And with women, when he lost his shyness, he veered between absurd enthusiasm and lurching despair. It was as if he was always on the wrong metronome setting.
— Julian Barnes, The Noise of Time ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
He was an introverted man who was attracted to extroverted women. Was that part of the trouble? ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
When Galina was born, he and Nita used to joke about christening her Sumburina. It meant Little Muddle. Muddlikins. It would have been an act of ironic bravado. No, of suicidal folly. ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
When he was a student – those years of cheerfulness, hope and invulnerability – he had slaved for three years as a cinema pianist. He had accompanied the screen at the Piccadilly on Nevsky Prospekt; also at the Bright Reel and the Splendid Palace. It was hard, demeaning work; some of the proprietors were skinflints who would sack you rather than pay your wages. Still, he used to remind himself that Brahms had played the piano at a sailors’ brothel in Hamburg. Which might have beem more fun, admittedly. ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
Akhmatova said that under Khrushchev, Power had become vegetarian. Maybe so; though you could just as easily kill someone by stuffing vegetables down their throat as by the traditional methods of the old meat-eating days. ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
When all else failed, when there seemed to be nothing but nonsense in the world, he held to this: that good music would always be good music, and great music was impregnable. You could play Bach’s preludes and fugues at any tempo, with any dynamics, and they would still be great music, proof even against the wretch who brought ten thumbs to the keyboard. And in the same way, you could not play such music cynically. ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
He had also had a ‘historic meeting’ with Akhmatova. He had invited her to visit him at Repino. She came. He sat in silence; so did she; after twenty such minutes, she rose and left. She said afterwards, ‘It was wonderful.’ ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр
As well as running volleyball competitions, he had also served as a tennis umpire. Once, at a sanatorium in the Crimea reserved for government officials, he had found himself in charge of a match involving General Serov, then head of the KGB. Whenever the general disputed a let or a line-call, he would take pleasure in his temporary authority. ‘No arguing with the umpire,’ he would command. This had been one of the few conversations with Power that he had enjoyed. ‎· протёр контакт до чёрных дыр