Leave Petrograd—it is a rather pleasant dream, and I am ready to go to Kamchatka, to Solovky, to the devil! In general, I live in a spiritual contradiction with myself and don’t see any other outlet but cultural work.
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.
The weather was comparatively cool. The day went as usual. Before dinner itself came a good piece of news about the beginning of the assault on the southwestern front. After two days of artillery fire, our army took the hostile position and took into captivity about 170 officers and 10,000 troops, six vehicles and 24 machine guns.
They’re no longer giving the milk out in the promised quantities. In the “bar house” there are six jewish families who consume an immense amount of milk, and as a result are being threatened by the police – it is, in a word, an uproar. See more
There is absolutely no oil, nor potatoes, nor white bread – we’re living on handouts from a butcher and a fisherman, but we can’t totally count on them. That’s the state of the boasted “prosperity” of the village, which our outspoken patriots scampered off with only six months ago!
What right do we (the brains of the country) have, with our lousy bourgeois distrust, to insult the intelligent, calm and knowledgeable revolutionaries? Nerves are highly strung. Again, I would not be surprised if they slaughter us in the name of the order.
I returned home completely without effort, and my poor little baby Chi-fu felt worse and could not recover herself for a long time, an unhappy dog. Good news was also coming from the front, our troops switched to a victorious offensive, took 10,000 prisoners.
Finally, I’ve been given a passport on behalf of the Provisional Government; but I still had to obtain a visa. It was the first time I’d heard that word, before the war there were no visas. The day came where I had all three visas – English, Norwegian and Swedish. See more
Diego Rivera was happy for me – I’m going to the revolution, and he has already seen the revolution in Mexico; neither is a pleasant business. Modigliani said to me: “Maybe we’ll see each other, and maybe we won’t. It seems to me that all of us will either be imprisoned or killed…”.
The cynically naïve egoism and dull ignorance (“I’m young, I want to live, I don’t want to go to war”) of deserters is caused by the Bolsheviks preaching, which is of course worse than any bellicose sentiments incited by the Tsar’s club. I’ll say it openly – it’s worse. The animal reveals a lack of conscience.