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Chapters from "Russian Book"

(Draft, work in progress, more like Notes)

2005 -- Antohins
index Page
This book is about losers. And, of course, about the biggest of them -- me.

There is nothing new in this thought or existential feelings, Berdyaev wrote many good books on the subject "life as tragedy"... To write about it again is rediculous -- and that is what I do -- this is a comedy act.

Being lost is normal -- 20 centuries of Chritianity should be a good proof of this intellectual doctine.

I gave this book a wrong title. On purpose. Everything is wrong about Russia and the title must be wrong anyway, why not to make it wrong from the start.

Father-Russia is about the Soviet Union. Mother-Russia died in 1917. Right now there is an orphin Russia or something "AmeriRussian"...

Many things are wrong in my book -- I write it in wrong language and for wrong reasons. I am a wrong person to write such a book.

I expect to be misunderstood. I am ex-Russian and I understand why they are not so happy about becoming Americans. It was examined in the 19th century -- and smart Russians rejected the American Idea. I myself do not have my American Dream in place even after twenty years as American. I am wrong American, Russian American, I guess, if such a thing could exist.

I do not have good dreams. Looks like there is nothing in me hidden away, only fears. One of the repetetive themes is me be lost in Russia. The endless ways to home, when I do not know the address or cannot recognize it. The strangers. All nonsical and depressing.

Russia? What Russia? Does anybody care about Russia? I don't know. I even can't see it -- the future of Russia. I try -- and I see nothing. That is what I see -- The Nothing.

My job is simple -- I have to record my vision of Nothing.

Oh, yes, I see it, I do see it -- Jersey City.

Русские Страницы
"Родина" женского рода, "Отечество" - среднего, а где же мужской род?
The Possessed 2003
2005 Russian Diary

Рассылка ALASKA in Russian

RAT - Russian American Theatre, Antohins

2007. Название надо бы перевести как "Отчество Россия"...

Как глава из этой книги оказалась здесь?



Index * Shows * Film-North * Theatre w/Anatoly * Theatre Theory * Classes * VIRTUAL THEATRE * Plays * Father-Russia: nonfiction (fragments) * In Russian: plays-in-progress * Cyber 3 Sisters: prod notes * Students mini-directory *



"Россия - редкий случай экзистенциального общества, которое все время ищет себя, проецирует себя как задачу, как предмет рефлексии и вопрошания. Это не нация в традиционном смысле, а нация-проект, как Израиль и Америка. Но не богооткровенный в своем истоке и начале (в отличие от Израиля) и не успешно-деловой, практически исполнимый (в отличие от Америки), а проектирующий свою собственную проектность, чисто экзистенциальный и потому - неисполнимый. Россия - то, что может или хочет стать Россией, нация-экзистенция, экзистенация." M. Epstein

From Book Four. VIRTUAL RUSSIA: 1994-96

1949. The Soviet A-bomb and Mao in China. Oh Lord! What did I do? Maybe, if I wouldn't be born, nothing of this would take place!.. What did my death bring to the world? Didn't you hear what happened to the Soviet Russia? It died soon after me...



I had to do it. It was his fate -- to die. His end wasn't easy one. He had to die many deaths, many times. He knew that I am his executioner and, nevertheless, he would come to face me again. To get his answers and my answers killed him. He was younger than me and, perhaps, his youth was the reason why he had this ability to come back from the dead. No, he had no this death-wish, he wanted to know the truth, that's all. So, I told him, I said what I saw. Nothing I or he could do about it. He was dead.

He would appear at night, when the day is behind, when all are asleep. Uninvited, without warring. Maybe, it was I who was calling him, because I didn't want him to die. It wasn't his fault that he was out. He was born to live. "Man is born to live, not to prepare for life," Doctor Zhivago said, or was it his hero, Boris Pasternak?

I killed him, because he tried to live for too long. Yes, it was a mercy act. It was a bloodless end. The dead do not bleed. But it was painful. No, you don't understand. He died, because I did nothing. Because I let him die. No, you don't understand the impotency! What was he dying from? The Russian sickness, the genetic disease.

He was like a son to me. I remember his youth, his dreams and hopes. I knew all his secrets, he couldn't hide a single thought from me. He trusted me. One day I'll write a book, big book about him, but at the moment I want to tell only about his last days and to find the way to say it right. It's not simple when I lose someone who is so close to you. He was the best friend I ever had. He sacrificed his life for me. He did. I am alive today because of him.

