V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 8-9. Sent from Shushenskoye to Podolsk. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 253-255.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

April 4, 1899

I have received your letter and Mitya’s, Mother dearest. There is no need for you to worry about a place to stay in Shusha, there is plenty of room here. We had four visitors staying with us at Shrovetide. If your health permits we should be very, very glad to see you, so as not to have to wait until my term is up (sometimes the term is extended—although I hope mine will not be). Nadya is writing in greater detail,[1] but as regards the season I must make a correction to her letter; at the beginning of May the water is still low—the steamer put us ashore half way. It is no good travelling an extra hundred versts by road. The best thing is to reach Krasnoyarsk at the end of May, when you can easily go by boat as far as Minusinsk, and from there it is only 55 versts. As a summer resort Shusha is not much worse than any other, I think (if worse it is). It is only a question of the journey.

There is no need for you to be worried about the gun. I am used to it and am very careful.[2] Shooting is the only form of amusement here, and some sort of “loosening up exercise” is necessary because of my sedentary life.

Thank Mitya for the trouble he took over the gun (which I have not yet received).

I read in Russkiye Vedomosti that Mark beat Chigorin! So that’s what he’s like! I’ll have to cross swords with him one day!

Many kisses for you and regards to all.

V. U.

By the way, I almost forgot—some books will be sent to you C.O.D. from Vyatka. They are for me; please ask Mitya to make a list of them and send it to me.

April 4, 1899


I have received Prakticheskaya Zhizn and Heyse’s German Grammar. Many thanks for the latter, it is an excellent book. I wrote you last time that I had received Tsion.[5]

By the last post I sent a telegram to Petersburg in answer to the following, which I received on March 26. “Proposed price of book two rubles, author’s royalties about 1,500 rubles, wire consent Kalmykova’s warehouse.”[3] I gave my consent—because I cannot, after all, haggle by telegraph—and on the eve of publication! How can I hold it up for that! Actually I am not much in favour of that “consent”. I was rather surprised that they (who? I do not know, there is no signature) should have done things in a roundabout way and, instead of asking you as the person in charge of the whole business, applied directly to me. I now regret that I did not answer “Apply to Yelizarova in Moscow, she is in charge of the affair.” That is how I should have answered! Because 1,500 is very little for three years’ work, it works out at 50 rubles a printer’s signature. Furthermore, since the Studies are selling exceedingly well there need be no worry about the “markets”. If that is the case there is no reason for making the booksellers a present of 30 per cent. One could, if the publisher were a more practical man or woman, offer the booksellers half that percentage and also sell the book through the Nachalo office, which, it is to be hoped, would not refuse. By the   way, it is probably a waste of time writing all this now, since the deed seems to have been done. Of course, we shall have to make concessions on the fees because of the cheapness of the book. Since it is not we, but other people, who are publishing the book there is no sense in making special claims. And so, all the preceding is merely platonic contemplation and not “business” propositions.

I believe it most probable that even the list of misprints in signatures 11 to 16 (I received them from you the day before yesterday) will be too late, so I am sending it only in case, and without making a fair copy.[4]

I have at last received issue No. 1–2 of Nachalo from comrades. (Please subscribe to it for us, if you have not done so. I did a very foolish thing in again relying on the écrivain. I hope I shall not be so silly in the future.) In general, I liked it very much, but B. Avilov is rather weak, more scathing than sound.[6] Bulgakov simply made me mad; such nonsense, such utter nonsense, and such eternal professorial pretentiousness—what the devil is this?![7] No wonder Syn Otechestva has already praised him! We’ll see how he finishes up. I am thinking of writing “about Kautsky’s book and Bulgakov’s article”.[8] I have given up the plan to write about Kablukov, he is not worth a second article. The écrivain, as usual, is silent, and we do not expect any information on journal affairs from him although we feel a considerable need for such information.

All the best,

V. U.


[1] See Krupskaya’s Letter No. 15.—Ed. —Lenin

[2] A centre-fire gun is much safer than an ordinary one.—Lenin

[3] The telegram has been lost.—Ed.

[4] This list has been lost.—Ed.

[5] Lenin apparently made use of the journal Prakticheskaya Zhizn and I. Tsion’s book Nigilisty i nigilizm to send letters in invisible ink.

[6] The article referred to is B. Avilov’s “Novy opyt ’ekonomicheskoi garmonii’ (N. Kablukov, Ob usloviyakh razvitiya krestyanskogo khozyaistva v Rossii. M., 1899)”, published in Nachalo No. 1-2 for 1899.

[7] Bulgakov’s article was “K voprosu o kapitalisticheskoi evolyutsii zemledeliya”, published in Nachalo Nos. 1-2 and 3 for 1899.

[8] Lenin made a critical analysis of the views of S. N. Bulgakov, the “legal Marxist”, in two articles under the common title of “Capitalism in Agriculture (Kautsky’s Book and Mr. Bulgakov’s Article)”. They were intended for publication in Nachalo but since that journal was banned they appeared in Nos. 1 and 2 of Zhizn for 1900 (see Collected Works, Vol. 4, pp. 105–59).

The importance which Lenin attached to his articles against Bulgakov can be seen from his letter to A. N. Potresov of April 27,1899 (Collected Works, Vol. 34, pp. 32–33), in which he expresses an exceedingly negative opinion of Bulgakov’s revisionist writings.

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