Dear Anichka, you must no doubt be angry that I’ve not written you for so long, but I was purposely waiting for my fate to be decided. Now it has been.
I shall remain in Paris, at the disposal of the local emissary of the Provisional Government. I’ll most likely be employed in investigations of a variety of soldierly affairs and misunderstandings.
In a month, I’ll probably discover how secure my position is here. Then we’ll be able to give some thought to your coming here as well – if that’s something you’d be keen on, of course. For the moment, though, I still don’t know what sort of salary I shall command. At any rate, my situation is an exceptional one – with any luck, it’ll open up new horizons for me.
As ever, I’m constantly with Goncharova and Larionov, I’m very fond of them both. Now to the matter at hand: they want to travel to Russia, they’ve already sent off their forms, but it’s all very slow. If you’ve someone you could call on at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, see to it that he finds their papers and wires them here to the Consulate so they can be issued passports as soon as possible. Their applications are perfectly in order, they just need to be hurried through.
I’m in fine fettle and contented with my fate. In a couple of days or so I shall have permanent lodgings; I’ll let you know my address. I’ve not had time to write much – been running around and taking care of various business. I’ll send you all sorts of sundries from Galeries Lafayette via Larionov when he goes to Russia.
Whether I end up in Paris or in Bezhentsk, this winter is shaping up to be equally unpleasant. The only place where I was able to breathe easy was Petersburg. But, since they started the monthly tradition of covering the pavements in the blood of citizens, it’s lost some of it’s charm in my eyes.
It’s nice here. It is so beautiful that you feel ashamed when thinking about what life must be like with you all now.
Letter to the Foreign Ministry
"Though, with the exception of the extremists, all parties were agreed not to cause the Government embarrassments, the conference, so far from securing national unity, has rather accentuated the differences existing between the different parties, and we shall probably be faced with another crisis before many weeks are passed."
Those who attended the so-called State Conference at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre in August 1917 have not, of course, forgotten Kerensky's speeches – the first, which opened the conference, and the last, which closed it. The effect he exerted on those who were seeing or hearing him for the first time was a depressing and repellent one. See more
His was not a calm and weighty speech befitting of a statesman, but the scream of a megalomaniac, hysterical through and through. You could feel his intense, zealous desire to make an impression, to be held in high regard. In his closing speech, he seemed utterly to lose all self-control and spouted a load of absolute nonsense which had to be carefully excised from the shorthand transcription. He remained completely uncomprehending of the situation until the very end.
I was reading Vernon Lee and thinking about Naples, Capri, and recalled Florence. I leant out of the window. In the garden darkened by the rain, a magpie with clawing talons came over the fence, smiled at me amicably and cordially shook his tail. It’s like our souls are one!
I went to my native 29th regiment, 8th division, who were celebrating their regimental holiday. On the tables stood full flasks of wine and vodka. See more
Several had already been consumed amongst the soldiers. They left a very unpleasant impression. I wasn’t happy that I went; if I’d only known what to expect, that I would be met with such revely and debauchery, then I, of course, wouldn’t have gone.
It was a nice, warm day. Now every morning I drink tea together with the children. We spent an hour in the so-called, garden and the larger part of the day on the balcony, which is warm from the sun. Until tea I puttered around in the garden. The children played on the swings.