Einstein, Albert (1879 – 1955)

Einstein on the meaning of life: one can feel it ‘but not understand it with the mind’

A superb autograph quotation signed by Einstein in German at the bottom of a 4″ x 7.5″ bookplate belonging to Arthur Leonard Ross, affixed to the front pastedown of a first edition of About Zionism: Speeches and Letters by Professor Albert Einstein. In bold and clear fountain pen, Einstein writes, in full: ‘Den Sinn des Lebens kann man fühlen, aber nicht mit dem Verstand begreifen [One can feel the meaning of life, but not understand it with the mind], Albert Einstein, 1932’.

The book, published in New York by Macmillan in 1931, is a hardcover with dust jacket, 4.75″ x 8″, 94 pages. Signed page is in very fine condition. The book has Einstein postage stamps affixed to the first free end page, the front panel of the jacket split along the spine, losses to edges of the jacket, and clipped corners to front flap, otherwise fine.

Arthur Leonard Ross, a New York attorney who represented the likes of anarchist Emma Goldman and writer H. L. Mencken, was evidently a rare book and autograph collector, whose ex-libris bookplate was specifically designed to leave space for authorial autographs. On this stunning example, Einstein not only signed with his less common full name, but offered his personal advice on the ultimate question: the meaning of life. As someone with the intellectual capacity to understand the inner workings of the universe, his conclusion — that one can only feel the meaning of life — is suggestive of the spiritual realm.

Extremely rare and desirable in this format.