Sunday, June 20, 2004

I read the hexameters and dreamed of the life abroad

"In my hands, I had a copy of the Iliad in the Russian hexameter of Gnyeditch; in my pocket, a passport made out in the name of Trotsky, which I wrote in it at random, without even imagining that it would become my name for the rest of my life ... Throughout the journey, the entire car full of passengers drank tea and ate cheap Siberian buns. I read the hexameters and dreamed of the life abroad. The escape proved to be quite without romantic glamour; it dissolved into nothing but an endless drinking of tea."

Leon Trotsky, from "My First Escape".

See also this review by the dreaded Christopher Hitchens, who appears to be unable to throw off those last feverish thoughts that infection with Trotskyist memes at an early age cause.

From the same review (I can't find a source for this online); to the pre-war government of Norway when they announce his deportation:

"This is your first act of surrender to Nazism in your own country. You will pay for this. You think yourselves secure and free to deal with a political exile as you please. But the day is near—remember this!—the day is near when the Nazis will drive you from your country, all of you."

Hitchens compares Trotsky to Cassandra and certainly there is something genuinely reminiscent of a Greek trgedy in the mans life. How come no-one ever based on opera on him?
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