Marx-Engels Correspondence 1886

Engels to August Bebel


Source: Marx Engels On Literature and Art, Progress Publishers, 1976;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

October 8, 1886

Dear Bebel,

I am writing this letter on account of my conversation with old Johann Philipp Becker, who stayed with me here for ten days and will now have returned to Geneva via Paris (where he unexpectedly found his daughter dead!). I was very pleased to see the old giant again; although he has aged physically, he is still cheerful and in good fighting spirit. He is a figure out of our Rhine-Frankish saga personified in the Nibelungenlied-Volker the Fiddler, his very self.

I asked him years ago to write down his reminiscences and experiences, and now he tells me that you and others also encouraged him in this, that he himself longed to do so and even began to write on several occasions, but met little real encouragement with fragmentary publication (such was the case with the Neue Welt, to which he sent several quite splendid things some years ago; these, however, were found to be not sufficiently “novelistic,” as Liebknecht informed him through Motteler).