"I'm afraid that the next few months seem, if anything, even more full than when I wrote you last" - Typed Letters Signed
Collection of four TLS from the American linguist and public intellectual to Professor Irma Antonetto of the Associazione Culturale Italiana, regarding various invitations to speak in Italy. In the first (21 January 1970; 1 pp. on Massachusetts Institute of Technology stationary), Chomsky writes in part "I'm afraid that the next few months seem, if anything, even more full than when I wrote you last." A note handwritten to the bottom, likely written by Antonetto, indicates that Chomsky should be invited again for the 1971–72 season. That invitation would fare no better, though not for lack of interest on Chomsky's part, as his next letter (Feb.11,1971; 1 pp. on MIT stationary) indicates. "The best time for me would be early April, or if that is impossible, late March...it is still a bit indefinite, and of course depends on how the plans develop more explicitly from your end." Fifteen years later (May 11, 1986; 1 pp. on paper with computer-printed MIT header), their correspondence continues. "Thank you very much for renewing the ACI invitation for 1986–87. I really wish it were possible for me to consider it...as usual, I am booked up long in advance, through 1988 at the moment. I'm very sorry I cannot manage it." In the final letter (June 17, 1986; 1 pp. on paper with computer-printed MIT header) Chomsky writes, "I feel a bit embarrassed by now at being so reluctant to arrange a visit under the sponsorship of the Associazione. I do appreciate the long-term invitation you sent in your later of May 25. What I would suggest is that I wait to see if I have a trip to Europe that can be extended for a few days." Alas, it was not to be. The ACI website shows no record of Chomsky ever coming to speak. Expecting mailing creases, two holes to left side of each letter, else fine, 8.5 x 11 inches (21.3 x 27.9 cm.).
Noam Chomsky is a man of many hats, including linguist, historian, social critic, cognitive scientist, and philosopher. According to Margaret Boden's Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, he is the most-cited living author.
Irma Antonetto (1920-1993), was founder and director of the Associazione Culturale Italiana [Association of Italian Culture] for 46 years, during which time she brought some 400 philosophers, writers, scientists, artists, and Nobel winners to lecture in Italy. She was recipient of the 1964 Cavaliere al merito della Repubblica italiana.
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