V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 2-3. Sent from Shushenskoye to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 130-132.
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.

October 12, 1897

On the 7th, Mother dearest, I received a letter from you and Mitya dated September 20. I was in a great hurry last time and, as I remember, did not write much. Today I must make up for it.

Thanks to Mitya for his letter. In answer to his questions—I am receiving Voprosy Filosofii i Psikhologii for 1897 and have also received one issue for 1896 and will send it when I have read it (for the time being I have given it to the people at Tesinskoye).

I still go shooting. The shooting is not as successful as it was (shooting hares, grouse and partridge is new to me and I shall have to get used to it), but it is no less pleasant. Whenever there is a fine autumn day (and this year there have been many of them) I take my gun and wander off across the fields and forest. Usually I go with Prominsky; I take my landlord’s dog, which I have trained to follow me, and which has some (although not much) skill as a gun dog, I have acquired a dog for myself—I got a pup from an acquaintance here and hope that I shall be able to train it by next summer; I don’t know whether it will turn out a good dog and whether it will have any hunting sense. I don’t know how to spot that kind of thing, and no very definite opinion of the qualities of my Pegasus can be had from his pedigree. The quilted jackets we all had bought for us in St. Petersburg are very convenient for shooting and I can never praise mine enough. In general, as far as my winter clothes and other things (which you ask about) are concerned, I have ample. I have already   bought many winter things in Minusinsk and will buy some more. In general, shopping in Minusinsk is difficult; there is practically no choice, the shops are the village type of general store (all sorts of odds and ends; goods are delivered periodically and I got there at a time when the old stock had run out and the new had not arrived) and it is difficult for one accustomed to city shops to find anything in them. Incidentally, it is high time I got rid of these bigcity habits; they are of no use here and I must get used to local ways. I seem to be fairly well acclimatised, but as far as shopping is concerned I still think in the St. Petersburg way—you have only to go into a shop and get what you want....

I will tell you about my journey in greater detail. I was in Minusinsk for two days only and all the time went in running round the shops, in seeing about Basil’s case (we wrote a complaint together about the magistrate’s sentence and the magistrate himself admitted that it was too severe.[3] We’ll see what the higher court has to say) and in visiting acquaintances. There are now many political exiles in Minusinsk—A. V. Tyrkov (the March 1,1881 case), N. S. Tyutchev and Y. K. Yakovlev (Narodnoye Pravo group), S. I. Melnikov (Narodnaya Volya Party), Blazejewski (Polish worker), S. G. Raichin (my closest acquaintance and a man of the same views), F. Y. Kon (Polish intellectual who has served a sentence of penal servitude), and Stoyanovsky (arrested in connection with the Ginsburg case and has served a sentence of penal servitude). I saw almost all of them. I think I shall be able to go there again in winter. Such temporary visits are probably better than living in Minusinsk, which does not attract me. Its only advantage is the post (this advantage is even greater in Achinsk, so I would naturally “prefer” Achinsk). But this is only by the way, for I have settled down completely in Shushenskoye and have got used to the idea of wintering here and am not applying for a transfer and advise you not to.

I went to Tesinskoye with Basil. We had a good time there and I was very pleased to see the comrades and to have company after my Shushenskoye solitude. That company, however, seems to be worse off than I am. Not as far as lodgings, etc., are concerned, in that respect they are better   off, but they are not adjusted. Gleb is often quite ill, is often despondent; Basil, too, it seems, is not so “flourishing” after all, though he is the most balanced of the Tes crowd. E.E. does the housekeeping, enjoys life at Tesinskoye, but is also often ill. Keeping house is not easy for her since there are no servants; it is extremely difficult to find a servant in the Siberian villages—in summer it is absolutely impossible. You can live well if you are fixed up as I am with full board and lodging, but keeping house yourself is very difficult. The Tes people live much more “sociably” (so to speak) than I do; they are acquainted with the district nurse in Tesinskoye and not far from them (about 15 versts) there are some former women students whom they see quite often.[4] I have not lost hope that their despondency will pass. Gleb and Basil now have jobs[5]; they could not live without work, for the allowance they receive is only 24 rubles (the authorities won’t give Basil an allowance for his wife because he got married while in exile).

Again about the library. Which library did Mitya get the Voprosy Filosofii i Psikhologii from? If he got them from the Petrovskaya library, can he get their catalogue (a new one)? I think they lend books for an indefinite period.

V. U.

I am perfectly well, of course; I am working, I feel fine.

The doctor (from the north) asks me to give you his regards.[1] (I correspond with him and Columbus fairly -3 regularly.)[2]


[1] A. P. Sklyarenko—Ed.

[2] The letters have been lost.—Ed.

[3] For going to Minusinsk without leave V. V. Starkov was arraigned before the court and sentenced to three days arrest. Such breaches of the regulations were punishable by a written or verbal “reproof” or by a fine but not by arrest. Lenin’s intervention released Starkov from an illegal sentence.

[4] Former women students—Yekaterina and Glafira Okulova who lived with their father in the village of Shoshino, where they were under police surveillance. Glafira Okulova (Zaichik—Bunny) was later an active Iskra supporter and Bolshevik.

[5] G. M. Krzhizhanovsky and V. V. Starkov worked for the commission on regulating the bed of the River Minusinka in the town of Minusinsk, where they went twice from Tesinskoye to attend meetings of the commission.

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