Some beautiful exchanges between Pierre Maury, Karl Barth & Charlotte von Kirschbaum in 1936 & 1941


Pierre Maury cover photo on Pierre Maury Predicateur d'Evangile

Letter from Karl Barth to Pierre Maury, Basel, 19th January 1936.

“..Lollo Von Kirschbaum says a big hello. She has just constructed the following sentence: ‘Pierre Maury is one of the rare men of whom it is a pleasure to think about!’  I can only totally agree”.

Reymond, Nous Qui Pouvons Encore Parler, 86.

From Pierre Maury to Karl Barth, Lyon, 16th January 1941

“..I am full of pride to think that Mlle Von K(irschbaum) is translating “The Great Work of God” at this very moment. Tell her thank you!”

Reymond, Nous Qui Pouvons Encore Parler, 189.

From Charlotte von Kirschbaum to Pierre Maury, Basel, 15th June 1941.

“….The translation of “The Great Work of God” is finished and is now going to the editor, who will, however, not release it until after the summer months. I do want to particularly thank you once again for this work which I have unfortunately been often obliged to interrupt, too often, but which has given me a great joy, which was renewed and increased as I became more familiar with the whole of this text. I retranslated it three times from one end to the other, being each time more unsatisfied with its shape. This was much more difficult than when I translated Election and Faith; the reason being that your French text had still completely kept the direct sense of the spoken word, – a sense that I did not want to spoil, but which one could hardly render in German. I was strongly aware at this time how much our ways of thinking and our languages are different, how you can sometimes discard logical equivalents to which we are so pedantically attached, without this abandonment leaving an arbitrary impression. I hope that this work is now reasonably correct. After several surveys, Karl says that he is satisfied, but he still wants to read it all again before sending it to the editor. I’ve had the same experience as what happened formerly with the text on election: I admire your gift of saying things in a way that is always new, and to say them in such a way that one can read them with a wholly new interest, that one sees them in a new light. You’re going to laugh: I believe that, apart from you, only Karl has that sort of ability. (You’ll recognize, won’t you, that that is a great compliment?!!)”.

Reymond, Nous qui pouvons encore parler, pp 192, 193.


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