Before I left St. Petersburg in 1994, I went to the Lavra cemetery. I lived near by, five minutes away. Why did I do it? Don't ask, I don't know. Just walked through the old gates and it was there. The Chekhov's gave, yes, and Dostoevsky, too, was there, but no grave with his name. He didn't make the history. There dawn were some forgotten graves, with no names -- one of them could be his. But this is something sentimental.... Well, I know, he would like to be buried there.

Well, that's where this murder took place, in Russia. I shouldn't listen to him, but he needed it, he would ask again, so many times -- and I went there to his Russia. I thought that maybe he is right, maybe he will be happy this time. He was waiting for a long time, I wanted him to be happy. This Russian was like a brother to me.

No, I am not sorry that I did it. I have no guilt. I mourn for him, yes, but without any regret. This trip, that's what had killed him. He was sick and very weak by then. Oh, how happy he was when I said, yes, we are going to your Russia. He got so much energy, like he was twenty again. God, what kind of ideas he had in his head! I can't tell it all, it's in his writing. He kept his diaries writing in Russian. He had nobody to talk with and I didn't have much for him; American life is busy, you know. He was happy as a child. Of course, he suffered without his Russia. I forced him to leave Moscow and dragged him with me from place to place.... Well, I do feel some guilt.

You see, maybe, he would turn out to be a great Russian writer, if I would stay in Russia. But he left Moscow with me, he always thought about me first. He was like a father, or an older brother, to me. What do I think of his writing? They said he was a promising author, but I did a lot of wrong things in Russia. I screwed his life really bad. He tried his best and the Communist Russia, mind you, was not the easiest place to be a writer.

Let me to tell you his story. Not the whole story, but the story of his death. They say that how man dies is the best indication of his character. He tried to be a man till his last hour. He knew it was coming. I remember, in the Spring of 1994, one of those days, I saw him walking down the Nevsky Prospect. I saw that he won't make it. He would stop and rest. I, too, stopped and watched him. It was a nice day, almost a spring, he was going to meet me, but he didn't recognize me. He just look at me, as if I was a stranger and passed me by. I didn't know what to do and followed him. Of course, I feel responsible for what did happened to him. I was an American professor, I should find some ways to help him. Well, I tried, too. We both tried our best.

Maybe, somebody else could be a better companion for him. A good woman or some wise old Russian writer. Maybe, he wasn't lucky or too unstable, I don't know. I walked behind him on Nevsky, thinking how will I break the bad news to him. He knew that I was leaving for the States and this time without him. Look, I have my own life, my family, job and so on. I had to go on with living and he was not about to make anyway. I walked behind him on a street full of people. He liked Nevsky, he loved his Moscow and Russian books. He would stop at every bookstore to buy more and I paid for it. I didn't mind, and I had no heart to tell him that it's all for nothing. The great Russian books, St. Petersburg, Russia. Anyway, I didn't have to tell him anything, he knew how to read my mind. I could see it in his eyes, as if he was apologizing for this my trip, Russia and his illness.

I followed him all the way down to the Moika River. He was stress up, he looked at everything with such intensity. I liked the city myself. In a different way, not like him, you have to be a Russian to feel certain things. I hoped, he would stop or turn back, but he didn't, because he knew that I was following him. He knew what I was about to say. Finally, I stopped and turned to the Delta office. I had my return ticket, all what was left is to give them the date of my departure. One ticket, for myself.

Inside were a couple of Russians in front of me. They always pay cash. They talked to each other in their language without articles, looking at me, my ticket and a blue passport. I didn't have to turn back, I knew that he was standing there, outside, behind the glass door. I would like to say that at the moment the Peter and Paul's cannon fired the noon, but this would be a fiction, something from Dostoevsky. A nice detail, but I am not sure that it was the noon, or one can hear the cannon that far. Peter the Great started this tradition to teach Russian to value time and now the Peter and Paul museum-fortress struggled with financial squeeze to insist on time by firing at noon. I turned back. He was there.

I didn't have to tell him anything. He was a sensitive fellow, he knew it.


Often I think of him. I imagine his day, his life in Russia. I can see him walking the street, but I not sure where it is, Moscow or Petersburg. He hadn't change much, he is the same. He will be same forever. He walks among them and nobody sees him. He is just there, in Russia. He doesn't need much, just to be there. You know, the dead, they need very little.

