EIMI is Cummings' account of his trip to Russia in 1931. It was first published by Covici, Friede in 1933, reprinted by William Sloane in 1949, and reprinted by Grove Press, with an explanatory preface by EEC, in 1958. All of these older editions have the same pagination, and all are out of print. A new edition of EIMI was published by Liveright in November, 2007.  Short excerpts from EIMI are also reprinted in i: six nonlectures and in AnOther E. E. Cummings. In the notes that follow, the first page number is that of the new edition, the second that of the older editions. For some notes to EIMI, see the our new edition site. We reprint here Cummings' prefatory description of the book (with page numbers keyed to the old editions).

Further reading:

  • EEC's comments on the Lenin's Tomb passage. 
  • Friedman, Norman. "Eimi (1933)." E. E. Cummings: The Growth of a Writer. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1964. 109-124.
  • Kennedy, Richard S. "Anne and Russia." Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E. E. Cummings. New York: Liveright, 1980. 304-315. 
  • ---. "The Unworld Visited." Dreams in the Mirror. 327-335.
Dust-jacket of the 1933 edition of EIMI 
Dust-jacket of the 1933 edition of EIMI 

From pp. i-xix of E. E. Cummings, EIMI. New York, Grove Press, 1958.



the word eimi, pronounced "a-ME", stands for the Greek word είμί=am. To devotees of the Old Testament, this may suggest Exodus III,14—"I AM THAT I AM". If someone should have encountered a small book entitled i (six nonlectures), he or she will perhaps recall the quotation (p 63) concerning "an IS". See also my introduction to the Modern Library edition of The Enormous Room

subject eimi, first published 25 years ago, is the diary (May 10-June 14 1931) which I kept during most of a trip from Paris to Russia, thence to Turkey, & back to Paris. When my diary opens, I’m on a train bound for the Polish-Russian border. At N (Negoreloe) I enter "a world of Was" (p 8)—the subhuman communist superstate, where men are shadows & women are nonmen; the preindividual marxist unworld. This unworld is Hell. In Hell I visit Moscow, Kiev, Odessa. From Hell an unship takes me to Istanbul (Constantinople) where I reenter the World (pp 377-386)—returning to France by train structure
my journey falls in 9 parts, paged as follows
Paris-Warsaw-N, & N-Moscow, by train. . . 3-12
Moscow. . .13-256
Moscow-Kiev train. . .256-262
Kiev. . .263-279
Kiev-Odessa train. . .279-288       [end p. i]
Odessa. . .289-360
Odessa-Istanbul steamer. . .348-379
Istanbul.. .380-410
Istanbul-Paris train. . .411-432

furthermore, the Moscow section (more than half eimi) divides itself into an earlier (13-127) & a later (128-256) period. During the earlier, my address is the Hotel Metropole & my guide is VIRGIL. During the later, I am the guest of BEATRICE & TURK; chez Chinesey


thanks to a maker’s congenital fondness for metaphor—heightened by Russia’s immemorially merciless (once tzarist, now socialist) Gay-Pay-Oo [GPU] or Secret Police—the persons described in eimi are masked with nicknames. A single person may have many nicknames: thus, during my first Moscow day (May 12) "1 ultrabenevolent denizen of Cambridge mass (who hibernates half of each year in Russia, spinning meanwhile an opus on the theatre)" becomes Mr. Spinner & mentor & the benefactor of benefactors & Virgil & Sibyl & benevolence & wc (walking corpse) & the 3rd good Cantabrigian & our guardian angel & Dante’s cicerone & the recorder. As VIRGIL, he is one of eimi’s chief characters. Another is Lack Dungeon's daughter (from the standpoint of the marxists; who’ve canonized her moderately popular father as a Great i.e. Proletarian Writer) alias BEATRICE (in relation to VIRGIL) alias Turkess or Harem with respect to chief character number three—who’s the TURK, sometimes called Assyrian or that bourgeois face or Charlie. Then comes the NOO INGLUNDUR of Odessa, otherwise known as defunct & mentor & Noo. Last we have tovarich (comrade) peesahtel y hoodozhnik (writer & painter) Kem-min-kz (Russian for Cummings) alias I or C or K, alias Poietes (Greek=ποιητής=maker=poet). Item: the church of St Basil in atheist Moscow is also masked—first (p 25) appearing as "Something Fabulous"; later (89). as "sheer barberpolemiracle-pineappleprodigy", & still later (104) as "the Arabian Nights cathedral" abbreviated (108) to "Arabian Nights" [end p. ii]


