zondag 10 februari 2013

A.B. Goldenveizer -- 10 februari 1909

February 10th.
Once in the winter Sophie Andreevna in Tolstoi's presence criticized V. G. Chertkov bitterly, which, as usual, pained him very much. This was in the morning. In the middle of the conversation Tolstoi got up and went into his room.
Some time later he came into the diningroom, stood at the door, and said in an agitated voice: "There is an old nurse in our house. I scarcely know her, but I love her because she loves Sasha, and when there is nothing like that in a house, there is no real love." . . .
After saying this, Tolstoi turned and quietly went to his room.
Tonight Tolstoi said: "When one listens to music, it agitates, excites, elates, but one does not think. But when I play patience in my room, the finest thoughts come to me."
During work, especially if he found some difficulty, Tolstoi used to play patience. This was his habit throughout his life. When he was writing Part III. of Resurrection, Tolstoi was undecided for a long time about the fate of Katyusha Maslov. Now he decided that Nekhlyudov should marry her, now that he should not. At last he decided to play a game of patience: if the patience came out, Nekhlyudov should marry her ; if not, then he should not marry her. The patience did not come out.
Once Tolstoi told me that he had found a passage in a book, which he was writing, very difficult. He hesitated for a long time what to do, but made up his mind and wrote it. Then he decided to test it by means of a game of patience ; if the patience came out, that meant that what he had written was good ; if it did not come out, then it was bad. The patience did not come out, and Tolstoi said to himself: "Never mind, it is good as it is!" and he left it as he had written it.


A.B. Goldenveizer (1875-1961) was een Russische componist. Van zijn gesprekken met schrijver Leo Tolstoi deed hij verslag in Talks with Tolstoi.

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