Portal site for Russellian in Japan
(Bertrand Russell, 1872.05.18-1970.02.02)
My first vivid recollection is my arrival at Pembroke Lodge in February 1876.
Childhood (Lonley child)
Throughout the greater part of my childhood, the most important hours of my day were those that I spent alone in the garden, and the most vivid part of my existence was solitary.
1883(10/11) (Mathematics was dazzling as first love.)
At the age of eleven, I began Euclid, with my brother as my tutor. This was one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love.
1887(14/15) (Sexual passions) (A locked diary)
At fifteen, I began to have sexual passions, of almost intolerable intensity.
I shall write about some subjects which now interest me.
There was a footpath leading across fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics. .
1889(16/17) (First love)
But it was the daughter from Bryn Mawr who especially interested me.
1894(21/22) (First kiss)
The next occasion of importance was on January 4, 1894, when I came up from Richmond for the day to visit Alys at her parents' house, 44 Grosvenor Road.
1895(22/23) (Intellectual ambitions)
I remember a cold, bright day in early spring when I walked by myself in the Tiergarten, and made projects of future work. I thought that I would write one series of books on the philosophy of the sciences from pure mathematics to physiology, and another series of books on social questions.
At the end of those five minutes, I had become a completely different person.
1902(29/30) (A more serious blow)
About the time that these lectures finished, when we were living with the Whiteheads at the Mill House in Grantchester, a more serious blow fell than those that had preceded it.
1905(33) (Theory of Description)
In 1905 things began to improve. ... We went to live there in the spring of 1905, and very shortly after we had moved in I discovered my Descriptions.htmTheory of Descriptions, which was the first step towards overcoming the difficulties which had baffled me for so long.
Dec. 1910(38) (Love with Lady Ottoline MorrellAand ...)
My feeling was overwhelmingly strong, and I did not care what might be involved. I wanted to leave Alys, and to have her leave Philip. What Philip might think or feel was a matter of indifference to me. If I had known that he would murder us both (as Mrs Whitehead assured me he would) I should have been willing to pay that price for one night. The nine years of tense self-denial had come to an end, and for the time being I was done with self-denial.
1913(41) (Joseph Conrad)
In all this I found myself closely in agreement with him. At our very first meeting, we talked with continually increasing intimacy. We seemed to sink through layer after layer of what was superficial, till gradually both reached the central fire. It was an experience unlike any other that I have known. We looked into each other's eyes, half appalled and half intoxicated to find ourselves together in such a region. The emotion was as intense as passionate love, and at the same time all-embracing. I came away bewildered, and hardly able to find my way among ordinary affairs.
1915(43j (A shout of bestial triumph and Colette's love)
... we heard suddenly a shout of bestial triumph in the street. I leapt out of bed and saw a Zeppelin falling in flames. The thought of brave men dying in agony was what caused the triumph in the street. Colette's love was in that moment a refuge to me, not from cruelty itself, which was unescapable, but from the agonising pain of realising that that is what men are.
1921(48/49j ('The Day of Judgement?')
I was moved into a German hospital, where Dora nursed me by day, and the only English professional nurse in Peking nursed me by night. For a fortnight the doctors thought every evening that I should be dead before morning. I remember nothing of this time except a few dreams. When I came out of delirium, I did not know where I was, and did not recognise the nurse. Dora told me that I had been very ill and nearly died, to which I replied: 'How intetesting', but I was so weak that I forgot it in five minutes, and she had to tell me again. I could not even remember my own name. But although for about a month after my delirium had ceased they kept telling me I might die at any moment , I never believed a word of it. .
July 1921(49j('Became blind with rage'j
We made a ten hours' journey in great heat from Kyoto to Yokohama. We arrived there just after dark, and were received by a series of magnesium explosions, each of which made Dora jump, and increased my fear of a miscarriage. I became blind with rage, the only time I have been so since I tried to strangle FitzGerald. I pursued the boys with the flashlights, but being lame, was unable to catch them, which was fortunate, as I should certainly have committed murder. An enterprising photographer succeeded in photographing me with my eyes blazing. I should not have known that I could have looked so completely insane. This photograph was my introduction to Tokyo.
Nov. 16, 1921(49j('The desire for children'j
Ever since the day, in the summer of 1894, when I walked with Alys on Richmond Green after hearing the medical verdict, I had tried to suppress my desire for children. It had, however, grown continually stronger, until it had become almost insupportable. When my first child was born, in November 1921, I felt an immense release of pent-up emotion, and during the next ten years my main purposes were parental.
Feb. 18, 1961(88j('The morning of February 18th,1961'
The morning of February 18th was dark and drizzly and cold, and our spirits plummeted. If it rained, the numbers participating in the demonstration would undoubtedly dwindle in spite of the large nucleus already pledged to take part. But when we assembled in Trafalgas Square there was a great crowd