I was born and grew up in the Baltic marshland by zinc-gray breakers that always marched on in twos. Hence all rhymes, hence that wan flat voice that ripples between them like hair still moist, if it ripples at all. Propped on a pallid elbow, the helix picks out of them no sea rumble but a clap of canvas, of shutters, of hands, a kettle on the burner, boiling - lastly, the seagull's metal cry. What keeps hearts from falseness in this flat region is that there is nowhere to hide and plenty of room for vision. Only sounds needs echo and dreads its lack. A glance is accustomed to no glance back.

We all are vulgar marxists. We believe in hard facts, plain economics and personalities. We don't think that history is ruled by ideas or moods. On the other hand, we say that the marxism, not electricity, is responsible for changes in Russia. We still do not know, how to place radio or film into our history, in order to understand better the phenomena of fascism. What if I say that the tape recorders are responsible for the fall of communism? I guess, the future generations have get a better historical perspective.

You see, the future of Russia is determined by the cellular phones and computers to a larger degree than by the nationalists or democrats. We all remember the branch of the Sovietology, known as Kremlinology, when the personalities in the Politburo were analyzed to see the direction of the Soviet history. Well, that's what history was from its very begining. I am afraid to be controversial, but, in my mind, the changed diet of New Russians will have more radical effect on history than famous personalities in Moscow. I saw how in a matter of a few months the Russians were divided in their smoking habits. The Russian made cigarettes (cheaper) could tell you, who and how will vote. The majority switched to smoking only western blends. Democracy was secured. The domestic tobacco industry collapsed and was bought by the American international giants -- trust me, the taste of the Russians goes through very dramatic transformations. And they do have the notorious toilet paper today, something which didn't exist in my youth. This is a bigger revolution, a gigantic step ahead for human rights.

I knew what does take place, the moment I turn on the tv set in my hotel room on my first night in St. Petersburg.... The music of New Russia -- you heard it, my friends. Every taxi in the city had radio tuned to one station -- Europa Plus, playing America and European pop, and none of the drivers understood a word of it. The beat, the rhythm, the tempo!


The stuff missing in books on Russia -- the small things with the gigantic consequences. I am extremely serious in assessment of the effect of toilet paper on history. The Soviet Russia knew no refrigeration and packaging; we have to bring our own bottles for oil and milk, and in the 1992 Russia the plastic bags were washed to be reused. Russia didn't know that the things, not people, are disposable. Russia has to learn to be wasteful, American garbage is a sign of wealth. The new jokes are about the New Russians, the power people, as usual.

- Hey, man, where did you get this nice tie?
- At the Valentino store. Cost me 500 bucks.
- Idiot, I know a place where you can get exactly same tie for $5000!

Remember the bitter taste of Soviet humor? Oh, I wish the CIA could study Russian anecdotes, instead of wasting their time and our money on spying. Surprisingly, the future is very open. In fact, it screams at your face. The Soviet Union never hide its goals, neither the New Russia. Their wish list is long but simple. They want what we have. Does it surprise you? Try to use your local paper instead of a toilet paper. Think about America as a revolution, yes, this permanent and perpetual revolution, Trotsky advocate. Russia never really belonged to Europe, it was the Russian fate and destiny. Russia doesn't belong to New Europe, too late. He, the Russian, wants to live in the American Age. It could be in forms of Japanese electronics or French cosmetics, but, nevertheless, it's "America."

I couldn't write about Russia until I have finished the rough draft of my American Book. You see, in order to us to understand their desires, we have to notice our own. Do you believe in universal history, do you think that we, indeed, live in global society? You should know better, you live in the Russia's future. It will take them a generation to arrive to our problems.

BIG MISTAKE (from _Russian Space_)1

The thinking that dishonesty can be corrected by transfer of functions to the government, is one of the great mistakes of Russian government thinking. You cannot solve problems by transferring them to government. The whole world knows that. Government is just as immoral as any citizen and more dangerous because it has authority and power as well. MISTAKES IN THINKING CONTINUE TO RULE RUSSIA Dr. Pyotr Johannevich van de Waal-Palms.2

Mistakes rule Russia. You don't think, it's possible. What does the statement about the praxis (trails and errors) is supposed to mean, if not the fact that we rearrange our lives based on mistakes? Do you think that we do right for every wrong we do? Wrong. Most of the time we do wrong, a long of wrong. Why don't we do right things? We wouldn't know "right" without experiencing the wrong. The wrong is inevitable, it's always near. "Wrong" is not necessarily "bad" -- when it's the unknown. Too many things they do in Russia, because they are wrong. They do not learn. Why?

