Sunday, 8 February 2015


And not only stupid, but awkward in company as well:
“Among my classmates, I was stupid, but not the most stupid – even if some of my teachers said so frequently both to my face and to my parents. But they only passed such extreme judgment under the fantastic notion some people have, who think that a daring judgment makes them conquerors of half the world.
But there was a general belief that I was stupid, and for good reasons, actually. These reasons were easy to state in case there was a need to convince a stranger who had initially formed a good impression of me and said so to others. Their negative judgment often made me angry, and I even cried. Those were the only times, however, when I felt insecure, under the pressure of the moment and despairing of the future, and it was only a theoretically insecurity and despair. If I had to tackle work immediately afterwards, I felt secure and was free of doubt, almost like an actor coming out of the wings at a run, who stops for a moment far from the centre of the stage, touches his forehead, let us say, even as the passion shortly required of him becomes so great that it cannot be disguised even if he squeezes his eyes shut and bites his lips. The uncertainty in him, half gone yet still present, heightens his mounting passion, and the passion reinforces his insecurity. It is unstoppable, constantly forming anew, enveloping both and the man himself. That’s why I’m unwilling to make the acquaintance of strangers. I’m uneasy even if they look at me sideways…"CONT. in my next post on Thursday.

(Source: Unpublished text of 1909, posted on, my trans.)

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