Was Stalin A Good War Chief? – Part V

Dear Readers:

Today concluding my review of Diunov’s piece. Where we left off, before a little sidebar about the unfortunate General Pavlov, Diunov was ripping into Stalin for being basically AWOL and having a nervous breakdown during the first couple of days of the invasion. This sparked some lively debate among my most loyal readers, who doubt Diunov’s truthiness. Commenter Svolochenko cited an English-language source (“The Dictators”), by British historian Richard Overy. Overy in turn, in a footnote, cites a Russian compilation of war archives put together by operatives of the KGB/FSB. Here is what Pavlo wrote in the comment section of my previous post:

Colonel Yampolsky compiled a collection of all the wartime NKVD documents.

The evidence now shows Stalin urgently at work. For the first week of the German attack he cursed and bullied his colleagues and the army generals, but he was very much in charge, if not quite in command of the situation. His office log shows a ceaseless round of visitors and consulations: twenty-nine entries on 22 June from 5:45 in the morning, when news of the German attack broke, to 4:45 in the afternoon; the following day meetings began at 3:00 in the morning until almost 2:00 the following morning; meetings and interviews until 11:30 or 12:00 at night for the next three days.43. Stalin’s haggard and tense appearance was not the result of nervous collapse but of desperate frantic overwork. On Sunday 29 June he went to his dacha on the outskirts of Moscow, and stayed there until Monday writing speech to the Soviet people, and drafting two important directives on the Soviet war effort. By July 1 he was back in the Kremlin as chairman of a new State Defence Committee, set up by law the day before, and two days later he broadcast to the population that the Soviet state had ‘come to death grips with its most vicious and perfidious enemy’; it was not ‘an ordinary war’ but a war to be waged to the death.

43. V.P. Yampolsky(ed.) Organs of State Security of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War, (Moscow, 2000), vol ii, pp 98-104

An extract from The Dictators by Richard Overy, with the supporting reference.



Following this lead, I did some online research and found the Yampolsky source alluded to, here is an FSB site whence these massive volumes of NKVD archives (edited by Yampolsky) can be downloaded by historians. I downloaded Volume 2 and quickly skimmed through it. (It’s just an image-scan, not text-scanned, so is not text-searchable, nor is one able to copy/paste text from it; one is forced to read or skim the whole thing.) I am forced to say, these archives are collected in rather shoddy fashion, there is no rhyme or reason to the page numbering scheme, neither the document numbers nor the page numbers match the table of contents, nor the index; and everything appears to be in random order. Quite frustrating. Here is the link to Volume II wherein support for that Overy passage should be, but honestly I can’t find it.

The closest thing I could find to Overy’s reference to Stalin’s work logs is this paragraph, from the Editors Introduction, here is my translation from the Russian:

How did historian Overy get his hands on Stalin’s diary?

From the point of view of the nation’s leadership, a constant attention was paid to the Organs of State Security. As was noted in the journals kept by Stalin’s regular secretaries from June 21 – 28 of 1941, L.P. Beria was invited to meet with Stalin 15 times; and Merkulov 5 times. The total time which Stalin allocated, in the first week (of the war) to leadership of the NKVD and KGB, constituted 32.5 hours.

So, that’s all I could find there, it doesn’t even match Pavlo’s quote from Overy, but historian Overy seems to know what he is talking about and quotes dates and times from Stalin’s actual office work logs. In which case Stalin’s diary shows him a busy beaver from the very first minutes of the invasion, conducting endless meetings and getting very little sleep. In which case Diunov, who claims that Stalin secluded himself for the first couple of days and basically had a nervous breakdown, is either misinformed or just taking a cheap shot at the Great Leader.

Personally, I tend to believe Overy’s account over Diunov’s. Stalin doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to me who would just give up and pack it in, at the first setback. I mean, the guy was always kind of a maniacal bundle of energy, no? And even if he did have a couple of bad days — well, everyone is allowed to have a bad day, and he very quickly bucked himself up, no?

Regardless, I consider this to be a minor point, so let us continue with Diunov’s analysis:

Cruel And Unusual Decrees

Diunov: Stalin’s cruel nature continued to affect the course of military operations. In Order #428 (November 17, 1941) he demanded that all populated areas in the enemy rear, for a distance of 40-60 kilometers from the front and a width of 20-30 kilometers to the right and left of the roads, should be destroyed and burnt to the ground. This tactic of “scorched earth”, conducted on Soviet territory, meant hunger and death for Soviet citizens.

