Day 1140: Diaries 1907-1914: Prodigious Youth

Cover for Diaries 1907-1914I am not really a diary reader. Even Samuel Pepys was boring to me. So, when my good friend recommended Sergey Prokofiev’s diairies, I wasn’t buying it. As a historian, she finds diaries a lot more enthralling than I do. In any case, she bought me the book, a whopping 800 pages long, and I made a serious attempt to read it.

Let me first say that if you enjoy reading diaries, you will probably enjoy this book a lot more than I did. Prokofiev was a prolific diarist, as is obvious when you consider that this volume only covers seven years. He also wrote very well. But in 1907, he is only sixteen years old. Although he is a prodigy in music and extremely intelligent, he is a teenager. His diaries are concerned with his triumphs in school, music, and chess; his preferences for his female schoolmates, which change daily; and his verbal scoring against his friends and instructors. All of his enthusiasms center around how well he did, how much better than others. He comes off as a competitive little jerk at worst (I wanted to use a different word) and an immature boy at best.

Half of the book covers 1913, which should be a momentous year because of Russia’s slide toward war, but I only made it to 1909. This is probably a great book for someone else, and maybe I’ll try it again later. I would have skipped a few years, but he constantly mentions people, and I was sure I wouldn’t know who half of them were if I skipped ahead.

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8 thoughts on “Day 1140: Diaries 1907-1914: Prodigious Youth

  1. Naomi October 20, 2017 / 10:09 am

    800 pages of a teenage boy’s diary!

  2. TJ @ MyBookStrings October 20, 2017 / 11:15 am

    I’m impressed you made it through 2 years’ worth of diary entries!

  3. FictionFan October 21, 2017 / 7:36 am

    Haha – I nearly got this a while back because I love his music, but I never got around to it. Now you’ve made me very thankful! 😉

  4. whatmeread October 21, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Maybe the next volume, when he grows up a little.

  5. Hedda Kristine By November 18, 2018 / 2:31 am

    Haha, I do kind of agree with you – he is really quite up himself, although more so in the beginning 😀 I’m persisting, but slowly. The coolest thing about my copy, which I bought for a couple of quid on Amazon, is that it is signed by his son, grandson, the author and a few other people! Dedicated to ‘Malcolm’, whoever that is! :O I feel I should finish it…

    • whatmeread November 18, 2018 / 8:14 pm

      I suppose it improves as he gets older. The friend who bought it for me said that a friend of hers just raved about how wonderful it was. If so, I couldn’t make it to the wonderful part.

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