Monday, January 09, 2012

Joe, I'm Only Dancing

Here's a party: (from an Interview between Teresa Toranska and Jakub Berman, Granta 17, (Autumn 1985), pp 47-65, p48)
  • Berman: 'Once, I think it was in 1948, I danced with Molotov?'
  • Interviewer: 'You mean with Mrs Molotov?'
  • B: 'No, she wasn't there; she'd been sent to a labour camp. I danced with Molotov - it must have been a waltz, or at any rate something simple, becuase I haven't a clue about how to dance - and I just moved my feet to the rhythm.'
  • I: 'As the woman?'
  • B: 'Molotov led; I wouldn't know how. He wasn't a bad dancer, actually, and I tried to keep in step with him, but for my part it was more like clowning than dancing.'
  • I: 'What about Stalin, whom did he dance with?'
  • B: 'Oh no, Stalin didn't dance. Stalin turned the gramophone: he treated that as his duty. He never left it. He would put on a record and watch.'
  • I: 'He watched you?'
  • B: 'He watched us dance.'
  • I: 'So you had a good time?'
  • B: 'Yes it was pleasant but with an inner tension.'
  • I: 'You didn't really have fun?'
  • B: 'Stalin really had fun.'
[as recounted in Vinen, Richard. (2002). Taking Sides. In: A History in Fragments - Europe in the Twentieth Century. 2nd ed. London: Abacus. p302]

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