Wrong attitude. Russians know it all. Like a child. Where does it come from? Ignorance, insecurity? No, no! I am not against this innocent feeling of seeing everything anew. But how does one separate innocence from ignorance? Live experience must teach you to learn from the others. And why do they think that their situation is unique? Perhaps, it was. Not in postmodern conditions....

They will get it by making many mistakes (not experiments).

I forgot to tell you that Russians don't mind to be wrong. They don't care. They proud to be different. Even if it's just nothing more than a stupidity.

To understand it, one has to be Russian. The stubbornness they went with the communism is a very Russian in quality. They carried it through decades till the last drop of blood in this idea. I know it, I was Russian. Do you know the borderline between being stubborn and determined?

We should love our mistakes and value them. The problem is that we don't. It takes a maturity to make right mistakes.

What do we do in the West? We do know about the evil of delegation of judgement, but we have a representative democracy, we have elected sheriffs and appointed judges, hired lawyers and even lottery based jury system. We trust....

They do, too. We are different, because of the different experience. Can you transfer it, the experience?

What are the consequences of being mistaken? They are extreme in Russia. All or nothing. Even if you are extremely lucky, you'll end with nothing.

Do they risk?

Right and wrong are not on a Russian mind. We are beyond it. What is *right for us* matters. Remember the class principle, defined by marxism? Russians are the class in itself.


In America I lived through a cultural shock, of course. Not in my first year, later. But then I forgot that I don't understand English and I began to hear it, the familiar sounds. That tomorrow is good and better, that the best years yet to come, that We, the People, are the most important and that everything is done for ME.... The culture shock grew to the point when I thought that I hear it in Russian. I had to remind myself that I am in America, watching my American tv and the people on the screen are not Russians. I had to talk myself back into my early appreciation of America. I used to say, "Look, the White House, it's not behind the Kremlin's walls, you almost can see your president in the window!" Soon the Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House got closed for traffic -- security measures. I understand, I understand. "Come on!" I say, "It's just balloons!" The both parties at their convention would use the same balloons, same flags, same faces.... "No, it's not one party system," I preached to myself, "It's a multi-party politics.... Well, two party system...." It was painful, I would like to be a good American. I loved "Nightline" and even wrote and broadcasted to the Soviet Union via the Radio Liberty in New York what the REAL television has to be. I was losing it. GEE! Now I saw how prearranged THE SHOW is! I loved American weathermen, the jesters, with their street voices and bad manners.... I was in love with America, she was flawless and pure.... I didn't want to know that the jerks on the screen are just idiots. I tried to deny that "Nightline" has a hidden agenda, and, oh God! -- I have to say this word -- an IDEOLOGY! I thought that all what they were after is the facts, the truth, the interest....

I am ready now. I think I am. I do expect even much bigger culture shock ahead. I fear that American and British leaders will be interchangeable (after fixing the accent), and then we can trade our president with Russia (if he could learn to speak English, many of them already do). But why, why should I object? Let merge! If they are nice communists, do you mind?

Once after a trip to Siberia I was invited to meet with the Minister of Culture, member of the Politburo, very American-looking gentlemen with a grey hair and gold-trimmed glasses, in very expensive Italian suit, with an expensive pen, which he took out to take notes on the very white note-pad. There were several of us, writers, talking about our impressions of today's Russia and the needs of the Soviet people. The writers, the heart and soul of the country, came to share our honest observations, our thoughts about what has to be done. The American gentlemen listened, looking through his nice glasses, nodded, sometimes asked something and took notes to tell his comrades, all twelve disciples without Christ, what the souls of the nation saw and feel about the people. The FBI agents were behind us, bringing soda and fruits. Then came the time to shake hands and I came to his bid desk to shake the hand of the one who's portrait I saw on the walls, I glanced at his notes, as if I could see that he wrote down with his golden pen what I said. The note pad was white and clean as ever.

The FBI guys in black suits let us out, when I understood that I saw it. I saw that he was pretending that he writes it, I was close and saw it, I was next to the desk. He would make motions as if he was writing -- and I saw that he wrote nothing, but I could believe it. Why would he, the member of the first dozen, should fake it? What for? Who was I or the other writers? I didn't believe it. I still don't understand it....

Unless, he was an American official. An actor. A politician. But at that time I haven't seen American politicians. No, no, he was a communist all right. He even had a Russian name -- Demichev. But now I know who was he. On his golden pen was a sign -- Made in U.S.A. His Russian was good.


