Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
There are only four words in the newspaper columns: “Paris. Degas passed away.” but these words have unexpectedly burned into our consciousness.
It seems strange that he was our contemporary, that it was possible to have met him somewhere in one of the Parisian boulevards, at the races or dining in a cafe, this wonderful man and monumental artist, who belonged not only to Paris and France, but to the entire cultural world. You see, we grew accustomed to think that all greatness is only in the past, only in the pages of history.
I've stayed in the garden until 7 o'clock and then washed my hair.
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
Evacuation from Petrograd to Moscow
Moscow mayor received a proposal from the chief representative of freight unloading to find quarters for a number of organizations that are being evacuated from Petrograd. For this the mayor was allocated funding.
Unbelievable chaos! There is no end to robberies and internecine fights, various governments are issuing decrees, writing appeals, and are engaged in diplomatic correspondence with each other, but life, and rather boisterous one at that, is proceeding in its way, and in many places power has been seized by committees with clear Bolshevik tendencies.
In the morning I visited Tomsen in Münster. He says that English air-raids have just started, and will gain full force in 1918, 1919, 1920! In the afternoon I went to Frankfurt. Spent the night in the city, blacked out for air-raid protection.
In the Tsay-ee-kah three factions immediately appeared. The Bolsheviki demanded that the All-Russian Congress of Soviets be summoned, and that they take over the power. The “centre” Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Tchernov, joined with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Kamkov and Spiridonova, the Mensheviki Internationalists under Martov, and the “centre” Mensheviki, represented by Bogdanov and Skobeliev, in demanding a purely Socialist Government. Tseretelli, Dan and Lieber, at the head of the right wing Mensheviki, and the right Socialist Revolutionaries under Avksentiev and Gotz, insisted that the propertied classes must be represented in the new Government. See more
Almost immediately the Bolsheviki won a majority in the Petrograd Soviet, and the Soviets of Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and other cities followed suit.
Alarmed, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries in control of the Tsay-ee-kah decided that after all they feared the danger of Kornilov less than the danger of Lenin. They revised the plan of representation in the Democratic Conference, admitting more delegates from the Cooperative Societies and other conservative bodies. Even this packed assembly at first voted for a Coalition Government without the Cadets. Only Kerensky’s open threat of resignation, and the alarming cries of the “moderate” Socialists that “the Republic is in danger” persuaded the Conference, by a small majority, to declare in favour of the principle of coalition with the bourgeoisie, and to sanction the establishment of a sort of consultative Parliament, without any legislative power, called the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic.
The weather suddenly changed. A storm blew in with rain and afterwards it turned to sleet and finally snow. We spent a lot more time walking back and forth in the backyard. The girls got better, but they still had to remain at home.
I have been really busy with packing. Mom sent me a list of instructions—bring such and such, do such and such—of no fewer than fifty seven items. See more
I had to dig through a thousand cupboards, trunks and boxes, and when everything was found, there were not enough suitcases, boxes and baskets that could have fit it all. There were no servants, the porter woman was really angry—I had to do it all myself. Finally, fourteen items were packed and B.N, in some kind of a miracle, managed to drive me to lunch at “Contana” (here, for the first time we were given new money, twenty and forty roubles—shockingly small!). At nine thirty, having loaded the sleeping car of the International Society to the top, and having been seen off according to tradition by Eleonora and B. Verin, I left Petrograd.