Up 6, out at 7. Forgot to take my phone. Train, desultory reading of 1st issue of Commune magazine, on the German Revolution of 1918 (point being that the working class shouldn’t can’t trust social democrats who are prone to make common cause w/ the state ’n’ bourgeoisie.] Poorly timed commute home, long wait at White Plains, annoying episode on train w/ woman who wanted to charge her phone on my laptop, which I’d gotten out and put headphones in so I couldn’t hear her conversation. (I let her, but unsmilingly - petty, but it was intrusive.) Home around 3:30, zoned out for an hr., finished Brecht! (Both that and Tolstoy, I started in Jan.) The last 50 or so pages are odd reading - many unpublished and fragmentary poems, and some translations-of-translations, notably of a Polish poet, Adam Wazyk, whose “Poem for adults” is remarkable, even in this 3rd-hand form. Brecht’s own work by this point reflects a lot of ambivalence between his public espousal of the party line and honesty about the East German govt. and bureaucracy, esp. vis-a-vis the arts. (He actually does think there’s such a thing as socialist philistinism, I think — even appeals to “taste” at one point.) That said, his sympathies always remain with the worker: his disappointment isn’t in the Communist ideal, but its implementation, and the role of an elite within in it. “Shall the construction of Socialism/Be fudged together by a few people in the dark?” (1055) Walked a few blocks to meet Bree for dinner. Got back around 8, packed for tomorrow, went out for a coffee around 9:30, read a few more p. of Vogel. Back, lights out 11:30.
Over course of last couple days, listened to Around Again, an album of Carla Bley compositions played by Iro Haarla (p), Ulf Kroskfors (b), two Finns, and Barry Altschul, who played on some of the early Paul Bley versions of the same tunes. Good, generally understated (though the title track is an exemplary “angular” number); need to listen more attentively.