Letter to Pavel Axelrod, August 16,1897

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Dear Pavel Borisovich,

I am very, very glad to have succeeded after all in getting a letter from you (I received it yesterday, i. e., August 15) and news of you and of G. V. Your and his opinions on my literary efforts[1] (for the workers) have been extremely encouraging. There is nothing I have wanted so much, or dreamed of so much, as an opportunity of writing for workers, But how to do this from here? It is very, very difficult, but not impossible, I think. How is the health of V. Iv.?

I know only one method—the one by which I am writing these lines.[2] The question is whether it is possible to find a copyist, who will have no easy task. You, apparently, consider it impossible and this method, in general, unsuitable. But I do not know any other.\dots It is a pity, but I do not despair: if one does not succeed now—one can succeed later on. Meanwhile, it would be good if you were to write occasionally by the method which you use with your “old friend”.[3] That will enable us to keep in touch, which is the most important thing.

You, of course, have been told enough about me, so there is nothing to add. I live here all alone. I am quite well and occupy myself both with the \n journal[4] and with my big job.[5]

All the very best. Kind regards to V. Iv. and G. V. I have not seen Raichin for over a month. I hope to go to Minusinsk soon to see him.


V. U.

August 16

  1. See ^^“Explanation of the Law on Fines Imposed on Factory Workers” (present edition, Vol. 2)^^.—Ed.
  2. While in exile Lenin sent most of his letters to P. B. Axelrod concealed in the inside of book-covers. Passing through several hands, these letters eventually found their way abroad to A. T. Ulyanova-Yelizarova, Lenin’s sister, who lived in Berlin at the time, and she forwarded them on to Axelrod. This particular letter was copied out by her and inserted in the middle of the text of her own letter to Axelrod. p. 24
  3. Meaning Anna Ilyinichna Ulyanova-Yelizarova, Lenin’s sister. p. 24
  4. This refers to the journal Novoye Slovo in which two articles of Lenin’s were published in 1897: “A Characterisation of Economic Romanticism” and “About a Certain Newspaper Article” (see Vol. 2 of this edition).
    Novoye Slovo (New Word)—a scientific, literary and political monthly published in St. Petersburg from 1894 by the liberal Narodniks, and from the spring of 1897 by the “legal Marxists”. The journal was closed down by the government in December 1897. p. 24
  5. Lenin was working at that time on his book ^^The Development of Capitalism in Russia (see present edition, Vol. 3)^^.–Ed.Lenin