The Tasks Of The Public Library In Petrograd
It takes knowledge to participate in the revolution with intelligence, purpose and success. Because tsarism had played havoc with public education over a period of many years, the library service in Petrograd is in a very bad state. The following changes, based on principles long practised in the free countries of the West, especially Switzerland and the United States, must be made immediately and unconditionally:
(1) The public library (the former Imperial Library) must immediately start an exchange of books with all public and state libraries in Petrograd and the provinces and with foreign libraries (in Finland, Sweden, etc.).
(2) The forwarding of books from one library to another must be made post-free by law.
(3) The library’s reading-room must be open, as is the practice with private libraries and reading-rooms for the rich in civilised countries, from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. daily, not excluding Sundays and holidays.
(4) The required personnel must be immediately transferred to the Public Library from the various offices of the Ministry of Education (with more women, in view of the military demand for men), where nine-tenths of the staff are engaged not merely in useless, but in downright harmful work.
As for myself, I’ll say this: for the time being at least, life is tolerable enough. I’m performing in the People's House, which is always packed to the rafters with an appreciative public. Incidentally, I am, thank God, in fine fettle. My voice hasn’t sounded the way it does now for a long time: it’s youthful, light and sonorous. See more
Groceries might be expensive, but everything’s still available, and I deny myself nothing. The one thing you can’t get is white bread. I haven’t the faintest idea when I’ll be done working. To be frank, I’d happily wind things up tomorrow, but to come to Yalta and idle about at a time like this seems a shameful thing to do. Besides, everyone’s imploring me not to quit the theatre. They are, of course, motivated less by moral than by material considerations.
Petrogradsky station is in a state of indescribable chaos. As soon as the passenger trains were overwhelmed, anyone who had the chance sought to leave to the provinces, where the Bolshevik government was not yet fully recognised. See more
The train timetable was completely destroyed, and every passenger sat for long hours with their family and belongings in the waiting room, until their train arrived.
Bolshevism is internally aristocratic and externally militant. The Communists in many ways resemble the British public-school type: they have all the good and bad traits of an aristocracy which is young and vital. See more
They are courageous, energetic, capable of command, always ready to serve the State; on the other hand, they are dictatorial, lacking in ordinary consideration for the plebs. They are practically the sole possessors of power, and they enjoy innumerable advantages in consequence. Most of them, though far from luxurious, have better food than other people. Only people of some political importance can obtain motor-cars or telephones. Permits for railway journeys, for making purchases at the Soviet stores (where prices are about one-fiftieth of what they are in the market), for going to the theatre, and so on, are, of course, easier to obtain for the friends of those in power than for ordinary mortals.
— "Marina! What do I do? I don't want to marry a man!"
In the evening they wanted to ruin the atmosphere by reading newspapers, but they resisted.
It was a nice clear day, eight degrees of frost. From 11 o'clock until lunch I was occupied with Alexis. During the day I piled firewood in the shed. After tea Olga was playing cards with Alix and she showed four bezikes.