(chief characters are capitalized when they first appear. "R"=Russia, Russian. Italics indicate a keypassage. Compare pp 240-243 with my Caedmon recording)

May 10 [1]
a twoberth 2ndclass compartment of the train from Paris to "N". Finical votary of Somerset Maugham (3) gets out; hearty exwarrior with mustachios, seen off by an equally hearty pal, gets in—"change, that’s all" (4-5)
May 11 [2]
wake to find mustachios gone (6). Lunch with excited Swiss who boasts he’s everywhere met. Train crosses PolishRussian border. Customs-shed at "N"—Swiss is bringing in a lot of tools over which a mirror’s smashed (7)—all the junk I’m bringing in on behalf of A’s wife’s sister is passed—have my first sight of roubles—buy ticket to Moscow. And enter "a world of Was" (8). Swiss is met by a R who immediately separates us (9). Antique train & fantastic diningcar (9-10). R compartment-mate & I discuss America via gestures & picturepostcards
May 12 [3]
breakfast in diningcar (12). Arrive Moscow. Am not met by a great R poet & novelist (18) VIRGIL appears at Hotel Metropole (17) —introduces shy young American (20) —M deskman finds me a room. Stroll: guided by Virgil, experience a socialist bank (21-23) & meet distinguished R censor with hole in forehead (24) & sample uneatable proletarian lunch (25)—glimpse Marxist slogan (religion is opium etc) plus Lenin’s mausoleum plus Something Fabulous (church of St Basil, now an anti-religious museum). Virgil retires with bellyache; I manage to send telegram—elevator surprise (26). Virgil (recovered) walks me upstairs to meet young American couple, but they’re out —descending, we encounter them; plus livid R military tactician (27) who’s helping them move to cheaper quarters in some suburb. Virgil takes me chez fanatical Cambridge Mass convert (Mary) to communism (28-29)—then introduces me to genial president of Writers’ Club (30) & later to his own "interpreter" (32) with whom we witness a propaganda play called Necktie (33) [end p. iii]

May 13 [4]

waked by request for passportphotos—brealkfast with Virgil— enter (35) livid R (27) who’s shopping for shy American (20). The foodhunt (36)—Torgsin fakery (37-38). Underground lunch with Virgil (39). Glimpse of Grand Hotel (40). We tram: call on Duranty, who’s out (41)—visit sick friend of Virgil . . . .oo-Borneye-ah (42). Tram back to Metropole & meet Virgil’s "other secretary", lame (43)—we three start for theatre: he (unaware of her lameness) causes transportation crisis (44)—propaganda play The West Is Nervous (45-46). He & I visit pseudonightclub—my tirade against collectivity attracts GPUs (47-50)

May14 [5]

breakfast chez Virgil; sick youth (better now) present. Argument (51-53) Q (Virgil) vs A (Kem-min-kz). We visit chief R publisher, who’s out (54) & revisit (55) Torgsin (37) where Chinesey warns Virgil in vain (56). The GPU parade. Lunch at Writers’. A park peepshow (57). A propaganda melodrama (58) called Roar China (158) —& a row (59). I visit St Basil

May 15 [6]

Madame Potiphar (sister to Mme A) phones, inviting me to lunch (60)—breakfast with Virgil, who kindly maps my way. His young friend guides me to bank (in vain) & Intourist (61)—pass a sleepingdictionary correspondent. A godlike voice. Laden with junk, start for Madame’s (62)—arrive (63) & receive cordial welcome—"shining things" (64)—she phones & gives me address which may get me cheaper room (65). Enter husband—& a hero of work (66)—banquet (66-67). Enter & exeunt a GPU & his nonman. Madame’s husband, left alone with me, delivers speech of indoctrination (68-70)—takes me to Hotel in taxi (71-72). Virgil says dayaftertomorrow we dine with charming daughter of much by Rs admired American writer (Lack Dungeon) plus the R who didn’t (13) meet my train

May 16 [7]

my R permis de séjour appears (73). Breakfast chez Virgil, who tells me how to reach address of Revolutionary Literature [end p. iv] Bureau) given by Madame (65)—there I find fat & lean non-men; also a cadaverous he (74) who invites me to dine with him & fat (75)—enter the female member (Scratch) of American couple (27) followed by male (Grouch); & carrotheaded (Clara Bow) Englishman, offering me half a room with old lady sans plumbing & giving me a translation to look over (75). We 3 Americans go to my hotel, where she persuades deskman to give me cheaper room (76) then we visit a market (78-79)—I tram with them to see a still cheaper room chez eux (79) & meet proprietor (80). Alone, experience socialist hosing & atheist emanation.. . (80-81) —keep my dinner-date with fat & cadaverous (Jill & Jack)—banquet (82) with a reminiscence of Dos—am shown R books; deliver message from EP—receive a 3hour speech of indoctrination by cadaverous (83-87)—The Verb (88). Learn how to order breakfast myself—walk miles & buy matches

