Marx-Engels Correspondence 1884

Engels to Eugenie Papritz[1]


Source: Marx Engels On Literature and Art, Progress Publishers, 1976;
Additional text from Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Correspondence, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1975;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

June 26, 1884

Dear Madam

The lithographed journal [2] you write to me about is already known to me by reputation although I have never had a chance of seeing a copy of it.

Are you not being somewhat unjust to your fellow-countrymen? The two of us, Marx and I, had no grounds for complaint against them. If certain schools were more notable for their revolutionary ardour than for their scientific study, if there was and still is a certain groping here and there, on the other hand a critical spirit has evinced itself there and a devotion to research even in pure theory worthy of the nation that produced a Dobrolyubov and a Chernyshevsky. I am not speaking only of active revolutionary Socialists but also of the historical and critical school in Russian literature, which is greatly surpassing anything produced in this line in Germany or France by official historical science.


And even among active revolutionaries our ideas and the science of political economy recast by Marx have always met with sympathetic understanding. You no doubt know that quite recently several of our works were translated into and published in Russian and that others are going to follow, particularly Marx’s Misère de la philosophie [3]. His smaller work, Lohnarbeit und Kapital [4], published before 1848, also belongs to that series and has been published under that title.

I feel extremely flattered by your belief that it would be useful to translate my Outlines etc. [5] Although I am still a bit proud of this my first work in social science I know only too well that it is now completely out of date and full not only of mistakes but of actual blunders. I am afraid it will cause more misunderstanding than do good.

I am sending you by mail a copy of Dühring’s Umwälzung etc.

As for our old newspaper articles, it would be difficult to find them after so long a time. The majority of them are not topical today. When the publication of the manuscripts left by Marx leaves me sufficient leisure I intend to publish them in the form of a collection with explanatory notes, etc. But that is a matter of the distant future.

I am not quite sure what Address to the English workers you speak of. Could it be The Civil War in France, [6] the Address of the International on the Paris Commune? I could send you that.

If my health allowed I would ask you for permission to visit you. Though I feel tolerably well when at home I am unfortunately forbidden to walk about in the city. If you should do me the honour of paying me a visit you will always find me at your disposal about seven or eight o'clock in the evening.

Yours respectfully
F Engels


Notes provided by the Moscow Editor and the MIA.

1. Yevgenia Eduardovna Papritz (1853-1919) — Russian singer, carried on research in Russian folk music, was connected with illegal Moscow Translators and Publishers Society (1882-84), which published Marx and Engels’ works in Russian.

2. The reference is to Sotsialisticheskoye Znaniye published in 1884 by the clandestine Society of Translators and Publishers in Moscow. The first issue contained Engels’ Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, and several chapters of his Condition of the Working Class in England.

3. Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy [MIA].

4. Karl Marx, Wage Labour and Capital [MIA].

5. Friedrich Engels, Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy [MIA].

6. Karl Marx, The Civil War in France [MIA].