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Georgiy VORONOI DIARY (fragments) (p3)
March 4.

Yesterday I wrote down these lines, but at once I have sat to work and in a few hours turned over all my former work. All that was vague there, all of it may be concluded in such a simple way that one can't wish a better one [...]

 

April 12th,  Wednesday.

I had already left Petersburg and spent five days in Zhuravka before I intended to go on with my diary. My heart seemed to get crusted over with a kind of bark, and I could not respond to any approach. I came home in a very quiet state of mind, and only meeting with my folk excited me a bit. I did not notice any change in the people there, as if I had never left home. Though Mum had been ill before and therefore she seemed to have grown old, but nevertheless she looked very cheerful.

 

I am ashamed to confess, but it is true. The bark, which encrusted my heart, did not crack a little after my meeting with  parents and brothers, though my love to them is warm and deep [...]

 

Tuesday, April 18.

During these days I have done a lot about the problems which I had been trying to solve before. I had been doing my research supposing that comparisons should be considered by a simple modulus; now I do not limit it at all. I do not think the results will be of special interest, but the main thing is ─ I shall get common results. In general I came to a conclusion that to make a serious step on I must change my method [...]

 

 August 6, Sunday.

Once more I am writing down my last visit to Krytsky [Krytsky lived in the nearby village Bohdany; during summer vacations G.Voronoi visited Bohdany quite often to see his beloved girl Olya Krytska, his future wife], once more I operate myself: with pain in my heart I go to the cold and severe Petersburg [...]

 

I am mounting the horse, once more saying good-buy to everybody and that is the end to everything which filled my life during the four months and which will cause me to behave stern and cool during  the whole stretch of the Petersburg year.

 

Only mathematics as a bright star is shining for me afore, in it I trust all my hopes and in it I shall find " the comforting hangover ─ a short oblivion of bitter pangs".

 

The experience of the last year has fortified my endurance, and my creative eagerness, suppressed before, is bursting into action, and I am certain that Petersburg will bring me much new in this respect.

 

So good-buy, Olya, good-buy, Zhuravka! till the new spring I shall cover myself with my armour, and as if dreaming I shall see  this summer, which gave me, besides so much strength and health, some more grains of happiness, which I know I shall so often experience, when reading in Petersburg my diary and picking them from those talks with Olya that I put down and everything which so often made my heart beat [...]

 

December 31, 1889, Peterhof.

[Peterhof is a suburb of Petersburg]

 

For  long, for so long I have not been writing my diary and could not: life pressed me too hard and required from me too much, so sitting and writing meant to be wandering, it was rather difficult. And I have experienced such a big lot!

 

Everything that I did not even dare to dream of came true: I passed the exams having got all fives; I was kept at the University with the grant; in a word, my future has already  taken shape in a great measure, but it happened at the last moment, before that I had only been enduring. I had been enduring my pupil, who vexed me with his laziness, then I came home, fell exhausted on the bed and thought: when will there be the end of it? Alas! I had to get up and to swat, to swat on and on! [...]

 

If I add that at this time I had influenza, was without a copeck of money, had nothing in prospect, but the awful private lesson, was living in a damp cold room, which I remember now as a nightmare, it is strange indeed that I did not collapse [...]

 

Passion for researching, for finding new properties and ratios of quantities has been developed in me to inconceivable extent; I can hardly lay off my pen. The most urgent things and obligations ─ everything steps to the background, and I go on writing and writing. But I do not know how to explain it: so far I have not touched any problem and only came to know many, many properties of various symbols.

 

I often compare myself with an alchemist, because, like him, I  have no guiding star and have only a passion. And this passion has developed to such extent that I am losing my sleep as soon as it seems to me I have touched anything of importance. But alas, so far after a sleepless night I could see only that I had run against a solid wall and just was nourishing my illusions.

 

I am not embarrassed by it at all, as I have already become firmly confident that I can easily take a simpler problem and get some result ─ not an essential one, only formal; but it does not tempt me, these laurels I have already reaped and now can say like Themistocles: " Gauss' laurels keep me awake!"

 

This is a general outline of my present scientific disposition. Full rest from  swatting and scholarly excursuses to various unexplored fields, from where I returned so far empty-handed.

 

Well, what about Olya?

 

I often think of her lately and quite vividly as never before, but five months have meant something, and I do not care much about her. Though when I recall her (or rather when she appears in my mind) I am feeling so well and warm. Yes, the destiny of my life is only in Bohdany and it is my worldly motto for the new year!

 

December 31, 1890, Peterhof.

True to the old custom, today, on the eve of the New year, I cast a glance at the having been lived through and deeply felt Old year. The first thing which I must gladly note and which has become a pledge of my future happiness is:  Olya loves me. I know it now for certain! How happy I am! So long I had been silently suffering from doubts, and at last it has been cleared out, and I have already become Olya's fiancé!..

 

Yes, now I know well that Olya loves me, but nevertheless lasting doubts and expectations have brought some bitterness. I seem to have become hardened in my permanent solitude. Ever growing passion for Mathematics has developed in me egotism of no small degree. I am afraid I cannot feel strong and surrender wholly to my feelings.

 

As for me the mind comes ahead always and everywhere. And the worldly wisdom, known from books, is saying that mind and love are scarcely reconciled. That is what makes me fear sometimes that Olya probably will not be happy with me. As for me, I shall probably always take refuge in Mathematics.

 

                                                               Translated  from Russian by O.Terekh

 

The Diary is kept at the Manuscript Institute of the V.Vernadskii National Library of Ukraine

Категорія: Статті(Англійська мова) | Додав: fond_voronogo (31.03.2011)
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