May 17 [8]

waked by omelet (89) —venture inside St Basil: a nonman is lecturing to comrades—the madonna of the string (90). Visit Revolutionary Literature Bureau; make acquaintance of Otto Can’t (91) who says husband of Lack Dungeon’s daughter has a bourgeois face. Virgil & I go to Chinesey’s house where daughter & husband live—I meet her (BEATRICE) & him (TURK) & the missing (13) great R poet & novelist & a great R dramatist (romp) & an American newsman plus wife (92)—delicious meal (93)—Virgil, furious, rushes off to be in time for propaganda play based on tale by Beatrice’s father (94). We follow later; tram overcrowded, I jump through window. After infantile play (95) during which I learn about roubles (96) we try (97) to locate romp’s domicile (he having disappeared to prepare a party for us chez lui)—en route, Turk tells enlightening story of a R scientist who refused to "volunteer"—finally we arrive (98). Romp gives us bootleg champagne; then everyone adjourns to the Savoy (100). Romp wants me to accompany him to a model factorytown in country; all expenses paid— encouraged by Turk, I riposte (101) —afraid to be afraid. Find myself on top of a ladder outdoors. Assure romp I'm a family [end p. v] man (102)

May 18 [9]

hangover & sore foot. Virgil’s very feeble. Writers’ Club President finds me seat for this evening at art theatre (103) —lunch with great R poet & novelist (we glimpse romp: he stares) who tells me tzarist tale about St Basil. And buys flowers—( K) there is an I Feel (104). At Revolutionary Literature Bureau, Otto Can’t soothes 2 angry comrades (105) then insists on strolling with me. A gaga street-sprinkler (106). Otto warns me that flower-buyer is a mere fellow-traveler (107) & relates marxist tale about St Basil (108). On Metropole’s 5th floor, encounter the sleepingdictionary correspondent (61)—he shows me his room (109) —"the woman’s touch". At theatre am given 2 frontrow seats—run into Virgil & interpreter (32) & exchange seats with him (110). After propaganda play, Virgil & I visit pseudojoint with ancient jazz (111) whence a drunk is expelled (113)— "work" & "slave"—I tell Virgil story of me & Mr. X (114) —we shake a GPU (115)

May 19 [10]

an honest chambermaid (116). I seek Art Museum—not a booby-hatch nor a planetarium—sans success (117). Virgil invisible. Go alone to Chinesey’s—he’s with 2 deathlydull American hes—says my mentor’s expected soon—a 3rd compatriot joins us (118). Enter Virgil—then Turkess & Turk—later I glimpse 2 nonmen & a pianoplaying someone (119). Uncomfortable meal with also R actor, making 9. Turk & Turkess & I leave together—they’re bound for opera—he wangles me a ticket (119-120). Bolshoy theatre; Turk points out Gorky—Prince Igor well presented (121)—a doctor & wife & child appear. During final intermission am invited by Turk via Turkess to be their guest as long as I remain in Moscow. Child bedded at Grand Hotel; we 5 go dancing (122) —Turk enlightens doctor’s wife re R (124-126) "a total stranger". I go home with Turk & Turkess—she finds a cheering cablegram (127). The wolfboy accepts pyjamas (128)

May 20 [11]

bandorgan with cockatoo—breakfast (129). A hot bath (130-181)—& a latchkey. Turk’s halfR-halfEnglish secretary (Nat). Nobody [end p. vi] at Writers’ Club—no mail at Intourist (132). Visit Metropole Hotel—livid R tactician (27) helps me pack. Call on flower-buying (104) R poet & novelist (133-134). Return to Hotel, ask deskman (Foxy Grandpa) for bill—financial transaction via abacus—eventually taxi arrives (136) —I taxi with baggage. to Chinesey’s. Turk & Turkess’s maid (wooden alias ogress) says nobody’s home—Turk & Turkess enter with bundles—a chess-set (137). I work at translation of A’s "Red Front"—Turk takes me out for a drink (138) "the real reason". Meet the AP man (god) who battles Turk ("the idea’s right") re R (139-141)

