From a 1933 diary entry by George Kennan (1904–2005), with the heading “January, Riga.” Kennan was working for the State Department at the time, in a diplomatic post in Latvia. He went on to become a leading foreign-policy adviser and historian of the Cold War era. He was a faculty member at the Institute for Advanced Study from 1956 until his death. The Kennan Diaries, edited by Frank Costigliola, will be published in February by Norton.
It seemed to him that he would have made a talented academician, with the proper training. As a matter of fact, he felt that he could have done well in almost any field except the one which interested him, fiction.