"Thus we find a tendency, eminently communistic, springing up on all sides, and in various guises, in the very heart of theoretically individualist societies."3
Kropotkin missed the present day American politics....

Sorry, I'm getting off my subject again. I promised myself that I won't touch the matters of communism in America. I have to concentrate on the post-communist Russia, the transfigured Evil Empire. Don't I know that Demichev wasn't American? I must be losing my mind. No, I prohibit you from writing about the handshake. I must not to remember it, the feeling, the sensation I had when the third secretary of the American Embassy in Rome held my hand in his. I tried to suppress the moment of instant recognition. He was of the first Americans who welcomed me, the defector, but this handshake I already knew. I had it many time before, the KGB handshake.... No, no, it's from the American Book, I won't talk about it here.


Oh, the hell with it! I want to talk about my Soviet America!

USA: the idea of a society without a State. The Ideal of American democracy? Nobody governs the Internet, claim the ones, who never read Foucault. They are the Bolsheviks, the majority. They are free because they believe that they are free. We don't need regulations in the cyber space, because you can't do much harm within the virtual space. What a solution for the utopian society! You can't touch anything and nobody can't touch you. Do we need morals? Well, the good manners could be enough. Habits instead of laws. Only lawyers know how many laws we have. We don't know the law. We discover it only when we violate it. We have more laws than a primitive mind surrounded by the ghosts and deities. ...

The dictatorships of modernity were criminal regimes, today they are regimes of criminals.... Demichev-machine. What was special about his handshake? The hand, the way it's done. When you're a comrade, a part of it. It's no less revealing than a woman's body, it doesn't lie. Not, not a contact but an intercourse! If don't have it in you, in this moment -- you won't make it. Mostly likely you'll never make it.

The West was puzzled over the communist kiss on the mouth. They thought it's funny, something "Russian." Brezhnev loved it. You don't understand the power of brotherly love, gentlemen. Communism is a concept of tactility. Very physical. Through my thirty long years in Russia I lived out all possible haptic relations with strangers. In subway, on the bus, tram -- the communist crowd is the absence of space. Comradery must be sensual, that's how you're tested. If you can't take it, you're not Russian.

Since the state communism is a low-tech culture, its physical communality has to be extreme. The social communism, the high-tech American culture, enter your body through different senses (eye-ear). Kropotkin's paradox of anarcho-communism, when the absolute individualism meets its opposite (total communization), requires this environment of the high technologies. I never fully understood why Americans think that they are individualists, sitting alone in their cars in the traffic jam. Communist tendency, literally wiring all and everyone, is nothing less what was describe by comrade Stalin as being a single "screw" within the big machine. Could the unified field of money provide the space of individualization? Well, this is again for the American Book, which is about Russia's future.

Now we know that the chaos is just another level of organization. Russian Bakunin saw anarchism as the begining, not the final stage of communism. Time came, we are ready for the organized chaos. Sorry, we weren't ready for you, father of anarchism. It took a century to grow up to the challenge of chaos.


The Soviet experience was a lesson in exotomy -- outsideness. The Soviets are the Russians in square! More Russians than Russians, the end of Russian-ness. No more. American Russians (or should I call them American Soviets?) are possible only because the pomo Americans are communists. In pre-pomo history the formula was simple. A dead Russian is an American and dead American becomes a Russian. I know it. You don't have to be an American or a Russian to experience it. It's an universal law applicable to Chinese or Arabs. When you live, you're American, when you dead -- you're Russian. Naturally, Russians are nihilists. What do you expect from the dead?

The Russians ran out of ideas, even marxism wasn't an original Russian idea. The West is out of ideas, too. What a perfect match! What is this mix? Don't talk too much. Picture it, show! And make it plain and simple.... All right, let me try.

Picture? Wait! Let me see.

NIHILISM, NOTHINGNESS (NON-THING-NESS, Sartre. Also Notes in Intelligencia)

How come it's always reflections and reactions?...

"Art as a mirror"? Nice. Think again. Don't you see? It's TIME FOR THE NATURE TO REFLECT ON MY DREAMS. And it does, I am a dream , or a construct as they like to put it. I reflect on myself. I reflect on what doesn't exist. My "reflection" is the creation of Being. Why should I be so focused on existence when my existence is nothing within the ocean of my non-existence. Oh, my pre- and post-existence is not important for me! Really? I'm humiliated by the size of it, my non-being. My secret interests are outside of my presence. I do reflect on my life, but the real reason why I do it is not my life -- my mortality (no-life). You want me to understand my misery? Let me tell you, existentialists and phenomenologists, an understanding is too much to ask from a mortal! What does he have to do with it? I understand too well my tragic position, that's why I (Marx and Nietzsche) reject the reflective -- I don't want to be an artist, I'm a creator.