May 21 [12]

worry over absence of mail. Turkess talks of her father. A’s poem (142-143) analyzed. Turk introduces unhappy nongal (not Nat) secretary (143-144). Young Englishman calls. I walk to Intourist (shut) & then to Metropole: no mail (145) President of Writers’ Club arranges rendezvous with famous theatre director (Something) tomorrow—delicious meal. (146). Wonderful party chez flowerbuyer (104) with Turk & Turkess (147-148)—la lune

May 22 [13]

Turk, Turkess, Nat & I . (149) —joined (150) at Volks by Grouch & Scratch (27, 75)—visit a socialist jail (151-156)—the R captain, the radio question—" personal issue does not exist". I return to Chinesey’s & shave—locate Something, director of Roar China (158), & family (157-160 ). Party at god’s—Mammy Sunshine (161-162)—god’s Indian (163). Soviet movie, Don (163-164). A passport crisis

May 23 [14]

wagon-jaunt (165) with Turk for packingcases—Mr. Electriclight & icechest—American hay, American nailpuller (166) —"we Rs can only TALK" (167); Turk & I walk back. Turkess & I tram, bearing food to nonvolunteering (98) scientist—a man, a human being—& wife (168-169). A knock—enter a tovarich—questions the priest of the microscope—exit: we relax. Flowers. I visit (170) Intourist & Hotel: no mail. Turk & Turkess & I go to a Soviet circus; whose elephant is antisocialist (170-173). Accident (173-174). Good news re my passport [end p. vii]

May 24 [15]

visit Revolutionary Literature Bureau & give Clara Bow (75) my translation (142-143) of A’s hymn of hate (175). Breakfast chez god & Mammy (175). Look in at Something (157)'s show-house (176). Meet Turk & Turkess at art theatre—also exVirgil (177)—3 Gorky dramatizations (177-178). Turk & I inspect Lenin institute; he puts on phonograph record. We plus Turkess dine chez scientist & wife, with their child & his wife’s sister (179-181)—"the only reason" bells don’t ring. K & T re an idea vs its application. Alone, I have a close call (183)

May 25 [16]

Turkess depressed—Nat hurt (184). Diagram given me by scientist leads to miraculous Museum Of Western Art—Picasso & Matisse (185). Sobbing of a nonman chez Chinesey (186). Boris—& bells! Turk & I visit pseudojoint. We of whom Is partakes

May 26 [17]

catch glimpse of unknown boyface; hear sobbing of nonman. Story of a frameup (189). Kremlin tour cancelled. Intourist—& a letter for me! (190). No luck at Turkish consulate (191). Writers’ Club ditto. Torgsin, dolls—& exmentor: who pales on hearing that livid R tactician (27) is a GPU. A cross between a pawnshop & a picturegallery (193). At Something (158)'s theatre, a propaganda play called The Last Decisive (194-196). Homing, pass a Gay-Pay & see a domestic crisis; & hear a girl singing! Tremendous party with Turk & Turkess chez an exsaloniste—R heart vs head—with ravishing Polish blonde & marvellously alive cricket (197-200)

May 27 [18]

everyone halfdead—except Nat, who’ll deal with my exit visa (201). I (bearing gifts) visit socialist family which includes le citoyen russe (202-204). Then present my 2nd letter of introduction—the nonman’s at work. Turk re Nat—"Never trust a R"—I discuss war with Turkess (205-206). Peruse article re Americans (206-207). 2 nonmen—one (eyes) I saw chez Chinesey; the other (plumper) is harder—& Harem & I stroll to Turk’s office: he’s with young Englishman (144) & another man (207)—we 7 stroll—other man & Englishman leave us—we 5 go to god’s. Chez [end p. viii] god a tremendous party; with Chinesey & the very distinguished R censor (24) & Nat (208). Nat & I dance; then nonman (eyes) whose exiled husband translated some of my poems, & I. Gypsy songs—a briefly luscious she—more songs—Mammy takes a header (209). Speech by Dum, who’s one of the deadly chez Chinesey Americans (118), in rhyme; re a man named Wood. (210). I don’t meet Duranty. Tell-off a she-reporter (211-212) —"I Am a little boy"

May 28 [19]

phonecall: dinner invitation for, tomorrow. Go with Turk & Harem to the Bolshoy—music ("Pickwick")—Rborn English conductor—my seat collapses twice (213-214)—house enthusiastic. Feel depressed—find letter at Intourist, telling of R’s suicide. No president at Writers’. A delightful outdoor photography establishment. Discover conductor snoring chez Turk, guarded by private secretary (215). Dinner given by Chinesey: nonmen plump & eyes (207), conductor & private secretary, Turk & Turkess, myself—conductor in raptures re Moscow (216). We go to a musical burlesk—whose cast twice visits our box in, honour of Pickwick. Female correspondent (yellow) joins us (217)—Turk phones censor: no news. Chez Turkess, I converse with "dame russe" (friend of eyes, but differs with her re flower-buyer) about Rs & Americans (217-218). Turk elucidates deviation (219). Kittens (220)

