I often think now of The Gods Are Athirst by Anatole France. I think of his hero, the painter, who turns away from frivolous pastoral scenes and dreams of a new style, of ancient models, of expressing revolutionary symbols.
What a strange art of reinvention was born between the 18th and 19th centuries. An art that had few means of its own, little beauty of its own, little style, and yet was a bridge between two centuries and between two styles. Perhaps our own age is also a bridge, burning behind it the social and artistic laws of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and preparing in the enthusiasm and excitement of upheaval a new social order and style. The Great Revolution created modern Europe. In the time of the Great Revolution, the transformations of churches and halls into conventions and national assemblies, and their occasional decorations, created a new style. Does nothing occur to you when seeing in picture magazines the decorations of contemporary popular assemblies and processions in Germany, Italy or Russia? Does the simile come to mind that the near future, too, will repudiate with disgust the art of today as frivolous and pernicious?
The ministry seems to do nothing but illegally reproduce leaflets, poems and pictures. Among them is a nice article by Duhamel from Le Figaro and a folk poem about how Masaryk appeared to Neurath at the Castle. Once again, as in the Lány legend, Masaryk appears in white riding clothes. N. says that the white outfit is made from St. Wenceslas’s white horse.
20 May 1939
Tomorrow it will be a year since I returned from the Husbandry Exhibition and wondered why the whole Castle was so strangely lit. In the morning our maid came running in saying there's going to be a war!
It will be the 21st of May, of Máj, again!
A year has passed, the year of Runciman's stay, the year of the last straws of hope, the year of the September mobilization, the preparation for the air raids, the evening and night blackouts, the year of Munich, the year of the Second Republic, the year of March 15, 1939.
This year has made us different people.
In Germany, they greet each other with a hand raised to the brow (as if looking into the distance) and the words: “Land im Sicht.”
What else awaits us?
Liberec's Die Zeit writes that Czech fascists in uniform can be seen on the streets again, proving that there are other political movements outside the National Partnership. This means that the Czech meal has not yet been cooked to the Germans' liking. Let them choke!
Monday, May 22
As for our internal politics, the association of Brno fascists (Vlajka), an association of about six or eight hundred people that exists with the blessing of the Germans, but more directly as an instrument of their further aims and objectives, has emerged.
|Subject:||A Woman in the Pantheon|
|Title:||Typescript of the book "Testimony. Diary from 1939" – p. 112, 113|