All right, I'm this arrogant American!

Why should I be humble? Just because of the people around? I'm free from them in my solitude, I don't have to be modest, I can speak up my mind. No to repression (depression) and oppression. No more apologizing, I'm too old for new lies. I'm here. Let me reflect on why I think about killing myself. Not dying but murdering. I see it in many pictures. I think about it since I remember myself. This secret thought is perhaps the best of me. I suspect this thought made me what I am; it was a productive discourse. Why didn't I kill myself? First, why would I have such thoughts.

Does one have to read Beckett to realize the absurdity of being? My teenager's feeling of my tragic position came before I read Berdyaev. I read the books because I feel it. Dostoevsky and Camus confirmed it, yes, my boy, that's the case. I knew that I'm not alone, not new and this feeling has to be accepted. Didn't I accept my Soviet position of being a state property? Freud called it "death wish" -- nothing abnormal about it. It would be anti-human not to have it. I saw a lot of them around unaware of this situation, the idiots. To end my life was the most logical conclusion. Not out of anger or disgust but a rejection of being submitted to the powers over me. Of course, I had to live with this feeling and my thoughts for many years before I fully understood its value and meaning.

In the eight grade my literature teacher gave another (popular) name for my nihilism -- a fascist. She said it without blaming me, more with a surprise, like her discovery of what I wrote for my "free composition" assignment .... I wrote that life is meaningless. "Did you write it yourself?" I wrote my paper about the Serov's painting where Peter the Great witnesses the execution of the rebels. I wrote it myself. I and she didn't know that I am a writer.

Nihilism doesn't need my defence, it's a natural feeling. Untill you die. After that to be a nihilist is silly.

I loved Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons" -- I was twelve. Bazarov was so healthy in his rejection of EVERYTHING -- and died of a blood infection (no immunity?). He was a doctor (scientist). Nihilism is for the young mind. One who wants to stay young must remain a nihilist, uncorrupted by living. Every revolutionary starts with "nihil" -- I loved Maykovsky, too. In the times when "revolutionary" products pored on you every day you better be a stern nihilist. You have to develop a nihilistic eye (not cynical). Nietzsche fought nihilism because it's only an initial stage -- a rejection. A mature mind has to go further. And guess what? After you have established new (always YOURS) value you have to negate them! No, that's not Camus' story, not the same circle, the spiral movement (according to Hegel). Nihilism is a method, like death. God was the first nihilist -- He rejected the Nothing.

Nietzsche wouldn't get mad at nihilism, if not for a recognition of its powers. Pages of attacks on the single idea from a thought revolutionary himself. Nietzsche hated the rejection for nothing, including Christianity not able to believe. Disbelief is no less stupid than stupidity itself. What does it take to say "no" to everything? How different it's from the total "yes"? He read Dostoevsky.

Be skeptic, what else should you be in the total humanization? Question everything! Did you a dialogue? What do you is present in the very idea of DIA-LOGOS? What do you TWO means? Don't you know that there is a negation of you is built in MY presence? Of course, we are nihilists. Who do you think any child is? We can't have ANY values without rejecting OTHER (values). W gave everything what is of no interest to us a status of zero-value. I can't value everything, don't you think?

Listen, if I reject the EXISTING, what do I have? Nihil! -- and I am face to face with something which doesn't exist. Great! I have a chance to discover something. Nihilism is not an answer, but a knife. Cut it through! Be brave. You have to do it on yourself. Kill yourself and you'll live. Trust me.

Don't be too nice, don't pretend that you are "good" -- you are brutal, that your position. There are so many good causes I gave no dime or minute. I know the suffering around the world and I ignore it. I watch disasters the way God observes the human race. I have other things on my mind. All of you, humans and humanists, who watch news, you are on the way to learn the Superman. Is it an "insensitive" soul or a cold (non-human) mind?


