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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 25 May 2014

Pretty lady

Friday, May 25th., Yacht Club, London.

I returned to London Tuesday. Squire and Desmond McCarthy lunched with me at the Reform.

At night, after writing the Sardonyx article I went to Russian concert at Russian Exhibition and it was very good. The pianissimos of the Balalaika Orchestra were marvellous, especially woth music like Borodin's. On the other hand I had little use for Tchaikowsky's  'Grand Trio' (A Minor). Place pretty full.

In 1917, in order to raise funds for the Anglo-Russian hospitals, Lady Muriel Paget organised a huge Russian exhibition on the theme of "Russia in Peace and War" at the Grafton Galleries in London, which ran through May of that year. The exhibition included a series of Russian concerts (where Feodor Chaliapin sang to raise money for her), lectures on various Russian-related topics, dramatic performances of Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy, etc. The opening ceremony, presided over by Lord French, was preceded by a Russian Orthodox religious service.
More on this at 'Philanthropy'

But the chief thing yesterday was that I began on my novel about the French cocotte, with gusto.

Additionally for May 25th., see 'On sex and women'

I see that at bottom, I have an intellectual scorn, or the scorn of an intellectual man, for all sexual-physical manifestations. They seem childish to me, unnecessary symptoms and symbols of a spiritual phenomenon. (Yet few Englishmen could be more perversely curious and adventurous than I am in just these manifestations.) I can feel myself despising them at the very moment of deriving satisfaction from them, as if I were playing at being a child.

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