My preoccupation with the "hidden" and "concealed" values helped me to escape the bad side of native and rustic art, with which I first came in contact in its natural surroundings during my trip to the Government of Wologda.
It was with the feeling of starting out for some other planet, we passed through many villages. In some, the inhabitants were universally grey-yellow in color, having grey-yellow faces and hair, and being garbed from head to foot in clothes of an equally grey-yellow hue. In other places, the natives were strikingly white, with ruddy cheeks and black hair. These were dressed in so vivid and colorful a manner, as to resemble two-footed, ambulating paintings. I well remember some of the peasant houses — two-storied and ornate — with the inevi- table, brightly polished and shining samovar in the parlor window.
Incidentally, in this part of the world, a samovar was far more than an object of luxury, and was, indeed, of the very first necessity. For in certain districts, the two major items of native diet were — tea (Ivan-tchai), and a certain tough and unchewable oat-bread. It was as hard to digest as it was to masticate, with the result that the population went about with chronically swollen and distended stomachs. Here I first learned not to look at a picture only from the outside, but to "enter" it, to move around in it, and mingle with its very life. It happened to me on entering a certain room, and I still remember how I stood spell-bound on the threshold, gazing in.
Oh, how I fear that as the waves of democracy crash into the shore, they will be mixed with dirt, with mud, with reeds, and instead of a round, deep, whole wave, there will be a grimy little puddle.
The heat is deadly and the soil is withered like a stone. There is no possibility to work during daytime.
The Russian revolution is being suppressed by the Allies. The Bolsheviks are being persecuted. Capital punishment has been reinstated in the army. Poor Kerensky is a Danton-like marionette, his strings in the hands of England and President Wilson. See more
The democratic states of the West are refusing passports to socialists who wish to travel to Stockholm and thus stifle liberty in the name of liberty. An already-dead Europe stands on the path to a gaping grave.
We walked and it began to rain. We had to curtain off all the windows in all the rooms by the order of the commander; this is both stupid and boring.
Our villages thirst for the rule of law. The peasantry instinctively wants reliability, stability, and order for all. In the villages, there is a famine of legislation. We have given them no laws, so an entirely separate legal system is beginning to form. See more
The land committees have long held back the peasants from taking their own extralegal measures. The longer this continues, the more difficult the situation becomes.