You, the new race of philosophers with hammers, teach yourselves the Superman! Crash the stone to liberate the statue. Or is it the stone we liberate from statue? Be merciful like life -- destroy the existing.... Why don't you accept the identity of Noo-thing? Yeah, the thinking machine! Evolutionary Godhood of the New Age Movement makes me into everything because I am everything, including nothing. If I am about to overcome myself (and I do it every day), why not to see a human in me as a material?[4]

This line of thought is not an indication of my mental superiority, my death-wish is rather simplistic in its nature. But to live with this thought takes a heck of discipline. You have to be in full control, because it's easy to end your own life. I couldn't find any reasonable answer, why I shouldn't do it. Fear, pain and etc. -- how ridiculous! No, I didn't do it because of the stubbornness. I was cornered in every sense, including an intellectual corner. I kept saying "No" because everything else was saying "Yes"....

Listen, I have to say a few words about "will to live." Not the instinct. Was this stubbornness the will of Shoepengauer and Nietzsche? They say that the young Wittgenstein developed the idea of will as the bearer of ethics. [the difference in principle between the will in its ethical sense and what puts human body in movement (desire)] It is the will which gives significance to the things, and that without it there would not exist also this center of the world we name "I" which results to be the bearer of ethics.... I saw no good or bad in my will to stay alive. Was I proud of not killing myself? Just a little bit? I never called my "decision" by this name -- the will. Because I "wished" to die. (Psychiatry knows it all.) Is that the difference between the wish and the will?

Will and I are united, according to Wittgenstein. He names will above all the bearer of good and evil, and further on he asserts good and evil are in essence the I. But the I is not an object. We never stand in face of the I as we objectively stand in face of all objects.5 [This leads him to the conclusion that in philosophy we can and should speak of the I in a non-psychological sense.]

The philosophical I is not the man, neither the human body nor the human soul, of which psychology is concerned with, but the metaphysical subject, the boundary -- not one part -- of the world. (W)

Something which doesn't exist, we must add. Something which is born by I and Me, in relations of the two.


"To be or not to be" -- there is something wrong with this famous line.... (not with the monologue). But we still phrase it this way. We want to be.



[To start and finish IV with it? Virtual Russia is America? Not in II? "The Last Will" in also?
How to re-write this very chapter?]

"I travel back from the future," he was an old, tired man with a brown suitcase and out of breath. "To tell you something you know, but do not believe in. Believe it."

He looked at me, turned around and was ready to leave. What did he mean? Believe what? What about the future?

"I can't stay," he explained, "I have to go. Trust yourself."

He opened his case -- this old fart came with a briefcase! -- and he showed me the book. You know, a regular hardcover without a jacket and I could see the title. I knew that was it -- the book! I am sure -- it was my book, this book, I am writing now. He looked familiar, this old man. He was gone. I ran to the window.... Is it all? Just this "trust yourself"? Does one have to travel from the future to say it? Why didn't I follow him? I didn't believe that he is, indeed, from the future. Another Russian nut-case! What future? What was this book and showing it for?
He was about seventy year old. A grew bearded with grew eyes. Kropotkin, Bakunin? What a stupid story! I knew that it was me. Was it God? Both. It's hard to explain, read my other book. Wait! Did it really happened, or you imagined it? What difference does it make? What if I will never know, so what? I think about it, I re-live it in my memories.
Finally, we are ready for anarchism, sir. Three times I voted for the libertarians. They believe that chaos has its own organizational mechanism. We underestimate the degree of our connectedness. Relax, left and right, politicians and punks, we are fully integrated. We over-passed the stage of humanity as mechanism. Humanity is an organism! We have no need for a state, or even a society. Army, government, officials -- the leftovers of modernity. You know the smell of it. We need a good doze of nihilism in dealing with the modern.... Skeptical? Be cynical!

Didn't Tolstoy write it already in "War and Peace"? Anti-western individual non-participation in history. Isn't it about time to be truly anti-western? Not because of the political correctness, but on principle. Against all this -- go and vote, get active, be involved -- again, serve, idiot!

Anarchists loved the final stage of communism; that's where we are today. (Why don't Libertarians recognize their origins? Anarchists preached unlimited freedom. The extreme individualism. Anarcho-communists? Only Russian madness and chaos theory could explain their revolutionary paradigm).

Did I really go to the street, where I spent my youth, or, maybe, I just imagine it? I can't recall, why would I have a need to go there? Maybe, I should, but didn't go -- and now dreaming about it.

(Where's the full Kropotkin text?)

NB. From Imperialism to PM -- anti-modern and anti-communist (imperialist).