May 29 [20]

Turk explains what poet means under socialism. No mail. I go to Metropole, ask about Lenin’s tomb; nobody agrees—investigate premises (221) & learn it’s open daily at 7 PM (222). Run into Grouch (25, 75, 77) at Intourist—no service—he recommends another ticket agency, but that’s shut; so return—an American’s ahead of me—eventually pay for "soft" to Kiev & get information re Odessa & Constantinople—must come back tomorrow at 3:30. Torgsin—watch a teakettle being wrapped (224) & buy toys (225)—accused by (dark bozo) salesman of capitalism, I laugh; "no artist ever is a capitalist" (226)—now feel am really going out of the unworld! (227). Get myself photographed at outdoor place (215); photographer speaks German (226-228). Chez [end p. ix] Turk, meet lofty Jewess. To govern or be governed? Mr Electric-light & refrigerator (165)'s father versus god—son warns me to get my exit visa in Moscow (229). Dine with socialist family (202-204)—doll & frau & citoyen russe (229-230)—leave bearing their gifts. Noone can learn growing—granddaughter of Tolstoy & R’s foremost prosewriter’s wife (230)

May 30 [21]

visit the drycleaners with Nat (232)—then she helps me get my exit visa (233)—Rose Marie—too much love—& a photograph (235). No mail. Collect my toys—& buy dark bozo (224) food with valuta, taking his roubles in exchange (237). Forgetmenots. Turk’s American social secretary (trustworthy) guides me chez yellow (217)—they talk, gossip; we eat: I tell of the R who touched Turkess’s eveningdress—hear of omnivorous censorship & implacable propaganda —define thinking (240). Darksmoothlyestishful (197) & husband (198) to dinner—something’s gone completely wrong she's terrified. Extraordinary procession entering Lenin's tomb—I say I'm an American newsman & am put at head of line—I descend, behold, arise again false noun (240-244). Untheatre, with Turk & Turkess & blonde (197)’s husband (hal) —who describes agonies of socialist railroading (245-246). Turk re happiness

May 31 [22]

R history per me (247), Torgsin (bozo 224) with Turk: I buy presents. He demands & gets my exit visa (248). We visit Turkish consulate: closed, & consul out (249). Attend a church service—priest, mother & baby, flowers—"it’s TRUE!" (250). The tragedy of life, per Assyrian (251). Cummings & Kem-min-kz. My ticket! (252). On the way to farewelling St Basil, run into exmentor with 2 unyouths—finally I escape (253). Enter a ghost—the former toolbringer (7); wants dollars & a cigarette—a comrade takes him away (253). Hunchback (254). Tolstoy’s granddaughter dines with us—Russians; artists—won’t let Turk photograph her. Turk & Turkess & I & baggage tram to station—nomads—my baggage is boosted into stinking car (255). T says he’ll wire a Kiev hotel to reserve room for me—away I go, waving (256). In my car is a gentle Jew, enthusiastic over [end p. x] R; we exchange food—also an angry industrial hero who vainly tries to take this-for-everyone-candle (257). I sit, writing, in the aisle (258)

June 1 [23]

hop down from upper shelf—chocolate with Gentle—his story: 3 armies, misery & pogroms (260) but now all’s well; yet he’s depressed (261). 2 GPUs board chattering train—total terror & absolute silence: passengers & baggage searched—cops vanish (262). Kiev: untaxi to hotel (263)—a chair floors me—(264). Sweet air—I stroll—oldmen on hilltop. Marvellous starry churches—here the lone star of socialism dies—I attend a service (265). Magnificent sunset. I go to bed dinnerless

June 2 [24]

breakfast (267) —Intourist: pay for "soft" to Odessa; ticket will be given me at station (268)—don’t get back passport—pack (269) —pay hotel bill & am given passport (270)—buy postcards—Torgsin—arrange for departure (272) —walk to monastery & return (273)—no taxi; wait, with bum—whirlwind ride to station (274)—bum tells me to sit: wait & wait (275) train lost (276)—train not lost: beers with bum—enter weasellike, says no ticket. Pause. He rushes me to GPU; where am finally given an order for a "hard" ticket—ticket is at last procured (277-278) —& am stopped at gate to train. Speak 3 words—the gate opens (279)—baggage & self squeezed aboard train. Am examined by group of fellow-passengers (280-281)—an artist draws me a picture (282)—am brought food—one of examiners insists I take his bunk, with linen sheets; refuses chocolate, suggests I give some to scared nearby kids (283) —exhausted I doze. (284)—waked by a GPU—who vanishes (285)

