I did not bother the Roman about Cesar. (Again we bump into Rome!)
When will these people, instead of their fugues and obligatory 3rd acts, glance into sensible books and converse in their pages with sensible people? or is it already too late? . . .
It isn't this sort of art that a modern person needs, it's not in this that will be found the justification of an artist's task. Life, wherever it shows itself; truth, no matter how bitter; bold, sincere speaking to people à bout portant, this is what ferments me, that's what I want-- and that's where I'm afraid of missing the mark. So somebody pushes me and so I stick.
I embrace you, my dear, heartily.
Send me a missive.
Petrograd, Vas. Ostrov, 5th line, No. 10
17 August, '75
DEAR ARSENI, Greetings. The first act of Khovanshchina is finished: work is boiling on the 2nd. How are you, what have you been doing, has everything worked out? Piotr [ Golenishchev-Kutuzov] was here, couldn't find the key (just like me), committed a violence and lodged himself in your apartment; I, great sinner, at 5 o'clock in the morning on the day of your departure, dragged my feet to Naumov, where I found refuge, thanks to having warned Naumov for, as you know, I am afraid to stay alone. Of the city's news there is one thing: I am definitely returning to the goose-quill--the steel pen-points begin to look to me like bayoneted guns a la Bismarck. Thanks for the two letters. You haven't heard from me till now, for lack of interesting information. By the peculiarity of human self-love, I consider news of work on Khovanshchina interesting. I wait for you and I wait to hear from you: I hope that this will come at last? But will this come at last from you? This year's October can not be referred to that period when the human brain grows to triple strength ( Darwin):--in the meantime, artistic works are necessary for us. What a spacious rich world art is, if one would only take man as one's aim! One flies on uncommonly and entirely unforeseen tasks, and not forcibly, but so--as if it all happened accidentally. The understanding of such flights in musical