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No Mystery

In response to:

Atomic Germans from the July 1, 1971 issue

To the Editors:

As Planner and Editor of World Perspectives Series, I feel that I must correct some serious misstatements in Mr. Rudolf Peierls’s review of Physics and Beyond, Encounters and Conversations, Volume Forty-two, by Werner Heisenberg in World Perspectives. Mr. Peierls’s review was published in the July 1, 1971, issue of The New York Review.

Mr. Peierls is mistaken when he refers to the German original of this volume which he later alludes to as the English version in World Perspectives. In fact, the original manuscript of the Heisenberg volume, Physics and Beyond, was contracted for more than five years ago as a volume in World Perspectives, to be published first in English for which purpose it was translated from the German manuscript. The German rights for this volume were purchases by the German publisher after the volume was written for World Perspectives in the American publication of this series.

Actually, the German version should have had the same title, i.e., Physics and Beyond, as the English. I regret that Mr. Peierls states that a mystery seems to surround the change in title between the English and the German. No mystery exists since the German edition of Professor Heisenberg’s volume in this series should have been issued subsequent to its publication in World Perspectives in English.

Ruth Nanda Anshen

World Perspectives

New York City

Rudolf Peierls replies:

I accept the correction. The idea that the version published earlier was not the original one would not easily occur to an outsider. I still prefer the title of the German version, but was clearly in error in adding this difference to the list of complaints against the translation.

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