June 4, 1965 10 AM [please note year. This page was among the 1964 material,attached in a booklet; it probably should be 1964]
Last night, on a sudden fancy, I arranged to visit the City Center Ballet, to see Don Quixote, the music is by Nabokov, the magnificent settings by Esteban Frances, all in tow by Balanchine of course and led by a sweet Dulcinea, Suzanne Farrell, who along with the rest of the troupe made this 45-year old man feel very old and distant from the world of expression. Herbert Neuman and Rosy Neuman, his cousin-in-law from Israel, were with me, and later on we all three went to 241 CP West where Stephanie prepared drinks, cheeses, and this and that. Home by cab, thoroughly wearied at 1. We had a boisterous argument over an article by Kaufman on the Jew as a Cultural hero, which I ridiculed and Stephanie admired. it was a shapeless, illogical, and unsubstantiated essay in the NYTimes maintaining that Jewish writers were now using Jews as their American heroes and were given general acceptance. That is the charitable summary; its treatment was diffuse and self-contradictory. Actually Jews have always written about Jews and American Jewish writers -- such as Saul Bellow -- will write about American Jews in their American forms. Nothing startling in this. As for the "culture hero" (a Soviet term that is a holdover from the garment-center communism of the thirties), half the books in America are bought by Jews, so what's the proof of the generality of America's response to the Jewish cultural hero? A great many Jews are annoyingly indecisive about the image they wish to invoke in the society as a whole.
June 8, 1964
Slaves are more content than free men. And why quibble over the word "happy". Slaves are happier on the average than free men. Freedom is a matter of principle, not of pleasure. We choose freedom as an obligation.
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Was it not Razenhofer who once wrote that political science is a branch of psychopathology? This is more than comic: it is tragic. The perceptive and cognitive structures of the vast majority of people are shot to pieces. They see in politics what is not there and act in accord. Surveys show the polipathology of the majority; the behavior of politistics completes the true generality. Nothing that political training, education, information, and propaganda from infancy to senility does but serves to aggravate the disease which begins in the human structure that is unfit to abstract.
June 29, 1964 8:30 PM NYC 7 Washington Square North
John de Grazia is 13 today.
A big boy. A good boy. I would say he is to this [point] of life an astonishing child. It is hard to find some bad in him -- a little lazy in his lessons (he is so intelligent that he learns too fast and stops a little short of supremacy), teases Carlo once every week or two. He reads masses of fiction and non-fiction. He rides his bike like a circus performer. He tends his tropical fish and raises their young to sell. He picks up a few coins by mowing grass and weeding gardens. He is a good gardener, practically an agronomist. His knowledge is encyclopaedic. But he was indifferent to learning Italian while in Italy. He has had a stomach ailment -- quite unexplainable for so calm and cheerful a person. A possible wrinkle at the bottom of his stomach was discovered and he has been treated for nervous stomach and hyperacidity. He took the treatment like everything else, in good humour, quizzically. He suffers his poison ivy stoically. He cooks his favorite foods. Fights well. Once in the while, I think, he will bulldoze another boy. Essentially though he does not like conflict, for he has almost no hostilities. He is kind to his grandparents and they believe the sun rises and sets by him. While I was walking with him and Immanuel Velikovsky a few weeks ago, while he was ill, a gang of girls of assorted sizes and of his age, screamed and giggled when they passed us. He was disgusted with them; they were from his school. They were excited to see their sick schoolmate gadding about.
The calm before the storm:
At his pied-à-terre that looked out upon Washington Square, De G. was idling of an evening in June 964, drifting from one thing to another and he wrote down several items that made up his thoughts:
Other entries of the same time:
Gandhi (December 1947) "My eyes have now been opened. I see that what we practiced during the fight with the British under the name of non-violence, was not really non-violence."
from Hugh Tinker International Affairs April 1964, p. 262
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The 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion is generally considered now to be "one of those rare politico-military events -- a perfect failure."
from T. Draper, Castro's Revolution, 1962, p. 59.
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A British Advertising agency (according to my old teacher Lindsay Rogers) once announced that of the British Army officers arriving to serve in India, 75% of those who did not drink were dead before the year was out. However, there were only 4 such -- 1 drowned while bathing, 1 mangled by a tiger, a third killed by an irate husband.
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Man can slump easily into a barbarian, indeed pleasurably. Only with great pains can he progress towards his ultimate perfection. But perfectible he is, as Marx, Lenin, and Saint-Simon believed.
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Tao principle of inaction (wu wei) "Doing nothing, Yet there is nothing that is not done." Applied to administration by Han Fei Tzu (3rd. century B.C.). Perhaps should be applied to Congress.
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[June 30, 1964 ?]
Go over checkbook with Juliet
Write Cath & Vic 1
No Write up Design for ABS Classics of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (postpone)
No Do Elites editing for NYU Press publication 9/10 in Fall) 10
Rearrange Princeton & NYC files 10
No Arrange with Livio re screen signaletiques 1
Write book review on Burdick's books 2
Ask Charley to prepare memo on how-to-do codexing 1
Begin & complete State Dept. codex by Sept. 1 glossary 6
Set up screening, selection, abstracts and hire worker for IR Codex 16
No Complete new poems and publish poetry volume 40
See Dryfoos 2
See Karin & Mike? (Postpone)
Go to Washington 16
No Go to Ann Arbor 32
Prepare Scope Exam
Prepare Scope Readings
Arrange Velikovsky Book contract (Aug. 20)