Monday, February 23, 1981

Claire Pearson and problems of the transitional epoch

My avowed intention to turn over a new leaf stands, and so I spent most of the day doing homework, doing my English for Slicer almost eagerly. All day it snowed sporadically. By teatime I'd squeezed two-and-a-third sides from the essay, and that is just what it was-squeezing. I racked my brains for a new angle on the image of Nile = decay/fertility but I just couldn’t find one. So after finishing the above I rang Duncan about it and ended up giving him all the dozen or so Nile/serpent references I'd found in Antony and Cleopatra.

After this I wrote out a chronology of events in Stalin’s life up to about 1919 and read Hingley’s Stalin . . . for an hour or so. I reached the point in January 1925 at which Trotsky relinquished his post as People’s Commissar for War and as I read about his feud with Stalin, Kamenev and Zinovyev I started to really like him, mainly for his open contempt for almost everyone, which he expressed in a sarcastic, derisive way. It was funny to picture Trotsky reading French novels at Politburo meetings and acting surprised when he was spoken to. By the time I stopped reading at about one I admired him and wanted to know more about him.

My infatuation with Claire can't be anything more because when I’m carried away with history and politics (as I am now), she seems a million miles away. Yet when I’m there, or thinking about her, it all seems so different. If it was more serious though, surely I’d be thinking about her constantly?

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