Monday, October 29, 2018

Quotations from Marina Tsvetaeva's Earthly Signs

Quotations from Marina Tsvetaeva's Earthly Signs

(And so it has remained with me, my first vision of the bourgeoisie in the Revolution:  ears hiding in fur hats, souls hiding in fur coats, heads hiding in necks, eyes hiding in glass.)

Like a kind of magician revealing secrets to his children, [Max V] relates the course of the entire Russian Revolution five years in advance:  the terror, the Civil War, the executions, the military outposts, the Vendee, the atrocities, the loss of godliness, the  unloosed spirits of the elements, blood, blood, blood...

Bolshevik appeals on the walls. Long-bearded Tatars at the tables.  How slowly they drink, how sparingly they speak, how imposingly they move.

"God, comrades, was the first revolutionary!"

"Our revolution's young, but in France theirs is old, stale."

"What--you have your own dacha in the Crimea?"
I, calmly:  "Yes, and a house in  Moscow."  (I made up the dacha).
"My defender:  "You sure our grave, little Mussis.  Come, you don't really want to admit to such things now do you?  These days a body's so afraid, he's happy to bury his house, his money, even himself in the ground with his own two hands!"

"And you Ma' wouldn't be a Bolshevik?
Someone else:  "What kind of Bolshevik when they have their own house?"

They promise all kinds of good fortune (up to and including pork lard).  They threaten all kinds of misfortune (up to and including murder.)

"They're infected with this new life, they've caught this mange."

"You, Miss, you're a young person, you're likely to see things different, but to my way of thinking--all these red rabbles, these obscene freedoms--it's nothing, but a temptation of the Antichrist."

There are almost no men: In the Revolution, as always, the weight of everyday life falls on women:  Previously--in sheaves, now in sacks. (Everyday life is a sack:  with holes.  And you carry it anyway.)

"Why do I keep saying "Miss"--you're in worse shape than a widow!"

"How can you  leave gold behind and just take off?"
I, distinctly:  "I not only left behind my gold, children!"

Love--and God.  How do they manage to combine them?

The sled is my comrade-in-woe, and the potatoes are the woe.  We carry our own woe!

Alys, before going to sleep: 
"Marina! I wish you the best of everything on earth.  Maybe:  Of everything left on earth..."

The first sight of love is that very shortest distance between two points, that divine straight line, of which there's no second.

Sensual love and motherhood almost exclude each other.  Genuine motherhood is manly. 

How many motherly kisses fall on unchildlike heads--and how many unmotherly ones--on children's heads!

Remarriage is posthumous adultery.

There are lots of wives, few mistresses. A true wife results from a shortage (of love), a true mistress from an excess.

I should be drinking you from a mug, but I'm drinking you in drops, which make me cough.

Betrayal already points to love.  You can't betray an quittance.

"A living person" will never allow oneself to be loved as the "dead" will. 

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