I don't know why I haven't written in here for so long. Weary of scrutinizing myself… But tonight I'm happy I've stayed in and read a book (Esquisse d'un traité du roman, Léon Bopp); I'm going to proofread City of Acacia Trees[i]. I've been overdoing it a bit lately with these sleepless nights. Last night, after the Opera – the opening of the season – we went to 'Zissu's'. Maryse was wearing an exquisite white dress (beautiful like that of a film star), Gheorghe[ii] a tailcoat, Marietta Sadova an evening dress too, and I a dinner jacket. Not many people, excellent atmosphere, whisky, cocktails, cigarettes. Danced a lot. Maryse – touchingly delicate, tender, saying things that take me aback by their sincerity and lack of hesitation. 'You have no idea how much I love you.' And I'm stupid enough to feel flattered. Yesterday morning, at 'Alcalay's,' a guy sprang towards me, hand stretched out, cordial, smiling, voluble. 'Are you angry with me?' 'Angry?' I stretched out my hand too, without knowing to whom, as I hadn't recognized him. Realizing that, Ocneanu introduced us to each other: 'Mr. Niculae Roşu.'[iii] I was petrified by so much lack of tact. 'I don't bear grudges,' he told me several times. I relished addressing him in the second person plural throughout the conversation. 'You see, sir, angry I am not, but I must tell you one thing: your ill will is enormous.' He turned pale, and started mumbling something. Ocneanu was wringing his hands, trying to make peace between us – but I kept my nerve and went on speaking with exaggerated politeness. Which was the only way I could conceal my disgust. The guy was full of commonplaces. He went on and on about Jews, who are intelligent, who are cultivated, who are this, who are that. He has great respect for Jews. He has great respect for me. He reads me. Always has. My education, my style, my talent, and so and so forth. I let him speak and took great delight in watching him drown in that sea of platitudes, retractions, and compliments. But I got it eventually: poor chap had a book coming out and – he told me straight in the face – he wouldn't want it to be welcomed with a series of Pandrea-like articles. 'I'll send you the book,' he assured me on parting. What a man! I don't remember ever meeting anyone with more abject a character. But let's not get angry! I'm getting pathetic. I've given up following the stages of my love affair (?) with Leni. So many contradictions, returns, blunders, broken projects.[iv] I saw her yesterday – and the mere fact made me happy. But it'll go away, it'll go away. Monday, October 28 [1935]1 a.m. Piatigorski Concert. Frescobaldi, Toccata. Boccherini, A-major Sonata. Bach, C-major Suite (solo cello – I may have heard it before, in Leipzig, last winter). Weber-Piatigorski, Sonatina in A, Schubert, Arpegionne sonata. Skriabin, Poems. Glazunov, Espagnole Serenade. Ravel, Habanera. De Falla, Terror Dance. Thursday, October 31 [1935]Bach: Passacaglia in C minor.Mozart: Concert for piano and orchestra in C major. Soloist – Wilhelm Kempff.Brahms: Symphony No 1.  Last night, from Vienna, Symphonies no 4 and 5 by Beethoven, Weingartner. The night before last, from Juan les Pins, fragments from Ma mère l'Oye by Ravel, and the ending of the Separation Symphony by Haydn. Long lunch today, at the French Institute. Sunday, November 3 [1935]Kempff and the Philharmonic at the Athenaeum this morning – three concerts for piano and orchestra, in C minor (op. 37), G major (op. 58), and E flat major (op. 73), Beethoven. Moments of overwhelming emotion, such as I had never experienced with music. And some kind of nervous tension, some kind of continuous vibration that runs through my day. I'd have liked to have had Lilly by me. A bit further down, in a box, Jeni. Monday, 4 [November 1935]Exquisite radio evening. A short concert for cello and clavichord, from Zurich. Also a sonata by a classic whose name I didn't get right (Andrea something), Variations by Händel-Goldschlager (for clavichord only), an Adagio by Tartini, and a Rondo by Boccherini. From Warsaw, a trio for oboe, bassoon, and piano by Poulenc. Wonderful in terms of humor and invention (presto, andante, rondo). Still from Warsaw, but later, a sonata for orchestra by Corelli, Concert for piano and orchestra in C major by Beethoven (very Mozart-like – I still have one to go before I know the five of them) – and finally, The Classic Symphony by Prokofiev. Amusing visit to Dorina Blank, who's bluntly offering herself to me. Moving letter from Şuluţiu[v]. I'd never have guessed there was such a fervent 'admirer' in him. Friday 8 [November 1935]Last night, at the Philharmonic, Mozart: Symphony in E flat (horribly played), Haydn: Concert for cello and orchestra in D major (Cassado), Tchaikovski: Variations on a rococo theme, for cello and orchestra, Stravinsky: The Firebird. In the evening. What more could I reproach Lena after our conversation today? She was kind, tender, nice, with no fake guile, just a tiny bit of coquetry, with some enthusiasm and, most importantly, with no hypocrisy. Should I call her, she would come. She couldn't really tell me it was difficult for her to see me at her place because of Froda. But she hinted at that pretty clearly. (And there was no need for it