V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 11. Sent from Munich to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 327-328.
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.
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May 19, 1901

I have decided to write you a few lines, dear Manyasha, or you will be thinking I have turned into a real pig. I have been forgetting my obligations surprisingly often since I have been here. It is true that now Nadya and Y.V. have arrived we are much more comfortable; we have our own apartment and I am beginning to work more regularly, but there is still more than enough bother.

How are you? I hope you have got yourself into a more correct regime for that is so important in solitary confinement. I have just written a letter to Mark in which I described in exceptional detail how best to establish a “regime”; as regards mental work, I particularly recommended translations, especially both ways—first do a written translation from the foreign language into Russian, then translate it back from Russian into the foreign language. My own experience has taught me that this is the most rational way of learning a language. On the physical side I have strongly recommended him, and I repeat it to you, to do gymnastics every day and rub himself down with a wet towel. In solitary confinement this is absolutely essential. I saw from one of your letters that Mother sent on to me that you have found some ways of employing your time. I hope this will enable you to forget, even if only occasionally, your surroundings, and that the passage of time (which usually passes quickly in prison unless conditions are particularly bad) will be even less noticeable. I also advise you to arrange your work on the books you have in such a way as to vary it; I remember quite well that a change   of reading or work—from translation to reading, from writing to gymnastics, from serious reading to fiction—helps a great deal. Sometimes a change of mood for the worse— one’s mood changes so easily in prison—is due simply to fatigue from monotonous impressions or monotonous work, and a change of occupation is often enough to bring one back to normal and calm one’s nerves. I remember that after dinner, for recreation in the evening, I read fiction regelmässig,[1] and never enjoyed it anywhere as much as I did in prison. The main thing is never to forget the obligatory daily gymnastics. Force yourself to go through several dozen (no allowances!) movements of all kinds! This is very important. Well, good-bye for now. Many kisses; I wish you good health and vigour.

Vlad. Ulyanov


[1] Regularly (Ger.).—Ed.

[2] This letter was given to Maria Ulyanova in prison and it bears the stamp of the Deputy Prosecutor of the Moscow Department of Justice.

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