Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chapter 48 - The Institute Of General Semantics: Part 6 - Mira Returns

Korzybski: A Biography (Free Online Edition)
Copyright © 2014 (2011) by Bruce I. Kodish 
All rights reserved. Copyright material may be quoted verbatim without need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder, provided that attribution is clearly given and that the material quoted is reasonably brief in extent.

The death of his friend Calvin Bridges on December 27, at the age of 49 after a brief illness, was sad news for Alfred. Still, on the whole, 1938 had concluded positively—both for the Institute and for Alfred personally. Crane’s support seemed reasonably secure. Alfred’s work and the Institute were getting national publicity. Time Magazine had featured an article on him and the Institute under “Education” in its November 21 edition. 

He also had another paper accepted and presented in abstract (since he couldn’t appear in person) at the December 29th AAAS Mathematics Section meeting in Richmond, Virginia: “General Semantics: Extensionalization in Mathematics, Mathematical Physics, and General Education. Paper II: Thalamic Symbolism and Mathematics”. And Mira had returned home.

Her ship, coming from Trinidad, had docked in New York City in November. The private apartment Alfred had rented for them around the corner from the Institute was still filled with unpacked boxes. He had not spent much time there, and had even sublet the apartment for a while, sleeping on his office floor. Now he had to unpack and get the apartment ready. He asked Mira to delay coming to Chicago and she spent the month in New York and Boston, visiting friends. When she arrived at the end of the month, one can assume a warm welcome from Alfred who had genuinely missed her. In their letters, they had seemed to come to some kind of agreement as to how to renew their relationship.

But some things would have to be different. Alfred had made clear in letters that he did not want her to be involved with his work or the Institute. Given her interest in general semantics, she would find this difficult but would do her best to comply. (Alfred did relent on this a bit, since over the next year and a half he allowed her to attend three of his seminars.) Although he still expressed some desire for a personal life with her, he had told her that he hadn’t initially anticipated the degree to which the Institute would dominate his time. He didn’t expect this to change anytime soon. Mira had said she understood this. Ever hopeful, she believed that despite Alfred’s conditions they would be able to share some kind of decent life together.

You may download a pdf of all of the book's reference notes (including a note on primary source material and abbreviations used) from the link labeled Notes on the Contents page. The pdf of the Bibliography, linked on the Contents page contains full information on referenced books and articles. 

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