V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written at the end of April 1911
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany I. Sent from Paris to Capri. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 178-179.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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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Dear A. M.,

How is your health? M. F. wrote that you had returned with a cough, etc. I hope you are better.

We’ve had some bad luck with Mysl.[1] You probably know what has happened from Rech and other papers. We have to transfer the whole business to St. Petersburg, and begin all over again. But we have no legal and reliable people.

Could you help us, if you sympathise with Mysl? Or perhaps Pyatnitsky could help? As things are, we still have enough money to publish such a small journal ( provided, of course, that we all work for nothing and pay outsiders 20 rubles a sheet! Not so generous, you see). So at present it is only technical help that is needed: to find a publisher who, without spending a kopek of his own, would bring out the journal (and we so strongly recognise the strictest legality, that we give the right both to the publisher and to the secretary of the editorial board-f-a lawyer to hold up anything in the least dangerous; we brought out four issues without the slightest faultfinding from the court. No. 5 was confiscated on account of Kautsky[2]! That was obviously a mere pretext. There was nothing illegal in Kautsky).

Why should not Pyatnitsky or someone else help us in such a safe business? If it is impossible to find a publisher, what about a secretary, a legal person whom we would pay 50 rubles a month for worrying about the printing press and forwarding. All we want is an honest and thoughtful person. The trouble is that we have no legal people, except workmen (and they won’t do).

The second question. We have a translation of Kautsky’s latest articles against Maslov, which has already been paid for.[3] It’s quite legal. It’s an essential thing, because Maslov has written a lot of nonsense and has also lied to his Russian readers. It’s 3–5 printed sheets. Could it be published—without author’s fees (for our translation has already been, paid for) at cost price? Is Pyatnitsky (or someone else) suitable for anything like this or not?

The third question. Y. M. Nakhamkis, deported here from St. Petersburg for his connections with the Social-Democratic Duma group (he is Nevzorov or Steklov, author of a good book about Chernyshevsky[4]), is badly in need of work and asks me to inquire whether it would be possible to publish Peary: A Journey to the North Pole. He thinks it will have a good sale.

What news is there of the “plans”? Please write.

And do reply to the workers at our school. They are good fellows. One of them is a poet, and keeps writing verses, but the poor chap has no guide, helper, instructor or adviser.

Best wishes,

Robert E. Peary:

La découverte du pôle nord, Paris—magnificent illustrations. The blocks can be bought here cheaply. About 15 printed sheets, each of 40,000 letters and spaces. (I have just seen Steklov, who gave me these details.)


[1] Mysl (Thought)—a Bolshevik legal magazine, published in Moscow from December 1910 to April 1911; was closed down by the tsarist government.

[2] The first part of the Russian translation of K. Kautsky’s pamphlet, Taktische Strömungen in der deutschen Sozialdemokratie (Tactical Trends among German Social-Democrats), Berlin, 1911, appeared in Mysl No. 5, April 1911, and this was the pretext for its closure.

[3] A reference to K. Kautsky’s article, “Malthusianismus und Sozialismus” (Malthusianism and Socialism), published in Die Neue Zeit Nos. 18, 19, 20, February 1911.

[4] Y. M. Steklov’s book, N. G. Chernyshevsky, His Life and Work (1828–1889), appeared in 1909.

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