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Written by Julia Wolf
In one way and another he had made all his teachers, men and women alike, conscious of the same feeling of physical aversion.
Paul wasn’t the best student. One of the numerous reasons was “the contempt” the teachers knew “he felt for them,” and which “he seemingly made not the least effort to conceal.” In one class “he habitually sat with his hand shading his eyes.” In another “he always looked out of the window during the recitation.” In another “he made a running commentary on the lecture, with humorous intention.” To cut a long story short, “he had made all his teachers, men and women alike, conscious of the same feeling of physical aversion.” Paul hated grey colors of the stuffs’ clothes, their love for rules, order and dull existence. He wanted to be a part of the world that was free and beautiful.
He was a model usher; gracious and smiling he ran up and down the aisles.
One could just think that Paul was simply a rather unpleasant person, who didn’t know a meaning of the world etiquette and couldn’t treat other people with respect. That would be a great mistake, for he “was a model usher; gracious and smiling he ran up and down the aisles.” Nothing was “too much trouble for him;” he carried all messages “as though it were his greatest pleasure in life.” All the people in his section thought him “a charming boy, feeling that he remembered and admired them.” Of course, Paul’s dislike for people with less refined tastes didn’t do him any justice, but he wasn’t a bad or unpleasant person.
After a concert was over Paul was always irritable and wretched until he got to sleep, and tonight he was even more than usually restless.
Paul loved art, and admired artists and people who could appreciate beauty in their lives. After a concert was over “Paul was always irritable and wretched until he got to sleep.” According to him, that “delicious excitement” which he felt at Carnegie Hall “was the only one thing” that “could be living at all.” He didn’t want to return to his father’s house, a place he hated as much as school, for it was ugly, common, and mediocre, there was no place for beauty, art, refined atmosphere. Paul couldn’t put up with an idea of living like that.
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