when I read that you were in Paris and that I might see you.

As you said yourself, I had many people around me who while I was in America showed considerable interest in my work and friendship for me. But the Russian deb[n]ole and the war have shifted all values, most of all the values of integrity and fearlessness. The very people who posed as my friends are now among my bitterest enemies. That is their right. I certainly never asked for anything that could not be given voluntarily and gladly. But that makes my loneliness more poignant. For now I have only very few whom I would call my friends, who really care whether I am dead or alive. I confess I did not think that you were the [many be]? very few because we have been thrown together less than I have been with others. Imagine then my joy to find you so eager and so intensely interested in my struggle and the things I want to do. Really it was a revelation, a bright ray from a dark horizon. It warned me all over and made me feel that I am not so terribly cut off from everything as I thought I was. I can no thank you enough for it dear Theodore Dreiser. No matter whether you will succeed in helping me in the task I have before me, my autobiography, or if you will never be able to so any thing for me, the warm, friendly spirit or Monday night will always remain with me. Thanks old man.

I should be very happy to hear from you occasionally. The American Express Co. Paris, will reach me, later I will send you another address. Be sure to address me always under E Colton.

Please remember me most kindly to Mrs Dreiser. I liked her immensely. Good luck to both of you and a pleasant trip back home.


Emma Goldman

(Source: Emma Goldman Papers Project, U.C. Berkeley.)

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September 29, 1926
Letter from EG to Dreiser, Theodore, Sep 29, 1926 — Publication.

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