Conversation with Husserl and others, 26/12/31
One of a group at Husserl's for Christmas asked him how he went about it to write a book. Although he writes a tremendous amount — almost all day every day —, the smallest part is written with any book in mind. Rather is the product in the form of meditations, not destined for other eyes. After the pauses at noon or in the evening he writes recapitulations or goes through the analyses of the previous working period anew, so that the manuscripts contain many repetitions. These meditations he reads over many times, whenever the same subject arises again, and on re-reading he often corrects the earlier manuscripts. The subjects of the meditations are always determined by his own current interest, which is largely undetermined by what interests other people. When it is a matter of writing a book he brushes aside all these manuscripts and writes freely and uninterruptedly, in a sort of trance. Thus the Ideen and the Formale and transzendentale Logik were each written in six weeks. Certain additions to the Ideen were made in proof, and Husserl can see today that these additions are inferior to the main text.
Cairns Dorion (1976). Conversations with Husserl and Fink, Nijhoff, Den Haag.
Cairns Dorion (1976). Conversation with Husserl and others, 26/12/31, in Conversations with Husserl and Fink, Den Haag, Nijhoff, pp. 60-61.