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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
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Milly Witkop-Rocker

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will remain the inspiration to me that she always was. From the very start she had taken the strongest interest in my work, and just a few months before her death, when I had a chance to resume my interrupted work, she said smilingly: "The tapping of your typewriter keys is music to my ears." Her boundless devotion made possible the full development of my creative powers, and will be an inspiration in the future.

I may say without false modesty that I always have had the strength to face calamities, but I have never thought of myself as a hero, even less as a martyr, as there was something in both that was alien to my nature. I endured suffering because I had to, not because I wanted to. I am not stronger than others nor weaker. I shall continue to work, not because I want to deaden my sorrow but because I have the inner certainty that this was Milly's wish, too

Great suffering should purify a man, direct his thinking inward, make him milder and more human. It should deepen his understanding and strengthen his character. But when anguish destroys his moral fibre his powers of resistance crumble and the energy so necessary for a new start is dissipated. Suffering can become a tyrant that puts the will in shackles and robs it of its purpose. I was not made for this.


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