We can find many clues in the diaries about the level of frustration within the group of hikers.
⇒January 23 « The boys solemnly swore not to smoke the entire trip. I wonder how much will power they have to get by without cigarettes? » Z. Kolmogorova in Group’s diary
So the smokers have experienced a frustration proportionated to their respective addictions.
⇒ On Jan 24, there was a Ist discussion about love provoked by Z. Kolmogorova : « we started to discuss love issues, talking about kisses in particular. We talked all kinds of nonsense, of course; everyone was interested, everyone wanted to speak out, eventually trying to out-shout each other and prove their own opinion. Sasha Kolevatov was the best in our debates. Probably he expressed not only his own thoughts but, anyway, he obviously won »
⇒ On Jan 25 evening, there was a IInd discussion about love : « whole evening there was a discussion about love about friendship, about dances and other things, etc. I talked a lot about things which are completely unfamiliar to me and I scarcely do, but I tried, sincerely. But this is all nonsense. » and « during the meal, a discussion arose about the rights of boys and girls to freedom, etc. In my opinion, such discussions lead nowhere. But we are doing it anyway, to vent the soul. We went to bed late »
⇒ On Jan 28 evening, there was a IIIrd discussion about love : « Then we resume our discussions, mostly about love. Someone comes up with an idea that we need a special notebook for ideas that we might come up with. Conspiring, we started going into the tent two people at a time. »
⇒ On Feb 01, leaflet with Final statements about love : « GREETING TO THE XXI CONVENTION WITH INCREASED BIRTHRATE AMONG HIKERS ! », « PHILOSOPHICAL SEMINAR on the topic of « Love and Hiking » takes place daily on the tent premises (central hall). Lectures are given by Dr Thibeaux and postdoctorate of Love science Dubinina ».
Ist discussion is about kisses.
IInd discussion is about the rights of boys and girls to freedom.
IIIrd discussion is about pretending to be couples and to sleep together.
Final statement is about pregnancy.
There was a crescendo in the issues discussed by the group: from kisses to impregnation... and discussed among young people that were not sexually active at that time. We know that Zina was still desiring Doroshenko, but she was also sensitive to the charm of Yudin, Slobodin and Ognev, we know that Dyatlov was very probably desiring Zina, and maybe Krivonishenko was also desiring her.
Desire could have raged as a fire in the group (as they were always burning themselves with the stove, burning jacket and mittens, and finally burning their own bodies at the cedar), and I think it had been a continuous ground for all events which happened within the group. And there was this other continuous ground of tobacco deprivation. They were making their path on a ground of sexual frustration and nicotin deprivation... All particular arguments, quarrel, conflict, rudeness happened on this background.
And they fueled the frustration. Lyuda wrote twice about it : "Zhenya often picks on me, sometimes he even says offensive things. He seem to consider me foolish. It's my fault that I like to add fuel to the fire, damn me." and "then there is Valya, who plays the guitar well (many play) and about whom I jokingly said that I like him"... describing what Gregory Bateson called "double bind": the lighting of desire simultaneously with the denial of it*... a highly destructive kind of relationship and able to trigger extreme reactions (from schizophrenia to school-shooting). They also played a theater of desire, satisfaction and frustration: "Conspiring, we started going into the tent two people at a time."... Two people at a time, a boy and a girl, leaving five boys outside the tent... playing the role of the rejected and frustrated. If one of these five not elected boys was in love with Zina or Lyuda, the simple distribution of roles was enough for jealousy to burn him. And if the others had no feelings, the fiction was enough to initiate some romantic interest (as it is written in french author Molière's theater play Dom Juan : "I couldn't stand to see them so happy together, frustration lighted my desire. My love started with jealousy.").
So we have a general ground of sexual frustration and nicotin deprivation, and particular times of intense fueling of the frustration, going crescendo, with ideas from kisses to impregnation, widening the gap between the nothing of reality and the fiction of satisfaction.
When Slobodin noted fragments of the lyrics of Othello's song in his diary, he left quite a strange testimony... because when reading the whole song we find :
12 Othello went into a terrible rage -
Killed everyone who was in the area,
And in the end he stabbed himself...