Earlier, on 21 September 1941, in a Directive issued by the Commander-in-Chief, it was stated that the Germans are are sending out old men and children to convince Red Army soldiers to surrender. In response to this, the troops were ordered to gun down such peaceful civilians, if they were to encounter them in such a context.

On July 28, 1942 the infamous Order #227 was issued, signed personally by Stalin himself. Once again he forbade any retreat or withdrawal and ordered the formation of “blocking” units, whose job was to function from the rear and shoot their own soldiers, if any tried to retreat. With particular hypocrisy, Stalin alluded to the practice of the Wehrmacht, which had allegedly implemented similar measures. However, Hitler’s famous “Stop-Order” from December 16, 1941 did not actually contain such barbaric notions, it simply remarked on the impermissibility of retreat […] Even in the Nazi Third Reich the notion of shooting one’s own soldiers, was unthinkable. And yet it became a reality in the USSR. And this shows Stalin’s biggest deficiency as a war leader, which even Marshal Zhukov remarked upon: Namely, he was completely indifferent to [personnel] losses.

Marshal Zhukov: Stalin didn’t care one fig about conserving forces.

During the years of war Stalin continued to distrust his military leaders. His cadre policies were chaotic and inconsistent. The first two years of the war, Commanders of armies and fronts were switched around rapidly; a fact that hindered the generals from really getting to know the situation at the particular front for which they were responsible.

This game of cadre leapfrog was the natural result of Stalin’s lack of understanding what actually happens at the front; and this always led to a mistake typical of managerial thinking: the opinion that if you switch out the leadership team, then the problems go away, and the situation will magically improve.

The situation started to get more stable only when the Red Army started to win. Moreover, despite holding all the threads of management in his own hands, Stalin refused to ever visit the front lines, preferring to receive his information via regular reports delivered by members of the General Staff.

Offense vs Defense

yalensis: In the next section, Diunov lays out his own ideas about how the war should have been conducted, especially during the first couple of years. I am not in a position to judge here, but I think he is conflating the pre-war Tukhachevsky-Uborevich doctrine of “Offensive War” which specifically meant crossing over and waging integrated warfare on enemy soil; versus Stalin’s more primitive conception of “Always attack, never pull back.” These are not really the same thing, in my opinion. Diunov believes that a primary task of an army commander consists of conserving his own troops, to the extent possible while pursuing the overall strategic goals and mission; and I can’t see how anybody would disagree with that. If you treat your soldiers like expendable cannon fodder all the time, then you are going to end up wasting a lot of fodder.

Diunov: Stalin was categorically a proponent of the “Offensive Strategy”. Any withdrawal, even [a tactical] one designed to extract some benefit, he regarded at best as unworthy of an officer, and at worst, as a punishable crime.

General Rokossovsky led the 16th Army during the Vyazma operation

These ideas had found their way into the Main Doctrine of 1939 and accounted for the [persistent] demands, in 1941-42, to attack, at a time when the only way to save the country and army, was to build a solid defense and wear Germany out [through attrition]. However, starting in 1943, after the situation at the front changed in favor of the USSR, Stalin’s Doctrine of Attack started to be perceived as indisputable. This fascination with always attacking led to huge losses, for example during the Rzhevsk-Vyazma operation, which continued from January 1942 through March of 1943 and cost the Red Army almost 800,000 men.

Therefore it was not for nothing that Marshal Zhukov wrote in his memoirs: “Was J.V. Stalin, in reality, an astounding military thinker? Of course not.” Zhukov remarked that Stalin was very poorly able to work his way through military issues, but on the other hand, this bureaucrat loved to assign deadlines for the completion of tasks, often not even taking an interest in how these tasks were to be performed.

Did Stalin have any good points as a military leader? Of course. A man without any talent whatsoever would never have been able to govern the Soviet Union and win the war. But his [indisputable] talents were not of the military flavor.

Stalin’s Good Points

Under Stalin’s leadership the USSR became a world power.

Foremost, Stalin well understood the essence of contemporary warfare as the combination of various types of modern weaponry. In his capacity as economic leader, he did quite a lot to promote the effective work of Soviet military industry, and the achievement of superiority in weaponry. Stalin also well understood the value of reserves and always demanded of his military leaders that they prepare and concentrate reserve units so that, at the decisive moment of battle, the army would not be left without reinforcements; and would be able to introduce into the battle ever-fresh troops; in order to strengthen success during a time of attack, or to liquidate threats during a time of defensive operations.

