V. I. Lenin




Written: Written July 21, 1894
Published: First published in 1961 in the journal Istoria SSSR No. 2. Sent from Nizhni-Novgorod to Switzerland. Printed from a typewritten copy found in police records.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 42b-44a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). 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.

I received The Housing[1] and got down to work. The point is that you left things unfinished. In reading the   final copy a heap of mistakes was discovered (the drawings too, I found, caused much confusion). After reading it, our common acquaintances said the work was very poor. Therefore I had to sit down to revise it, sick and tired though I was of the job. The result was that the clean copy turned out to be a rough draft.

Can you send me ...[2] by Engels with the 1894 afterword. You can forward it the usual way. The address will be the same roughly until August 15, after which the winter address should be used.

You did not fully distinguish between the Germans and the German[3] in your letter. The lack of “theoretical interest” on the part of the former is understandable to me (though regrettable), but can the same be said about the latter? When giving an interpretation of a question one should not avoid analysing it. True, I recently came across an instance of inability to see what was at issue and why it was important, but I should not like to believe that the same sort of thing can be expected there.



[1] The reference is to Frederick Engels’s The Housing Question.—Ed.

[2] Omission in the typewritten copy.—Ed.

[3] G. V. Plekhanov.—Ed.

[4] In this letter Lenin evidently refers to his What theFriends of the PeopleAre and How They Fight the Social-Democrats, which was proposed to be published abroad (see present edition, Vol. 1, pp. 129–332). The two works mentioned are Frederick Engels’s The Housing Question and “Afterword to On Social Relations in Russia” (see Marx and Engels, Selected Works in two volumes, Vol. I, Moscow, 1962, pp. 546–634, and Marx/Engels, Werke, Bd. 22, Dietz Verlag, Berlin, 1963, S. 421–35).

In the summer of 1894 Lenin stayed with relatives in the country in Kuzminki, near Moscow, and in August returned to St. Petersburg.

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