From Robert Conquest’s “Stalin, Breaker of Nations” (mentioned in Mockingbird’s interview with Whit Stillman). One of [Stalin’s] outstanding characteristics was, in many respects, a profound mediocrity melded with a superhuman will-power. It is as though he had a very ordinary brain, but with some lobes extravagantly over-developed, like the horrible skulls in Dali’s early paintings. […]