In conclusion, Stalin was quite a good mobilizer and leader, qualities which allowed him to direct the entire military potential of the USSR for the victory in war; albeit, unfortunately, employing very cruel methods.

Stalin also showed himself to be a master of diplomacy. He was quite successful at negotiating with our allies on the main issues of military and political collaboration. Stalin’s efforts on the international stage led to the post-war emergence of the USSR as one of the great powers.

[THE END]

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17 Responses to Was Stalin A Good War Chief? – Part V

  1. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Here is the link to Volume II wherein support for that Overy passage should be, but honestly I can’t find it.

    Apologies, the passage from Overy’s book is a summary of what he found in Yampolsky’s book – the latter book is a history of Soviet state security organs and the former is a side-by-side comparison of Stalin and Hitler’ beliefs, governing styles and wartime leadership. While Overy is specifically concerned with what Stalin was doing, Yampolsky is not, and I am not sure whether the reference points to every page where Overy found the information.

    Diunov: Stalin’s cruel nature continued to affect the course of military operations. In Order #428 (November 17, 1941) he demanded that all populated areas in the enemy rear, for a distance of 40-60 kilometers from the front and a width of 20-30 kilometers to the right and left of the roads, should be destroyed and burnt to the ground. This tactic of “scorched earth”, conducted on Soviet territory, meant hunger and death for Soviet citizens.

    Not for the first time, one notices that Diunov’s version of the war has Stalin pitted against the army, with no foreign enemy in sight. Give him a little longer and he’ll start calling Konstantin Voskoboinikov and Bronislav Kaminsky ‘misunderstood community leaders’, or approvingly posting some of Vladimir Samarin’s articles.

    However, Hitler’s famous “Stop-Order” from December 16, 1941 did not actually contain such barbaric notions, it simply remarked on the impermissibility of retreat […] Even in the Nazi Third Reich the notion of shooting one’s own soldiers, was unthinkable. And yet it became a reality in the USSR

    When somebody writes ‘Not even Hitler did this!’ it is a sign, and it is not a good sign. And in the vast majority of cases, one finds that Hitler did in fact do the thing in question – so it is here.

    Coming back to Diunov himself, let’s have a gander at his live journal https://diunov.livejournal.com/

    Here he talks about how Africans stink, also musing on the peculiar stenches of differing African subgroups: https://diunov.livejournal.com/422499.html

    Did you know that ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ is actually a disguised lesson for crypto-Cathars in how to deal with enemies of their faith? Honestly I hope this one is true, it’s just too good not to be https://diunov.livejournal.com/354289.html

    Diunov demonstrates with reference to a text by Gogol that Ukrainians are not white, and don’t share the Nordic-Baltic phenotype of the Russians. https://diunov.livejournal.com/244085Mic.html

    The late Moammar Gaddafi was a clear Cro-Magnon descendant https://diunov.livejournal.com/366468.html

    Diunov doesn’t like black-haired women – such beauty is racially alien to Russians https://diunov.livejournal.com/479729.html

    Sadly he has not updated his Livejournal for some years. But you can find him on Facebook, under the name ‘Michael Diunov’ – in a recent post he tries to have it both ways, endorsing the notion of mandatory vaccination but rejecting Sputnik as unsafe.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      Hi, Pavlo. I had to fish your comment out of the wordpress spam filter. It’s still not showing up on the main page, though, I don’t know why. Let me try replying to it, and see if that clears it.

      Like

      • yalensis says:

        Oh well, at least your comment is showing up here, under the post.
        Anyhow, maybe Overy was referring to a different Yampolsky book? Seems like Yampolsky either wrote or edited a lot of books.

        Seems like the discrepancy could be resolved if some historian out there had actual access to Stalin’s work logs from that period. Have they been made public? I don’t know the answer to that question.

        Like

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          No doubt the spam filter flagged it because of the number of links… unfortunately I don’t have any health supplements to sell you, nor am I in a position to tell you how a housewife in [YOUR LOCATION HERE] makes $5000 an hour working from home.

          Have they been made public? I don’t know the answer to that question.

          Supposedly the logs of Stalin’s visitations were published in the magazine ‘Historical Archive’, and then in the book ‘At Stalin’s Reception’, and they show him having meetings from early till late until the 29th when he was busy writing his speech… though the link that might at one point have led to an online copy of the book now leads to a website of house painting advice.

