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Letter from Arendt to Heidegger. Heidelberg, 22.04.1928.

18/08/2012

“So you aren’t coming now – I think I understand. But still I have been anxious in the last few days, suddenly overcome by an almost baffling urgent fear.

What I want to tell you now is nothing but, at heart, a very frank assessment of the situation. I love you as I did on the first day – you know that, and I have always known it, even before this reunion. The path you showed me is longer and more difficult than I thought. It requires a long life in its entirety. The solitude of this path is self-chosen and is the only way of living given me. But the desolation that fate has kept in store not only would have taken from me the strength to live in the world, that is, not in isolation. it also would have blocked my path, which, as it is wide and not a leap, runs through the world. Only you have a right to know this, because you have always known it. And I think that even where I finally remain silent, I will never be untruthful. I always give as much as anyone wants from me, and the path itself is nothing but the commitment our love makes me responsible for. I would lose my right to live if I lost my love for you, but I would lose this love and its reality if I shirked the responsibility it forces on me.”

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