June 3 [25]

cogitation (286)—slight catastrophy (287) Odessa—Ocean! (288). A Ritzy hotel—its Intourist urges me to return to Kiev. A bidet in hell—bathe, sketch, stroll (289). Proud-erect (168) ly headwaiter—garden—& the NOO INGLUNDUR (290) who orders me food, raves against Intourist (291) reserves cheaper room for me & arranges my meals (292) says boat for Istanbul leaves Monday, gives me anti-Intourist booklet & loans me volume [end p. xi] by Edgar Wallace (293). I stroll—lunch—note Torgsin blonde & child. Night: actually girls & boys, young! (294). And a bootblack

June 4 [26]

Noo (defunct) Inglundur gives me telegram—reserves my boat ticket & gets me a Turkish visa (295). Real beer. Noo presents dwarfish individual (stunned) & we 3 lunch (296). Stunned’s story—"Il me Faut Travailler!" (298). Potemkin (320) stairs. Buy food & drink with defunct (299). He shows me where I’ll take boat (300). We debate (301-302) dangerous visit to mother of my Paris R teacher (13, 234, 99). I meet defunct’s daughter & wife. He says he’ll give me a letter to benevolent American wife of the American builder of Stalingrad tractorplant. their son & daughter attend Roberts College in Constantinople & will show me all the sights (302-303). Defunct & I make the dangerous visit; am left alone with Head: rain (303-307). Back to hotel—my new cheaper room. Mentor (Noo) re nude bathing, the "noo ruhligion" of communism, money, his Noo Haven father, prostitution, his family (306-309) & "Karl Marx’s wiskus" (309-310) Stunned’s case improved. A wink from proud-erectly (290) headwaitering dignity (311). Find in my pocket a draft of an already sent telegram (312)

June 5 [27]

my lastnight’s wash almost dry—donning merely moist shirt, descend to shawdan (jardin)—mentor (Noo) presents a grumbling American leonine chipmunk (326) who inveighs against. Intourist & Americans (313-317). Mentor & I hunt vainly a shoestring (317)—am guided to a beach (Arcadia) by a R comrade & wife. Stroll, alone; noting 1 attractive nude (319). Children—the Potemkin stairs (320)—stunned re fascism. Defunct has bad news for stunned: I translate; he understands (321). "Shine" (bootblack) & my shoes—"fine weather & nothing to eat" (322-323). A gruesome pair

June 6 [28]

tall tales by Noo mentor—grumbling (313) is skeptical (324-326). After vainly visiting a bank, grumbling reveals himself as a musician (327). I buy food & drink. More bad news—hotel manager will throw stunned out. Noo wangles reprieve from [end p. xii] commissariat of work (328)—takes mushyoo (monsieur i.e., stunned) & me to see mudbathing: Noo & I swim (329-330). Back to hotel—stunned won’t enter diningroom unless manager invites him—manager will allow stunned 8 days more, but won’t feed him (331) stunned collapses—we get him to my room: he won’t accept a loan; goes to his own room. I lunch with Noo; we visit the thankful wife (332). Later: knock—stunned enters my room, calmer now. An unlucky fairy (333)

June 7 [29]

tomorrow, departure! Noo & stunned & I visit a beach—I swim; then collect stones & shells—three reactions to a soft drink (334). My twicedropped watch stops. Back at hotel, stunned gives in —& from dignity (311) we order a feast (335). Mentor recommends movie called Morale—stunned & I, waiting for it to begin, are properly gypped at "Café Restaurant". In theatre’s foyer, stunned finds his Consul; who encourages him. Am amazed by shadow-pictures of reality, of Germany, of the world (337). An African American—in panic (338). From the Hotel's garden comes LAUGHTER—stunned & I investigate—behold capitalist drunks shouting for service at (dignity having vanished) comrade (GPU) waiters (339-340)

June 8 [30]