          The journal itself is still accessible:

          https://www.elibrary.ru/title_about_new.asp?id=8756

          Diunov’s position is probably that the records are falsified and that Khrushchev was telling the truth.

          Like

          • yalensis says:

            Haha! The comments of my spam filter are so insane, you wouldn’t believe. One of these days I should post a blog just containing some of the more amusing entries from the spam filter.

            Re. Diunov: Yeah, I think you are right that he is basing himself on Khruchshev’s account of events. (Khrushchev claimed that Molotov was basically running the country for a few days while Stalin was having his nervous breakdown.) It would be nice if Diunov just came out and stated that, as his source. Instead, he states that “the work logs show that…” so, either he is (a) sloppy, (b) falsifying, or (c) knows something that nobody else knows.

            Like I said, I don’t really care. My main beef against Stalin is not what he did after the war broke out; but what he did BEFORE the war broke out.

            Like

            • kartheek says:

              i read somewhere ,rome has young soldiers at frontline and experienced soldiers at 3rd row or some thing.

              what do u mean “a good commander conserves resources while pursuing overall strategy! isnt always attack -strategy of USA ? fighting overseas to preserve freedom at home?
              OFF TOPIC:
              if not for october revolution, is it not a fact that whole world would have so many kingdoms ?(which i feel is bad for common man and woman, children )
              i also have feeling ” many people know that war is coming in 1930’s and i feel bad stalin conducted those purges but can all those people be expelled from USSR? which countries will take them?

              i feel USSR was a force for good of the whole world condidering indirect effects also .Now u can see right wing reigning mainly bcoz of USA which i fear will take the whole world backwards — to feudalism or closer version of it where it is again few people who have all luxuries

              Like

              • yalensis says:

                Hello, kartheek, thanks for your comment.
                I agree with you that October Revolution and USSR were a force for good in the world.
                Without that happening, we would all be living as serfs in neo-feudalistic conditions with no benefits for the working class. Oh wait, I think we are almost back to that, but at least there were some good decades along the way…

                🙂

                Like

          • yalensis says:

            P.S. I actually read that Diunov thing you linked about the “Red Riding Hood” story. Believe it or not, his theory actually sounds plausible to me.
            I mean, aren’t all fairly tales and nursery rhymes basically code-speak for something else? As Griboedov wrote in his play: “In these fables, they pretend to speak about an eagle, but are actually criticizing the Tsar.”

            Like, the children’s rhyme, “London Bridge is falling down” is basically about the Plague.
            And “Old King Cole was a merry old soul” — also some kind of political statement about a specific king.

            From what I understand, the Brothers Grimm collected some of these very spooky German fairy tales, some of them dating way back into Medieval times, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Red’s Grandma was actually a Cathartic Priestess and the Wolf an Inquisitor for the Catholic Church.

            Like

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Yes indeed – it’s plausible on the face of it, nothing to immediately mark it out as nonsense, and it provides a bit of insight into one of western Europe’s most important heretical sects. He’s almost acting like a historian instead of a skull-measurer.

              Like

    • yalensis says:

      Okay, regarding Diunov: You can’t say I didn’t warn you, Pavlushka! That’s why I spent the better part of Part I of this series covering my tuchus with every possible caveat and stipulation. Divulging the allegations that Diunov is a racist and white supremacist, etc., before I would even touch him with a 10-foot pole.

      Having said that, I do think it is fair game to raise issues of his credibility when it comes to his opinions of the Nazis and utterances such as “Not even Hitler would do such a thing…” – LOL! If this were a courtroom drama, it would be labelleld, “Goes to the credibility of the witness.”

      What I was trying to do was separate Diunov the “personality” from his factual assertions, which should taken on their own merit, given that this guy does actually have a degree in Russian history. It’s also possible to agree with some of his opinions (like I do with the “always attack, never pull back” thing) while disagreeing with others (like I do with the “scorched earth” thing).

      Having said that, I do have my suspicions that Diunov is a bit soft on Hitler (in the same way that Kurt Vonnegut was soft on the Nazis which is why I can’t bear to read his novels) and why wouldn’t he be, if he actually is a white racist and Aryan-lover. If he still holds such views, that is to say.