either, since while I was there he phoned and the servant mumbled something on the phone saying that 'Miss was reading' – at which lie Leni was embarrassed.) We walked for about half an hour and I talked loads of nonsense. She however came up with something admirable, which I'm trying to remember: 'It's true I'm whimsical, coquettish, and frivolous. But I've never done anything out of whim, coquetry, or frivolity only.' I'm really sorry I can't remember her exact words. Her phrasing was much better. So here I am, a step away from 'happiness'. Are you pleased? Friday, 15 [November 1935]Just back from Galaţi where I last night spoke at the 'Freedom' literary circle. I don't think it's showing off, but I do enjoy being able to connect with a roomful of people for an hour – especially when speaking about things that are unfamiliar and indifferent to them. As I was talking I got amused by various things that occurred to me on the spot and I let myself carried away by the rhythm of my own speech. Wednesday, 27 [November, 1935]So many things I should have put down! But I don't think I've ever before been drowned like this in things I have to do (things I don't even finish: I just get agitated, mess them up, postpone them…). I should mention, even dwell on, Nae's opening lecture. This year he's going to deliver a series of lectures on 'political logic'. For now, the introduction's been just a brief profession of faith in the Guard. He flattered his students with an electoral insistence. He praised the 'political generations' and defended them against 'the scholarly generations' which, he said, had a huge fault: they were scholarly. Politics means action, life, reality, direct contact with existence. The book is abstract. So what you're doing is right, truth is on your side, hurray, hurray, hurray! At the end (Ghiţă[vi] was also there, deep in a shattering silence, so were Mircea and Vasile Băncilă), I reminded him of his article of May 1928, 'What the Youth Think,' in which, conversing with Petrovici, he said that the meaning of the young generation should not be sought in the streets, which are full of agitators and breakers of windows, but in libraries, where the representative values are. 'Yes,' he said imperturbably, 'that's how things were then. The situation is different now. That was a spiritual moment – this is a political one.' Poor Nae! How fast he's going down… To stick to politics, I should also mention the brief, tense conversation I had with Mircea at the 'Continental' on Monday evening, after coming out from the theatre. It's not the first time either. And I can see he's increasingly sliding towards the right. When it's just the two of us, we still get on pretty well. In public though, his rightist position becomes extreme and categorical. With some amount of aggressiveness, he told me a pure enormity: 'all the great creators are rightist'. Just like that. But I won't let such differences cast the tiniest shadow on my love for him. I'll try to avoid having 'political controversies' with him in the future. Let me also put down the Credinţa trial, where my pleadings were most effective[vii]. I could tell it not only by the attention of the court, by my supporters' congratulations and by my adversaries' irritation. But I could also tell it from the silence that had fallen and by that nervous flux that had suddenly lifted the debates above the previous jokes and harassment. Needless to say that the defenders of the Credinţa had not overlooked informing the Court that I was a Jew. Medrea promised to beat me. I told Marysia, and only half-jokingly, that I was looking forward to the day when Vulcănescu, Gabriel, Titel and Tell would make peace with Sandu Tudor, Stancu and Medrea on discovering that the yids were solely responsible for the fight, especially me, who had bred dissension among the Christian brothers. It may seem a joke, but it is in fact highly plausible. Other than that, nothing. I'm gradually turning into an animal and it seems I've given up waiting for any kind of salvation. December 17, Tuesday [1935]2.30 a.m. I'm dead tired, and in the morning I have to be at my desk at 8 at the latest, but I can't help putting down right now the amazing confession Maryse made to me. I'm doing my best to transcribe faithfully: 'You have no idea how much I've suffered because of you. I wanted so much to go to bed with you. I was obsessed with you. For a week it was a real torture – physical even, you know. Do you remember that time when I came to meet you at Rampa and we drove on together? That day I was determined to speak to you openly, as I could see you did not, or would not, understand otherwise. I'd even decided I'd take upon myself the most embarrassing details. Finding a room where to meet, bringing you there, preparing you, anyway, everything… But right on that day you had a… toothache. Had it not been for that, I would have most certainly been yours. I'd have had no hesitation in speaking to you about it – and you couldn't have refused. No man could. At the very beginning – do you remember, after the first time we'd been at 'Zissu's' – I was thinking of going to your place one day, getting undressed, and lying on the bed waiting for you. You'd have found me there and you'd have had no choice. But before I could do anything you gave me a copy of Women and I saw I'd have only repeated an episode from the past. I got sick of me and gave up, as you'd have thought I was copying your heroine. Then, at 'Corso,' when we had lunch together. I'd come to tell you everything and ask for everything, and you asked me if you could finish an article. I never hesitated but you just wouldn't get it. I'm telling you this now because I seem to have got over it. It's no longer a thing of the present. I wanted it too much to take any pleasure in it now. I was crazy, I'm telling you. With Gheorghe, with his mother, I could only speak about you. Oh, how I suffered!