SUNSET OF AMERICA. The Soviet syndromes: not trusting your government? No kidding? Harry Brown: government is always against you. ("Why Government Doesn't Work" -- the title. Government works, Harry, that's how it works!) How else? It always was this way. Trust is out of the question. Do you trust a salesman? Consumer be aware. Divorcing government and society.

Evil empire is the state. It's here. Try to substitute it with technology, the management task asks for non-human consistency.

Socialism needs a society. Communism is beyond it. Communism is inevitable. The question is how to make the system work for you? Could an immortal have qualities of individual?

We shock by the anti-human nature of the humanized world -- but was the first nature so human? Civilization doubled the anti-human (alienation and etc.)....
What for was he taking his notes? No write a book about Russia? Didn't he know that it was too late? Didn't he know that he died in 1980?

I got his notes. He was writing about me, a dead Russian. What did he see? You want to know what he wrote? He hurt me. That was the breaker, his words about me. What could he know about me that I didn't know?

Something I know and hide.

What do you try to cover with this book? Tell them what he wrote, the dead man. You didn't stage a single show and didn't write a single play. Why did you come back? Why if not for that reason only? "Why didn't you publish a single book?" Korkia asked. Don't you know why? Because I have nothing to say about Russia or about yourself as well. And you don't believe it!

The rest was to follow -- the organizing, administrating....

Russia needed another story for its stage. Like "Inspector General." Another good book. Like "Dead Souls".... Why didn't you talk with me about why you couldn't do it? Isn't that a reason why you ran from Russia in first place? It's so simple -- a story, people.... That was expected of you. What do you want now? To have a medal for speaking in English? To be respected for being an American? A professor? Jesus! Everything was there for you -- life, language, culture. Why did you throw it all away?

Five years later I have no answer. Even if I answer, it won't change anything. How simple it is -- you write a good play, that's all. You direct a good show -- don't you know how?

I left Russia in shame. Again. I write to answer for my shame. For a crime. Of course, it's a crime -- didn't your non-event theory tell you what non-happening means?

Why didn't I do it?

Now you want to write a book to cover this crime. Go ahead, try.

Those people on Nevsky -- I didn't know a single face! How could it be? Was I in Russia or Mongolia? We were Russians, people!

I failed where I was expected to succeed. On stage. I tripled over Gogol and Theatre. Why did I insist on doing it in English? What difference does it make when there is a STAGE LANGUAGE? What did I have to say about Russia?

I couldn't say it in her own face.

How did he die? Did I see it? I wasn't there, when my mother died. We always miss the important moments, including our own death.
The story -- how & why Russia lost one soul. It's the Judgement Day. I can ask this question. One less -- big deal! (Where did I see the disinterest in me? Demichev? Come on! A character for a comedy! This power and party, one of them, you are not, my man, you are a writer.... I didn't value my own life. Otherwise, why would I leave my language behind?

Answer, answer me!

What do I avoid? I can tell you. You hide in America, that's right, like the miserable Dostoevsky's Russians, you can't write in English -- and you are safe, you have your excuses.

Maybe he is not dead yet and prays for me in some dark flat in Moscow. You thought that living outside of Russia could relieve you from your destiny? You were born in Russia, understand? Do you understand what does it mean? You were born when Russia goes through the agony of resurrection! Was it all for nothing?

Write about how you lost your soul.

You cursed yourself, my boy. You think that you can make step and not to bear a responsibility for that? Try to answer the question? Question? What question? "Try." Do I have a chance?
"Not till you have the book. Not till you say it." Say what? Christ! What do I have to say?

This interrogation goes for hours, days and years.

"I can't forgive," he said, "I can't do it."
He was looking straight into my eyes.
"I can't," he repeated, "Because I love and respect you...."
"You don't have to explain yourself," I interrupted him.

Who sent this old man? What? Didn't you get it? What other sign do you need?
When you die, you're not Russian anymore, just a dead body. Besides, now God speaks English only, no Russian, please. Russia had her chance to give her culture to the world -- what do you think this communism was about? She blew it. How? Could the story be different? I had my chance to be a KGB officer and I blew it. It was too much responsibility for history, others, too rough. It's always a choice. Mayakovsky had a choice not to shoot himself, but shoot others. Nothing new in my story and that is too bad. You dare, man, and if you don't -- what good you are for?

Well, there is a reason for my cowardice. My thought. "Without God all is permissible." So what, Mr. Dostoevsky? What wrong with it? Here were the limits of freedom -- my mind. Everything else is secondary.

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