      Interesting that you mention Diunov’s views on covid vaccine. That’s going to be my next post. I mean, not about Diunov, but about Russia cracking down on the unvaccinated. I personally believe in the vaccine itself, but not in the mandates. Not that anyone cares about my opinions, but I do find it highly ironic that the Russian government is so bullish on vaccine passports, and yet RT America routinely features the op-eds of anti-vaxxers and even anti-maskers. (The latter I consider way more silly than the former – LOL!)
      🙂

      Like

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Divulging the allegations that Diunov is a racist and white supremacist, etc., before I would even touch him with a 10-foot pole.

        That’s just exactly what makes him fun. Especially his pronouncements on the racial identity of the Ukrainians – there are few more heartfelt gestures of brotherhood than Ukrainians and Russians accusing each other of being wogs. It is only a pity that with all his batty notions, his take on the last war is simply the TV-Dozhd line, which is really terribly dull of him.

        What I was trying to do was separate Diunov the “personality” from his factual assertions, which should taken on their own merit

        Taken on their own merits, his claims aren’t all totally unfair, but he simply doesn’t pay enough heed to the gravity of the situation. Every day the enemy was left in possession of occupied territory they were killing Soviet citizens, stripping the land of valuable resources (foodstuffs, minerals, labour) and strengthening their positions. Evicting them was an urgent necessity, and the government would be rightly condemned if it had made no serious effort to do so.

        Having said that, I do have my suspicions that Diunov is a bit soft on Hitler (in the same way that Kurt Vonnegut was soft on the Nazis which is why I can’t bear to read his novels) and why wouldn’t he be, if he actually is a white racist and Aryan-lover. If he still holds such views, that is to say.

        Vonnegut, at least, had a halfway decent excuse for having developed the silly ideas he did. When you examine Diunov’s beliefs, you find that he’s not really a Russian. He belongs to a mythical nation of blond warriors and Rapunzel-esque maidens cavorting in the shadow of demonic idols and blood-stained ziggurats. He’d love nothing better than to crawl into one of Vsevolod Ivanov’s paintings and stay there forever… he is, in short, a Hyperborean.

        https://sunsofhyperborea.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/the-art-of-vsevolod-ivanov/

        Interesting that you mention Diunov’s views on covid vaccine. That’s going to be my next post. I mean, not about Diunov, but about Russia cracking down on the unvaccinated. I personally believe in the vaccine itself, but not in the mandates.

        I do believe in mandates, especially for Russia. It speaks poorly of the Federation government that matters have developed to this point – the Communists would have squelched the pandemic very quickly. But contemporary Russia doesn’t have the state capacity that the Union had, and never will with dopey liberals like Putin in control.

        Not that anyone cares about my opinions, but I do find it highly ironic that the Russian government is so bullish on vaccine passports, and yet RT America routinely features the op-eds of anti-vaxxers and even anti-maskers. (The latter I consider way more silly than the former – LOL!)
        🙂

        If you want to put American rightwing dissidents on television, that’s what you have to work with, and you count yourself lucky they if they aren’t Qanon Qultists to boot.

        Like

        • yalensis says:

          I am fascinated by the paths of ideological convergence. Neo-Nazi (almost) Diunov and Liberal Dozhd, that’s definitely an odd couple, but I’ve seen odder. The thing that draws them together is their mutual hatred of Bolshevism, which they (incorrectly, in my view) equate with Stalinism. If Diunov wants eventually to return to the mainstream (which, in contemporary Russia, means Putinism), then he will have to separate out Stalin from the rest of the Bolsheviks and recognize the former as a “Russian national leader”, of the Napoleonic sort. Then he will have to let go of his nostalgia about the Germans and Hitler; but not sure he will be able to do that, depending how deep his racialism goes to his core. His only other path is open Vlasovism. Even Putin flirted with such heresy in the early days of the counter-revolution (like, putting up plaques to Mannerheim, etc.) but quickly recoiled, once he saw whither that led.

          I think Diunov actually believes this nonsense about Aryans and so on. And as a classical white-skin racist, then his acceptance of Djugasvili would be hindered by the latter’s, er, Caucasian ethnic roots. I would also have to venture a guess that Diunov is one of those Russian nationalists who absolutely hate Jews, but he wouldn’t have been able to write that publicly, when writing for such a mainstream organ as VZGLIAD. Which is a shame, in a way. I believe in almost complete freedom of speech, so I think people should be allowed to say or write exactly what they think. And then let the readers chew them up in the comment forum!

          Thanks for those amazing Ivanov paintings. What a breathtaking depiction of our ancient Slavic ancestors! Who knew they had tamed mammoths and built such amazing sculptures, covered with swastika-like symbols. These ancient Slavs refused to interbreed with inferior races but apparently did not draw the line at horses. (Since some of them became Centaurs!)