K(em-min-kz) & C(ummings): a dialogue (341). Thanks to socialism, 2ndhand $1 watch would cost me $40—cost of repairing my watch would be 1 lb butter in open market (342). Stunned’s consul has given him 2 more days but he must go to commissariat of labour—he & Noo & I go: it's shut. Noo returns to Hotel, stunned & I visit eatery; then rejoin mentor—who’s jubilant: says everything OK but don’t tell him yet (343)—we revisit commissariat: where stunned is examined (in French) re matters electric & tells what he knows—& "je Vais TRAVAILLER!" (344). I give Noo imitation-razorblades & present my holey socks to "shine"; pay my bill; lunch with jovial Noo & amazed stunned; dignity (311, 335) himself shakes hands with me—off go Noo & stunned & I plus my baggage (345-346). Have slipped Noo all my remaining roubles—no trouble with R officials—goodbye to stunned—go aboard with Noo: he [end p. xiii] unlocks an empty cabin, inserts baggage; relocks. Wave to stunned (347). Noo’s goodbye (348). Boat seems to be named "French Marine": why? Make acquaintance of a dude (349). Dinner—dude summons me to entertain 2 tablemates: Palestine bound Americans, unfemale (pop) & nonmale (spouse)—they lecture about R glories ("a man here don’t have to worry")—pop’s in drugstore business (350-354). Dude produces phonograph, plays jazz. Our boat can’t start because of engine-trouble—its name is really "Franz Mering" (355). Dude & spouse dance; then he puts on Turkish record, which pop prefers. Since dude has 3 cabinmates & I’m solo, I offer him a bunk chez moi (357)

June 9 [31]

our ship hasn’t moved an inch (358). After breakfast, lecture by pop (359-360). Ship moves, but in a circle because (a man with a boy tells dude) captain’s trying-out compass: we’re soon back at Odessa (361). Finally voyage begins—while pop lectures (362-363). Dude suggests tea—man with boy joins us—I learn that dude’s an Afghanistanian (fuzzy-wuzzy); boy-man knows Chinesey, Turk, Beatrice, also flowerbuyer (364); asks why I chose Odessa—I can’t say it was in order to see the mother (303-307) of my Paris R teacher (13, 99)—suddenly realize I forgot to bring earth. Dude & boyman & I discuss R (365)—Mr. boyman reminds me of grumbling (313) the musician (327). Don (dude) Juan re R economics (365-366). Pop’s name is Sam. Portrait of (Horseface comrade 375) Forsooth, a friendly R seaman (366). Notice a youth sawing a bootsole from a piece of wood (367). Superb sunset (368)—plus Sam

June 10 [32]

fine weather. Boyman explains how a communist ship functions (369). Pop lectures (369-371). At lunch, his spouse suddenly reveals cause of their mutual enthusiasm re R—& the R 2ndmate (366) half smiles. More lecturing (372). The World’s coast appears (373). Harbour—horseface (366) assembles passengers—passport inspection by Turkish caviarspurning officials (374). Mirror magic (375) Thanks to Forsooth, my passport’s okd; i.e. shall go ashore this evening. A Parisienne phantom. Stars & lights—O, now everything begins (376-377). Dude warns me [end p. xiv] to keep near him (377). Ship anchors—confusion; boats & boatmen; wailing—dude introduces his Eddie Cantorish brother. My baggage is grabbed by somebody & rushed down gangplank into a boat—dude yells that I must get into his-&-Eddie’s boat—many voices tell me (in French) to get into boat where my baggage is & my friends will follow; but as soon as I’m in this boat, its 2 boatmen push off & start rowing away from ship—dude yells for me to return—I (poietes) command boatmen to stop; they merely row harder: I promise to kill them (379)— immediately they turn around & row back to ship. Grabbing my bags I transfer to dude-&-Eddie’s boat. As we move shore-ward in darkness, Eddie insists I’d have been slain (380). Terra firma (381). Customs-shed: weeping mother, idiotic son (374-375), cheerful baby, boy & sobbing girl——father, dude says, tried to stow away on R ship & was caught. Dude’s tin trunk provokes amazing scene (382-384). He & Eddie & I squeeze into taxi—my baggage tied on or hanging from car. Moonrocket ride to a hotel—where my pals deposit me (386). Room—my baggage appears: I lean out of open window—not by un deceived any more

