Stefan Themerson. Korzybski, my dog, and I.


Original typescript of an unpublished story (6p. with corrections in pencil) including a short letter to Belgian author and art critic Freddy de Vree. 7 March 1967.

With original photograph of Stefan Themerson posing in his London apartment leaning on a radio, in front of a large drawing of Franciszka Themerson. Late sixties. 16,5:21,5 cm.


“I realise of course that/ this piece may be not at all what you/ expected. If this is so, please do not/ hesitate and send it back. All apolo-/ gies will be mine./ Love Stefan”

This story’s structure is identical to Themerson’s ‘Critics and my talking dog’ (posthumously published in 2001). Both stories begin with the ‘brainmodification’ of the storyteller’s dog Brutus, resulting in a dialogue between him and his dog.

The procedure replaces the dog’s highly developed sense of smell for a more visual observance, making discussions of all kinds of intellectual matters between dog and author possible.

In this typescript, both mostly talk about Korzybski, the engineer of general semantics. In ‘Critics and my talking dog’ art, Diderot and French culture are the main ingredients for the conversation.

At the end of both stories, the author takes Brutus for a walk. He’s feeling sorry for Brutus, who’s now only able to detect a bitch when he actually sees one.

Regarding certain corrections – for instance, the word ‘she-dog’ was changed into ‘bitch’ – ‘Korzybski, my dog, and I’ must be an earlier draft of ‘Critics and my talking dog’. The colophon of ‘Critics and my talking dog’ states the story is believed to have been written around 1950. Our conclusion is the published text was likely not written before 1967.