Tuesday, 1 March 2011
snapshots of the revolution
In the spring of this year, during the first warm days, wierd, fantastic people crawled out on the streets of Petrograd. Where and how had they lived hitherto? Doubtless in some slum, in old, solitary, crumbling houses, hidden away from life, insulted and rejected by the world. One dominant thought cropped up in my mind every time I saw them: they have forgotten something and are trying to recall it, silently crawling about the town in search of it.
They were dressed in worn-out, tattered clothes, they were dirty and evidently very hungry, but they did not look like beggars and did not ask for alms. Very silently, very carefully, they walked along, watching the ordinary passers-by with suspicion and curiosity. As they stopped before the shop windows, they examined the things exhibited in them with the eyes of folk who are trying to discover - or remember - what use one made of all those things. Motor-cars terrified them, as they terrified country men and women twenty years ago.
Maxim Gorky / Fragments from my Diary / 1924