On the train, Rozanov could not stop making fun of Pavel Berlin because his name is the name of a city. “And then there’s Jack London!” he said, “What kind of fad is this? Come on! I don’t call myself Petersburg. Chukovsky doesn’t call himself Moscow. We are humble people. And then there’s even Anatole France. I could be Vasilii Russia! I would be ashamed to show my face.”
I’m spending whole days organising a Anglo-American gift to the Russian people: 2,000,000 free copies of textbooks. I’m exhausted, I can’t sleep due to fatigue every night. See more
I’m getting old and my hair is turning grey. Soon I’ll be dead. And the winters only just beginning, there is no rest ahead. And so Kornei will have had it for nothing. Family? But Kolka is growing – he’s an unthinking egoist, and Lida is frail, green, tortured.
I called on RepinPainter, to ask what he wanted for the Buchanan portrait: 10,000 rubles or a golden plate. Repin (deathly pale, with the shadows of a dead man under his nose and eyes, yet still his ever-charming self): “You know, the plate is awfully nice, but I fear… I’m not worthy of it… It would be wasted on me… And how would I ever sell it? It’s hallmarked, it would be awkward”. See more
From this I understood that he needed the money.
I lent him 500 rubles to cover the dacha, at which he cheered up and took me to see the changes he had made to his garden, such as draining and drying out the Glinka Lake, installing lights and chopping down a number of trees to help the air circulate.
Life in Petrograd is good. The children are studying. My insomnia is troubling me less than before. I work all day and am paid handsomely for my efforts.
Dear Ilya Yefimovich, I have just received an assignment from the British ambassador to inform you, that early on Wednesday morning Sir George will visit the Penates. See more
I cannot vouch that he will succeed in bringing his plan to fruition, but I consider it my duty to fulfil his assignment. In vain I told the ambassador, that you consider it more rational to finish your portrait of his at the Embassy, yet he wishes at all costs to pay you a visit.
Again visited Kropotkin. The society assembled there was a rather motley crew, which exhausted his family. They look at every new arrival as if he is a misfortune that needs to be patiently dealt with until the end. See more
I started talking about Walt Whitman. “I, unfortunately, have no interest in him. What kind of poetry is it, that is expressed in prose. Moreover he was a faggot! Pardon me, but how can this be all right! In the Caucasus—whoever seduces a boy, is immediately struck with a dagger!”
I met General KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917 after his appointment as Supreme Commander in Chief. My general impression of Kornilov is as follows: he is, first and foremost, a soldier, and he doesn't understand a great deal when it comes to complex political questions. See more
During our failure at Tarnopol, General Kornilov decided to carry out executions despite the abolition of the death penalty, and nevertheless it was he, the man who actually introduced the punishment, who was offered the post of Supreme Commander in Chief.
This promotion created and strengthened in his consciousness the idea that it is not observing the letter of the law, but carrying out his duty, even if it is very severe, which will be justified and approved.
Masha said this morning, “You know, there’s a dictatatorship in Russia!” Out of nervousness. Just a month ago I wondered how the bourgeoisie would pull the military and the treasury and the political authorities over to its side; it seemed despite all the laws of history that Russia would, after centuries of autocracy, immediately become a socialist state. See more
But no, history does not yield herself so easily. And thus, with a wave of her hand, she tore power away from the front guard of radical socialism and gave it to the moderate socialists; she will tear it away from the socialists and pass it on to the cadets—it will happen in three weeks at the latest. Everything moves that quickly nowadays. The historical process has been accelerated.
I don’t sleep at all. For the second night in a row am reading Stendhal’s “The Red and the Black,” a ravishing, thick, two-volume novel. It stole the whole morning from me. In annoyance that it took me away from work, I threw it aside. Otherwise you cannot tear yourself away from it—you need to make a heroic gesture. See more
Five minutes later the wife told me about a Bolshevik demonstration in Petrograd yesterday. It seemed to me less interesting than the invented sufferings of Julienne that happened in 1830.
How I envy people who have money!