La matita blu di Stalin. L'essenza del totalitarismo? Un illimitato, continuo e maniacale esercizio di correzione:
Stalin's blue pencil was an instrument he used to transform himself into an idea and, ultimately, an ideology. Of Marx had come Marxism, out of Lenin Leninism; such was the mise-en-scène within which Stalin—through his tireless revisions—was becoming Stalinism. Writing about Soviet memoirs of the Stalinist period and after, Irina Paperno, a Slavicist at the University of California at Berkeley, notes that the editor "is not a real person or persons, but a function, or persona." In his biography of Stalin from 1936, Henri Barbusse wrote: "Stalin is the Lenin of today." He meant that Stalin had effectively become a persona, an idea that transcended the person. It was a compliment. And others felt its force. Before meeting him in 1943, Ðilas imagined the Soviet leader as a "pure idea, ... something infallible and sinless."