… What? You think I wouldn't have cheated on Gheorghe? You think I don't anyway? Oh yes, I do, with various people, not very often, but when I really like somebody – what do you expect me to do? I think it would be stupid to deny myself that. I love him, but this is nothing to do with it. And only once, in Constanţa, when I was left alone for three days with a guy that was courting me and whom I really liked actually, did I resist – don't even know why, either stubbornness or stupidity – something I'm anyway sorry for to this day.' [Monday] December 30 [1935]Sceaux I'm in Paris and still incapable of realizing it. I think I'll wake up in ten days' time when I've left it. There's something unreal about this return that annihilates five years of life as if they'd never existed. On Saturday evening I dined at Fanny Bonnard's in Yerres. I found her totally unchanged and the mere thought of five years separating us seemed to me absurd. Strange feeling of being old. I walked one morning through the Rue de la Clef neighborhood. Nothing's changed, nothing – not even I who, out of all the five years of separation, only carry with me what the 22-23 year old knew and lived in 1930. I went up Rue Soufflot, saw again the Sainte Geneviève library, went on to Rue Clovis, Rue Mouffetard, Rue Monge, Rue de la Clef, Rue Lacepiède and entered Jardin des Plantes, where I stopped for some time under the big cedar. To be honest, I can't quite realize that time's passed. But I'm not going to write in this notebook that I've taken with me for nothing. Maybe I'll catch up with things when back in Bucharest. And now, because I didn't do it at the right time, I don't really feel like summing up the latest events in my love affair with Leni. We love each other – we said that to each other and separated in a friendly manner, kissing. I wonder what's going to become of me in Bucharest. I've got a special talent for complicating terribly this miserable life. […] Friday, 11 [February 1938]The Goga government fell last night! Reflex, sudden, exuberant reaction, like an irrepressible nervous relief. I kept telling myself – still do after a night of agitated sleep – that things are most unclear, that they can remain equally serious, at least for us, that the anti-Semitic repression may well go on – and yet I can't help being ecstatic about it. It's so comforting to see how this huge imposture is suddenly deflating. But what really gave last night a dramatic touch, of anxious joy, joyful anxiety, excitement, optimistic agitation, was the news, or the rumors rather, from Germany. Riots, street fights in Berlin, three army corps in open confrontation with the assault troops, etc. It was unbelievable but uplifting. My old skepticism was trying to reject the news, but my thirst for happiness – however momentary, however deceiving – wanted to believe, was beginning to believe. Until 2 a.m. by myself in the street, around the Palace, lost in the crowd, clinging to various people – Carandino[viii], Camil, Ghiţă Ionescu – asking, passing on information, convinced when coming across a skeptic, skeptical when coming across somebody convinced. I just couldn't bring myself to go home – I'd have kept wandering all night. And the atmosphere in the street was indeed feverish, stimulating, full of expectation, doubt, supposition. Now, several hours later, after reading the papers (uncertain about Germany, where the situation is muddled, but not acute, or at least not immediately and imminently acute), I'm calmer and less suspicious. I feel like after a night of partying. Saturday, 12 [February 1938]The night before last (the night of the crisis), Camil saw me in the Palace Square where I was waiting for news. He seemed taken aback by what was going on, and I enjoyed being voluble with a Camil 'reduced to silence'. 'You should see how the Jews have invaded the "Corso". The whole café's full of them. It's a real "take over".' 