It was a crazy summer, when after a long captivity in the spare infantry regiment, sealed off from the other regiments by a barbed wire fence - at night we crowded round the fence and through the cemetery,through the lights of the city of the dead,
we looked at the lights of the city of the living, the distant city of Saratov - I experienced a real lack of space on trains, stuffed full of people alienated from the war, glorifying peace, spring and its gifts. I went there and back twice, on the road from Kharkov to Kiev, to Petersburg. What for? I myself do not know.
I continued my work on the last scene of Les Noces throughout the summer, and finished a piece for the pianola. In an effort, perhaps, to avoid losing ground on my predecessors, who, on their return from Spain, would nail down their impressions in pieces inspired by Spanish music, I too indulged myself and paid tribute to this tradition. See more
My piece was inspired by the curious and unusual combinations of melodies – performed on mechanical pianos and orchestrinas – that resounded in the streets of Madrid and in its small night taverns.
The struggle continues. It is an expansive, harsh ordeal, in which nerves are racked beyond measure and a desperate fatigue sets in. I am not finding it easy.
Tereschenko, with whom I had a conversation on his return from Moscow, considers that the conference has strengthened the hands of the Government. See more
The commander-in-chief, he said, had now full powers to deal with the army at the front, but had not asked for the immediate application of the death penalty everywhere in the rear. Martial law had been proclaimed at Kazan, but it would be risky to proclaim it at Petrograd. Other measures would, however, be taken to deal wnth the situation here, which he admitted was very unsatisfactory.
According to Gorky, who had just arrived in Koktebel, the issue of the death penalty emerged, with Savinkov calling for its introduction in the rear and Kerensky expressing a desire to abolish executions once again. But, given that the introduction of the death penalty is essentially the abolition of lynch law (i.e., the selfsame death penalty, meted out for what are essentially insignificant instances of misconduct), it will undoubtedly be introduced sooner or later; the most terrible thing about revolutions is sensitivity: it always ends up yielding the bloodiest fruits. See more
When the death penalty was being abolished, I said: fine, this is certainly the first gesture that needed to be made, but, alas, it does mean that the Russian revolution will be very bloody. I said this even as everyone was boasting about the “bloodlessness” of the Russian revolution. The least cruel are those who kill out of necessity and for the good of the endeavour, without any thought of justice and retribution. I believe that, of the two generative forces, Kerensky possesses only faith, but that he lacks a sufficiently profound contempt, and that he’s approaching the limit of his capacities...
I threshed some rye. Then in the evening I went to look for the horse, but did not find it.
It was a wonderful day — in the shade 19 degrees and on the balcony 36 degrees. Alexis's arm hurt. During the morning we spent an hour in the garden and during the afternoon two hours. Yesterday I began to read L'ile enchantée. During the evening we played dominoes, Alix, Tatiana, Botkin, and I. During tea time, a large thunderstorm came up. It was a moonlit night.