Translated by Iza Young.
I know from experience that to one who thinks much and feels deeply, it often seems that he has only to put down his thoughts and feelings in order to produce something altogether out of the common; yet as soon as he sets to work he falls into a certain mannerism of style and common phraseology; his thoughts do not come spontaneously, and one might almost say that it is not the mind that directs the pen, but the pen leads the mind into common, empty artificiality. I am afraid of this for myself, for if I am wanting in eloquence, literary simplicity, or picturesqueness, I am not wanting in good taste, and my own style might become distasteful to myself, and thereby render my task impossible. But this I shall see later on. I begin my diary with a short introductory autobiography.
My name is Leon Ploszowski, and I am, as I said before, thirty-five years of age. I come from a wealthy family which has been able to preserve its fortune. As to myself I shall not increase it,