'You're so anti-Semitic, Camil! Come with me and I'll show how wrong you are, or how wrong you just can't help being.' I took him by the arm, entered the 'Corso,' went round the whole place, stopping at every table, and counting all the suspicious faces. We may have, all in all, counted about 15 Jews in an overcrowded, agitated café, full of passionate groups. Camil kept smiling, and took it all back when faced with such evidence. This morning, Perpessicius, whom I met at the Foundation, talked to me about Cuvântul, where life in the editorial staff seemed unchanged from what it used to be once. The same old fights with the administration, the same ironic hostility with Devechi, the same old petty squabbles, which did nevertheless make up some kind of family atmosphere. Besides, an avalanche of legionaries. The comeback party was held at the legionary restaurant. Monday, 21 [February 1938]Three days in Predeal, from Monday morning until last night, at villa Robinson. I'd left Bucharest to get away from tiredness, exasperation, and disgust. So many troubles, small and great, which I found increasingly unbearable! I'm coming back recovered. Partly at least – despite the terrible insomnia and then nightmarish Saturday night. (I find it so difficult to get used to a place I don't know!) Snow relaxes me, makes me younger, helps me forget. The Veştea slope is the steepest I've been on in my short skiing career. I fell numberless times. But also learned some things, I think. This morning for instance I finally managed to go all the way down without falling, reaching that small spot of ice that marks the end of the track right where the wood begins. Three days of skiing – and I'm coming back with my nerves calmed down and in their right place. But this Bucharest, this life I live… Monday, 28 [February 1938]Another two days – Saturday and Sunday – in Predeal. An impression of sunshine, of loads of light, of much childishness – something very similar to happiness. Nothing left of my usual bitterness, my stupid questions, my meaningless regrets, nothing of this life made of patches, broken promises, endless waiting, vague dissatisfaction, small tired hopes. Everything becomes simple again when I'm there. Only one day in Balcic – naked in the sun – can have the same intensity. Yesterday morning, sitting in the bright sun, I no longer had any bad thoughts, melancholia, or expectations. I was simply happy. I was wearing only a shirt – and I'd have taken that off too: a day meant to be spent in deckchairs, with only a vest on. And I'm coming back with a tanned face, like in my good old days. As for skiing, I'm making remarkable progress. This time I went without falling down slopes that no longer than last week were making me nervous. I've learnt a kind of christie that is really easy and gives me when I'm out there an unexpected feeling of skillfulness. It's also true that the moment I leave the training track and 'venture' on an unknown one, all my practice proves to be totally useless. Yesterday afternoon I kept falling on the way from Veştea to Timiş, where I went with Devechi, Lupu, and two other persons from their entourage. Useful experience though, at least as a test of endurance. On Saturday I skied with Virgil Madgearu. Skiing turns everybody into a child again: including a former minister. But, needless to say, one has to get serious again when back home. I've got some things waiting for me to solve. I'm thinking of taking up writing The Romanian Novel again. As Roman is leaving for London and as we're still not allowed in court, I'll try, from now on, to work at the Academy in the morning. Monday, March 14 [1938]Emil Gulian, whom I met after a very long time, is the same confused boy, full of personal questions (love affairs, spleen, scruples, expectations), indifferent to all political events, poisoned by poetry… The Goga-Cuza 'period' depressed him. He says he was ashamed – and I believe him. Met Sân-Giorgiu the other day, at the Foundation. Unrecognizable. He no longer wears the swastika. Speaks about the mistakes of their government. 'But after all, my dear, this is no better either…' He's friendly, talkative. He tells me about his success in the German theatres. 'Ibsen himself did not have this kind of triumph: not one negative review!' Skiing was indeed an admirable diversion. I haven't been to Predeal for the past two Sundays – don't think there's any snow left anyway – and it shows. I'm not at all happy with the life I have. I read in fits and starts, don't write anything, don't do any work, waste my time at Roman's and the Foundation, and am left of all this with a feeling of agitation and disintegration. I'd like to work – yet don't have the courage to start. It would imply an effort of organization and discipline. Will I go to Paris for Easter? Will I go to Balcic? Will I ever get to write The Accident? Will I ever get to write the book about the novel? I live provisionally, from day to day. I don't have any money, my clothes are going to pieces, and I don't wait for anything really, only for the night to come, the morning to come, Thursday to come, Sunday to come. And why all this? and for how long? Wednesday, 16 [March 1938]I don't know what's wrong with me. Forever tired. Totally incapable of bearing a few hours' work. Needed several days for the latest review written for the Foundation, and kept crossing out, reading out loud, losing track, going too much into detail, and being too sparse with the main ideas. I see badly, think even worse. Read in fits and starts – for no longer than a quarter of an hour. A few pages from Saint-Simon last night, a few from Carlo Gamba's Botticelli today, which I'll never get to finish. I have difficulty even in writing these lines. The letter keep jumping in front of my eyes. I wasted yesterday scribbling a poor review of a play for Viaţa românească. The one I promised on Camil's book scares me.