„... there is something Russian about this particular use of the eye as an aggressive and defensive weapon. In Russian literature there is endless variation in the use of the eye as a soulful receptor, as an avid grasper, and as the very organ for mutual soulful surrender. In regard to the great models of political and literary life, however, the emphasis is on the eye as an incorruptible instrument for the manipulation of the future. Gorky's description of Tolstoy is typical: 'With sharp eyes, from which neither a single pebble nor a single thought could hide itself, he looked, measured, tested, compared.' Or again, his eyes are 'screwed up as though straining to look into the future'.
Equally typical is Trotsky's description of Lenin:
When Lenin, his left eye narrowed, receives a wireless containing a speech he resembles a devilishly clever peasant who does not let himself be confused by any words, or deluded by any phrases. That is highly intensified peasant shrewdness, lifted to the point of inspiration.“
Childhood and Society