June 11 [33]

morning: view from a window (387-388). Am guided by genial hotelkeeper’s boy down Pera to ticketoffice—kindly youth takes my passport for visas: everything will be ready tomorrow; changes my money: telephones Roberts College & discovers whereabout of Noo’s guardianangel (303). I buy a watch named Tosca (389) firsthand & inexpensive. Taxi—find guardianangel’s daughter (390)—we taxi to shore & she hails her brother who’s out sailing with a friend (freckles) of his—taxi runs over sister’s suitcase—I join the boys in sailboat (391)—am warned that Kemal has ruined Constantinople (392)—we land—I meet son’s other sister & mom—American family meal (393-394). Goodnatured boys taxi me to town—I behold Saint Sophia (395) & Blue Mosque (396) & Gate & Bazaar—street of silks; of jewels; of weapons: freckles buys old pistol (397)—Hill Of Wonders & Bridge Of Boats over the Golden Horn—train to Pera; & finally delicious beers (398). Back at hotel solo—knock: dude—we visit [end p. xv] taxim: he lauds Kemal & science & progress—religion everywhere dying (399-400)—buys me Turkish records—after dinner we visit a Dancing on The street, where we see R dancers & are joined by a dressy youth—drunk, am TALKING, even LAUGHING (401-402). Eddie in taxi Cantor (403)

June12 [34]

collect my train ticket (404-405). Revisit Saint Sophia: the blind poet, children, an oldman, birds (405-407). Now am sitting at a piano (407)—after wrestling with Sophia’s licelike guides & buying postcards & entering (alone) the Blue Mosque (SpiReingA 396) & losing myself looking for the Gate & Bazaar, & presenting fuzzy-wuzzy (dude)'s drunkenly last night scribbled address to a gentle taximan & violently arriving at this diplomatic mansion & finally being admitted (408). Dude leads me upstairs, disappears to shave & bathe: I read Turkish history. Coffee (fragrantly-smokingly) served. Lunch? But somebody on official business arrives—& am smuggled out (409). Pera. Memories of childhood (410-411) & youth (411)—death & rebirth: we have arisen. Now am en route to Paris via the Simplon Orient Express—it’s incredibly hot; but my 2ndclass compartment-mate is a jolly French travellingsalesman who hates Syrians. And I remember leaving my hotel (412) & taxiing to station & seeing my train come in & boarding it (as did 2 shes suggesting an Oriental bathing-beauty contest winner plus her aunt). Sunset—not hell’s Red—but I can remember hell (418)

June 13 [35]

W. C. crisis (414-415). The Balkans. Am reminded of a piece of string (90) —my Tosca (389) still functions (416). Memories (260, 308, 348) of hell (417). I stroll out to see our locomotive, & address it in terms of prophecy (418). And revelation (419). One American (the money we have) vs our conductor (420). I recall my Odessa Hotel's garden (jardin, shawdan, 290) with its unfunctioning fountain & serious comrades; then girls & boys (294) who are young (422). Our first parent

June14 [36]

memories of Paris: Luxembourg Gardens (balloons, toyboats, donkey- & goat-cars, a punch&judy show) & Trees (376) times [end p. xvi] Valéry (414) re God (423). Again crisis. Recapitulation (423-425). We enter Italy. Memories & Venice & lunch & heat & memories & heat & dinner (426) & mountains & memories & Switzerland & coolness. Recapitulation continued (427-429). French border—jolly (411) vs the customs (429-430). Recapitulation concluded: from SHUT (8) to OPENS (432)

R words (their pronunciation imitated, & their meaning) <>AhdEEn—one
ARbat—nightclub section, Moscow
byez-par-tEEnee—sans political affiliations
    "    hatEEtyeh?—do you wish tea?
dOHmah—at home
hOHda nyET—no passing through
IZ-ven-EE-cheh—pardon, excuse me
kAHk vee-pah-sheh vEYE-tyeh—how are you?
kOO-shat nyET—nothing to eat     [end p. xvii]

Kras-EE-vah pa-gOHda—fine weather
kwass—a soft drink
nah-zAHn—mineral water
nEE-cheh-vOH—no matter, never mind
nyEH gah-voo-rEET—(he) doesn’t speak
nyET—no, not
nyEZ nEYE-oo—(I) don’t know
oo-mehn-yAH mAHla d-yEH-nik—I haven’t much money
pAHn-yee-mEYE-oo—(I) understand
per-OSH-kee—meat pies
      "       zAHf-trah—day after tomorrow
sh-chOT—(hotel) bill
skOIl-koh—how much
SOR-ok syEM—47
spas-EE-bah—thank you
spEEch-kih—matches     [end p. xviii]

val-OO-tah—foreign money (vs roubles)
vAH-shez-darOHv-yah—your health
"     nyeh hah-chOO—I don’t wish
"         "   mag-OO—I can’t
yEStch—there is
Peesahtel y Hoodozhnik
New York City, 1958
[end p. xix]

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