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Project 1917 is a series of events that took place a hundred years ago as described by those involved. It is composed only of diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents

There are rumours in the press that I am one of the organisers of the radical democratic party. I should like to declare that I remain what I was before, a social democrat.

Do not get too carried away, do not allow yourself to succumb to naive optimism and warn others against this disease. The situation is very difficult and dangerous. Take cake of your son; his strength will still be needed by this country. We won’t soon get over this chaos of destruction and construction, this fever of passions and illusions. Be healthy, consider everything in a calm manner, work, work!

Turned 49

Gorky does not like the Russian peasant, who is so dear to Tolstoy. He shows the peasant more often as someone wild, stupid and cruel. A person from the masses whom Gorky sympathises with is the worker. But it seems that with age, and with the rise of fame, Gorky has calmed down.

Quite practically, it seems, will arise the question of returning to Russia. From all sides this question rises. In Bern, Zinoviev and I discussed the prospects with others. They learned from Temps that Gorky has responded to the request of the Volunteer, Agafonov and others with a telegram: revenez tous, to which they responded with a telegram to Kerensky and Chkheidze to “arrange all measures” for transportation. And today a telegram from St.Petersburg has arrives in Temps: “The bankers handed Kerensky 5 million francs collected by them for organising the transportation of emigrants.” I begin to think that my idea is not utopia: to charter a streamer, and from England to be delivered under the escort of a Russian torpedo boat, which more or less guarantees against an attack.

The situation is very difficult and dangerous. The slogan “Down with the War" is an idiotic one in the new conditions. A victory for the Germans is a victory for reactionaries. We oughtn’t to pin our hopes on the troops – ignorant Russian muzhiks togged out in greatcoats, they have no understanding of this moment and won’t come to appreciate its significance anytime soon.

The revolution has just begun, it will last for years, counter-revolution is possible, and reactionary ideas and moods inevitably rise. We won not because we are a force, but because the government was weak. What is happening here is facing great dangers. We have committed a political revolution and mist consolidate our gain - that is the meaning of the event and that is the task of the moment.

The most frightful and fantastic types human specimens imaginable have crawled out onto the  streets of Petersburg. Where have these people been hiding? One imagines that the gates have been opened to some vast asylum in the slums, in which these people, spurned and rejected by life, once wiled away their miserable lives. While quietly meandering around the city, they give an insuppressible impression of a people struggling to recall some lost memory. See more

The events currently unfolding appear grandiose, moving even, but the meaning behind them is not as profound and great as everyone takes it to be. I am trying to remain scepitcal, although I am also moved to tears by the sights and songs of the soldiers marching to the State Duma. We can never go back, but we’ll not move much forward. A sparrow’s step maybe. A lot of blood will be spilt – more than has ever been spilt before.

Soldiers fraternize with the public and the mood, in general, is improving. It is difficult to understand how all this will end. Take care of our son.

“The soldiers are fraternizing with the public and in general there’s a positive mood. But it's difficult to say how all this will end. See more

There are no pleasures, only profanity.

I would like to give you some good news, but there is none of it!

Dear friend! I’ve learnt that you are interested in our venture- to publish a range of biographies for children- and that you wish to undertake more than just the biography of Cervantes. If you limited yourself to just that, goodness only knows!

Издание «Луча» отодвигается месяца на два в будущее. Нам «изменили» некоторые ловкие люди, я склонен думать, что им было приказано изменить нам. Не очень хотят видеть «Луч» служители нечистой силы.

Прошлой ночью видел себя фокусником; стоял на сцене великолепного театра, пред великолепной публикой в трико белого цвета и уверял зрителей: See more

I work like elephant. Have caught a cold, lost my voice and I sneeze. But nothing of it!

Life is increasingly becoming a nightmare, and especially difficult for those who have no personal life. Personal life is, at any rate, that moderately dirty and uncomfortable place where one can rest.

When I finally collapse, many numskulls will be frightfully shocked to learn of how great a capacity I had for work. This, probably, is my best quality; at the very least it is the only one of them that is remotely good.

At yesterday’s meeting on defence in the Mariinsky Palace the minister for transport presented his report: supplies of fuel for the Nikolaevsky Railway will be exhausted in four days, and the situation on other railways is no better; some railways are down to two days’ worth of fuel! This is why goods are not getting into the city. There are 36,000 wagons full of various goods and foodstuffs stranded along the lines, but there are no locomotives to move them, and where locomotives can be found the majority are not in working condition. The situation is critical. If railway transport is stopped for two weeks there will be a famine. There is already no flour here.

Macaroni sellers. Naples, Italy. Between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900

Had dinner at seven with Benois. Gorky, who I found most agreeable, was also there. He told us the most engaging stories of Naples, Capri and Pompei, and of the morals, traditions and celebrations of the people there.

Age: 49
Lives in: Petrograd, Russian Empire
Occupation: writer, publicist
Interests: art, science
Views: social democratic
Job: magazine "Letopis", newspaper "Luch", publishing house "Parus"


in Petrograd
in Moscow