V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written December 26, 1913
Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 11. Sent from Krakow to Vologda. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 507-508.
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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December 26

Dear Maria Alexandrovna,

It is an age since I last wrote to you. In general I have been conducting a sort of sit-down strike against letter- writing lately. Volodya is partly to blame. He has enticed me into the “excursionist” party. It is our local joke that we have a “cinemist” party (of cinema-lovers), an “anti- cinemist”, or “anti-semitic”, party, and an “excursionist” party, which is always finding excuses for excursions. Volodya is a confirmed anti-cinemist and an enthusiastic excursionist. He has recruited me into his party and so I have no time left for anything. To make things worse, we are having some wonderfully fine days. With just a light fall of snow— really excellent. And autumn, too, was fine. After all, what is there to do in Krakow but go walking. We have no sophisticated amusements of any kind. We did once go to a concert, a Beethoven quartet, we even clubbed together to buy a season ticket, but for some reason the music made us terribly miserable, although an acquaintance of ours,[1] an excellent musician, was in ecstasies over it. We do not want to go to the Polish theatre, the cinema here is quite absurd—all five-act melodramas.... Volodya and I have decided that after the holidays we will begin a study of the local University library, for, to our shame, we have never been there. If there is anything we thirst for here it is good literature. Volodya has practically learned Nadson and Nekrasov by heart and an odd volume of Anna Karenina   is being read for the hundredth time. We left our literature (a tiny fraction of what we had in St. Petersburg) in Paris and here there isn’t a Russian book to be had anywhere. At times we read with envy the advertisements of secondhand booksellers offering 28 volumes of Uspensky or 10 volumes of Pushkin, etc., etc.

Volodya, as luck would have it, has become a great fiction-lover. And an out-and-out nationalist. You cannot get him to look at the pictures by Polish artists at any price but he has picked up, for instance, a catalogue of the Tretyakov Gallery that some acquaintance had thrown away and is always burying himself in it.

We are all well. Volodya takes a cold shower every day, goes for walks and does not suffer from insomnia. He continues praising the local swamp. Mother is often unwell, first a gumboil, then a cough.... She sends her best regards. I had a letter from Manyasha, but it was in her usual scrawl so I understood nothing of it. She should write more often. I embrace her and you most fondly, wish you good health and everything of the best. Again I kiss you.


Many kisses, my dear, I wish you good health and spirits. Very best regards to Manyasha (I wrote to her a few days ago) and to Anyuta, who is probably with you.

V. U.


[1] Inessa Armand.—Ed.

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