          Like

          • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

            I am fascinated by the paths of ideological convergence. Neo-Nazi (almost) Diunov and Liberal Dozhd, that’s definitely an odd couple, but I’ve seen odder.

            A respectable businessman decides that he’s had enough of his wife, but he doesn’t fancy giving her half of his money in a divorce settlement. So what does he do? He picks a time, he arranges an alibi, and then he dresses up in a tracksuit and ski mask before he breaks into the family home and throttles the life out of her. With his work completed, he withdraws, he disposes of his implement, his clothes and his mask, and the next morning he returns to his home and collapses into a puddle of tears as solemn policemen give him the terrible news. He’s not putting on an act when he does this, oh no – in that moment his pain of the heart is as real as the ligature marks around his dearly beloved’s neck. When he donned the mask he became something that could fulfill his purpose. And once he no longer needed to be that thing that crept in through the window, he took off the disguise and became his old self again. The mask didn’t just hide his face from the world, it hid him the thing that he chosen to become.

            That’s what National Socialism is, along with all its precursors and derivatives – it’s what Europe chooses to become when its ambitions are frustrated, and what it discards when its ambitions are realised. And that’s what’s fascinating! The Russian liberals are cretins, but every one of them understands this instinctively and applauds it with all the conviction in their bones. They see through the mask with adoring eyes, longing to embrace the thing that comes in the dark.

            If Diunov wants eventually to return to the mainstream (which, in contemporary Russia, means Putinism), then he will have to separate out Stalin from the rest of the Bolsheviks and recognize the former as a “Russian national leader”, of the Napoleonic sort.

            Lionising the army while claiming that the war was won in spite of Stalin is still within the bounds of respectability, so he could do that. Not sure the Red Army is to his taste though – too many black-haired women!

            I think Diunov actually believes this nonsense about Aryans and so on

            Aspiring to join a club that would burn itself to the ground rather than have him as a member.

            Which is a shame, in a way. I believe in almost complete freedom of speech, so I think people should be allowed to say or write exactly what they think. And then let the readers chew them up in the comment forum!

            This sort of free speech can only exist in a world of competing states. No country ever would or ever should permit totally free discourse about itself, so complete freedom of speech about one’s country is available only to those who become exiles, dwelling in the territory of their home country’s foe.

            Thanks for those amazing Ivanov paintings.

            Even with the swastikas, wouldn’t it be grand to visit his world for a short while? As a child he ran away from home to become a clown in a travelling circus, and how marvellously he has succeeded.

            These ancient Slavs refused to interbreed with inferior races but apparently did not draw the line at horses. (Since some of them became Centaurs!)

            Horses are Aryans, so it isn’t bestiality. Sheep however, are Africans and goats are Jews – totally out of bounds for any Hyperborean.

            Like

          • yalensis says:

            Pavlo, you are such a dreamy romantic, I think you need to write a novel…

            Like

            • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

              Perhaps. And yet:

              All writing is pigshit.
              People who leave the obscure and try to define whatever it is that goes on in their heads, are pigs.
              The whole literary scene is a pigpen, especially this one.
              All those who have vantage points in their spirit, I mean, on some side or other of their heads and in a few strictly localized brain areas; all those who are masters of their language; all those for whom words have a meaning; all those who are the spirit of the times, and have named these currents of thoughts — and I am thinking of their precise works, of that automatic grinding that delivers their spirit to the winds –
              are pigs.
              – Antonin Artaud

              Diunov is certainly a pig. Ivanov, however dwells in the obscure, belongs to the spirit of no time ever known on earth, sustains thoughts that flow upon unnameable currents, and nobody could ever hope to define what goes on in his head.

              Which does the world need one more of?

              Like

              • yalensis says:

                Antonin Artaud? A French writer calls other writers pigs? haha!
                Maybe he should call them toads instead:

                – C’est vrai, répliqua Danton, depuis six mille ans, Caïn
                s’est conservé dans la haine comme le crapaud dans la pierre, le
                bloc se casse, Caïn saute parmi les hommes, et c’est Marat.
                – Danton ! cria Marat. Et une lueur livide apparut dans ses
                yeux.

                (Victor Hugo, 1793, just another piggish French writer – LOL!)

                Like

              • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

                Toads simply haven’t the misapplied, piggish vigour of writers.

                Like

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