13 Let Othello act boldly
Or cowardly - you be the judge
But the Moor - he did his job
Lyuda was playing Carmen with Valya as Don José, seducing then rejecting, and Othello's name was heard by the group and was with the group as a possibility. Dyatlov alone had to deal with six obvious or potential rivals : Doroshenko, Slobodin, Yudin, Krivonishenko, Kolevatov and Ognev (see msg17671). The material provided by the diaries is an accumulation of conditions for a tragedy... And these idiots were infatuated with themselves, proud to be "tourists" and to light envy in the eyes of school children: "Decided to read talk to the children in 1st and 2nd grades about tourism. They liked our stories and things very much, and they became very attached to us. Time flew by till 6 pm in the company of our new young friends. The children bonded so much, especially to Zina, that they parted with tears." and "We went and talked to the schoolchildren, then they all saw us off, even burst into tears, didn't want to let us go"... And they were absolutely unable to understand that they could trigger other kind of reactions with Ognev's gang of outcasts and semi-criminals than just children's tears, if behaving with the same clumsiness... Lyuda wrote about Ognev as "the most interesting object here on the site"... Ognev and Valya were considered as "objects" by the young townspeople (and Ognev a bit as an animal when photographed by Krivonishenko)... "Objects" without feeling, unable to experience desire, suffering, sadness, humiliation, anger, revenge ? Or able to ?
Somebody wrote in the unknown diary : " Sometimes Mansi writings appear on trees. In general, all sorts of obscure mysterious characters. There is slogan for our campaign, "In a country of mysterious signs." If we knew these letters, it would be possible, without any doubt, to go down the path, confident that it would lead us to the right place." And yes, it was so deeply true, they couldn't read the letters, they could not read the signs... they were so materialistically idealistic, positively illiterates in the matter of feelings as Yudin wrote : "but in general I couldn't feel the Person, his soul. Maybe that's why everybody that saw the movie was saying: "It feels so good, nothing is missing, they say "like life itself"... But "the Person", the most essential was missing... Yudin also wrote about the movie Paren: "there are not living people on the screen full of thoughts, capable of creating stories themselves, but some automatic machines tuned to a spec. program"... And Lyuda wrote about Ognev as an "object"... What if "machines" and "objects" suddenly revealed to be "persons" ? Like when wild animals suddenly turn against their guards after years of submission** ?
If we need to find inside the group the conditions of a tragedy, it's easy to find them...
*Developing the elements provided by Lyuda would give :
- I love you. - I love you too. - I was joking ! - I was not. - But I don't love you. Anyway, what a funny joke, isn't it ? - It was not fun for me. - Zina, listen, Valya thought I was serious ! As if a Soviet princess like me, being the daughter of a deputy manager of the trust Sverdlesdrev MLP, being a student in UPI university as an Engineering and Economics Major, could love a miserable outcast logger like him ! I will marry a cavalry general like Lili Brik did, not a poet released from prison ! Valya baby, you have no chance to ever bond with me, and when growing old, you will learn that women sometimes like to check their power of seduction and to reassure themselves at the expense of victims like you. Yes, I told you I loved you, but actually I don't. No hard feelings, huh! I will send you a postcard from the big city, Valya baby, you will have to wait and check everyday at the post office... and maybe I'll change my mind again and I'll write sweet words to you, who knows ?
** In 1959, the negation of personal and individual issues had already reached its maximum, people could not stand it no more, it was de-stalinization, the release of so many prisoners ("they threw in jail everybody that they could catch, innocent, then they figured it out and cleaned up, everybody was given rushed amnesty"), they could not stand no more injustice, Yudin noted that Vishay was ready for strike and revolt (like in the gulags of Vorkuta, Norilsk and Kengir in 1953 and 1954 just following Stalin's death)... then what could have been the feelings of Thibeaux after being unfairly punished ? His innocent father was unfairly punished by Stalin, and now again, they unfairly punished the innocent son ? Did he just begin to write a diary ? Refuse to sew the tent then finally obey ? And that's all ? Or was Thibeaux in the inside of his heart in a state of absolute rage and revolt ?