The intelligentsia’s favourite pastime is to put up protests: they’ll occupy a theatre, close a newspaper, destroy a church – protest. It is the true sign of anemia: it means that they didn’t particularly like their newspaper or their church.
Also going: Blok, Akhmatova, Sologub, Teffi, Ivnev, ZamyatinMarine engineer, writer, Mandelstam.
Can the intelligentsia work with the Bolsheviks? It can, and it must. I am not well-informed about politics and do not presume to make judgements about how the intelligentsia and the Bolsheviks may reach an agreement. But the deep impetus driving this agreement will be musical. See more
Personality aside, the same music is playing among the intelligentsia and the Bolsheviks, The intelligentsia has always been revolutionary. The decrees of the Bolsheviks are emblems of the intelligentsia. Slogans that have been thrown down, and need to be reworked. Isn’t “God’s land” an emblem of the forward-thinking intelligentsia? It’s true that the Bolsheviks do not say the word “God’s”; they are more likely to curse and take the name of the devil, but as they say, “you can’t throw words out of a song”. The intelligentsia’s bitter resentment of the Bolsheviks is superficial. It seems that it is already passing. People think differently from the way they speak. A sense of agreement begins to appear - musical agreement.
Condescending demagoguery is a great sin. The more proud and spiteful the intelligentsia is, the more horrible and bloody everything can become around. This elastic, dry, tasteless “adogmatic dogmatism,” spiced up with patronizing soulfulness is terrifying and dangerous. Behind this soulfulness is blood. The soul attracts blood. Only spirit can fight the horror. Why obstruct ways to spirituality by soulfulness? The beautiful is already hard without it. And spirit is music. A demon once ordered Socrates to listen to the spirit of music.
With your whole body, whole heart, whole mind—listen to the Revolution.
And the best people say: “We are disappointed in our own nation”; the best people sneer, puff themselves up, vituperate, don’t see anything around them but rudeness and brutality (though the human is here, close by); the best people even say: “there was no revolution at all”; those who could not find their places in the world out of hate for “tsarism” are suddenly ready to launch themselves into the arms of the tsar himself if only they could forget what is happening now; yesterday’s “defeatists” wring their hands over “German domination”; yesterday’s “internationalists” weep about “Holy Rus’”; born atheists are ready to light candles and pray for the defeat of enemies external and internal.
To the question: "what is to be done?" I can only answer for the artist. On the question of food, of filling empty thrones, of parliament, of religious processions in the streets- I do not require an answer, although I don’t have enough bread, just like everyone else.
1) The artist must know that the Russia we knew doesn't exist anymore and will never come back. They must know that there is no Europe that we used to know. The world entered a new era.
2) The artist must burn with anger against everything, that is trying to galvanize the corpse. For that anger not to turn into malice (malice is a great temptation), they need to preserve the fire of knowledge about the great era, of which no base malice is unworthy.
3) The artist must be ready to face even greater events and know how to bow down before them.
There recently emerged in the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies a large schism among the Bolsheviks. Zinoviev, Trotsky et al considered a public declaration essential, whatever its results might be, and they regarded these results with pessimism. Lenin alone believes that seizing the power of democracy will certainly extirpate war and right all over the country. See more
Thus, the former among others are supporters of a public declaration, but some view it with despair, and Lenin sees in it the foresight of goodness. Some suggest that a public declaration isn’t necessary, for it would undermine suffrage in the Institutional assembly and in the party of the Bolsheviks, suffrage which is right now strong.
Two phone calls with Gippius and Merezhkovsky. A phone call with Vengerov (he wants to elect me to the Literature fund. I am so old).
My table is covered with Belyaev's case files (the former Minister of the Military).
For a while I have had no desire to make notes. Everything is going to pieces. There is a kind of sickness in people, and a large part of it is dishonesty. I squeak under anxiety and labour. There are no rays of light. It advances hunger and the cold. The war is not ending, although there are many rumours.
Yesterday my mother had a seizure.
Labour days. This evening we are meeting for the first time- the literary commission. Batyushkov explained our situation, then we three remained (Morozov, myself and Piksanov). Morozov recited the contents of eight plays. We conversed then parted ways, having received four plays and a stack of tickets to the Alexandrinsky and Makhailovsky theatre for the whole season.
There is agitation in the streets (people are huddled on street corners, ladies are inciting panic in trams, everywhere it is said that Germans will come here, everywhere one can hear: “Anyways there will be death from starvation”). See more
By evening the excitement seemed to die down, settle across the streets (but I imagine how the phone works!), because it began to rain softly.
Barely my bride became my wife, purple worlds of the first revolution got us into whirlpool. Me, long ago secretly desiring for death, got into grey purple, silver stars, pearls and amethyst of the snowstorm. My wife followed me, and for her this transition (from ease to difficulties, from permissible to not permissible) was more painful, more difficult than it was for me. See more
After the past snowstorm have opened the iron void of the day, which continued, however, to threaten us with the new Blizzard, to conceal its promises. These were years between revolutions tired and scotched body and soul. Now again the hurricane comes (can not determine the color and the smell yet).
There is so much to do that I have lost motivation and haven’t been working with particular efficiency. I am preparing a report, however, and Lyuba has been helping me with the stenography along with a few other hired hands. Our chairman and the others have left for the Conference, and I have been taking advantage of it—I swim ever more intensively and only work for half the day.