Ilan Vardi's translation from Paul Levy, Quelques aspets de la pens\'ee d'un mathematicien, Albert Blanchard, Paris 1970.

``I then had an impression like that of an explorer who, have climbed the summit of a mountain suddenly discovers new scenery. Imagine, for example, that a certain Smith, having been the first to climb up the Br'event, brings back a sketch of the Mont--Blanc range seen from this summit. Imagine that Jones, having in turn made the climb, writes: `I made a discovery that escaped Smith's attention: The Aiguille Verte, the Grandes Jorasses, the Aiguille du Midi, and the Mont--Blanc, as seen from the Br'event, follow each other in the indicated order.' doesn't Smith have the right to respond: `That goes without saying. One only has to look at my drawing?' But Jones can reply: `And it goes even better if you say it, and I'm the one who did.'

In my life, I have often been Smith... One day a Mr. Jones claimed to discover a theorem that I had failed to state. I happened to say to him: `I knew it, it's an obvious case of a well known theorem,' or more simply, `it goes without saying.' One day, Jones said to me: `And it goes even better when you say it.' It occurred to me that he might be rightldots I then promised myself that in the future I would describe the essential properties of the scene that I observed from the mountain top. In any case, I stayed upset with this Mr.~Jones, who in 1943, in a case of bad temper, published a letter putting my sincerity in doubt. He has no doubt forgotten it, and I want to forget it as well. I now have better relations with him. If I have spoken of this incident, it is to say that I have always been sincere and I will always be so. It should be understood that I am only speaking of my own personal history, from my subjective standpoint. Thus, I will later relate why I did not publish a result in 1902 that Ces`aro published in 1906. It is clear that history can only attribute it to Ces`aro; but I can only hope that I will be believed when I say that I knew it in 1902. In general, it is understood that, if I say of a theorem of Jones that I knew it before him, that does not mean that one is wrong to attribute it to Jones. I only had to publish it earlier and history will attest to the fact that I didn't. But I often regretted it. As a psychoanalyst would say, I have had complexes because of my regrets and I have worked them out by talking about them.''

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