Paris Post War

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. . .I feel (very slightly) embarrassed by you since you became a Communist. Not that I am in the slightest bit opposed to the Communists*. Not at all. But I suppose I have always found those that I have known to be excessively governed by their faith even with regard to their friendships. So I am scared to appear useless to a Communist or sometimes even, if I may so express it - dangerous.

But you have never struck me in this way; the opposite in fact. . . Lots of love, Jean.

*On the contrary, I would like to live in a communist society. It is the transition (and the difficulties of transition) which seem to me here and there to cramp Communists and lead to what one might call (although not exactly) their hypocrisy

or their inconsistency (anti-patriotic one day, patriotic

the next, etc.)

From Jean Paulhan-Francis Ponge, Correspondances 1923-68 (Gallimard, Paris 1986)

(Research: Kate Oldfield)