Marx-Engels Correspondence 1895

Engels to Victor Adler
In Vienna


Source: Marx and Engels Correspondence;
Publisher: International Publishers (1968);
First Published: Gestamtausgabe;
Translated: Donna Torr;
Transcribed: Sally Ryan in 2000;
HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.

London, March 16, 1895

...As you want to have a grind in prison at Capital [Volumes] II and III, I will give you a few hints to make it easier.

Volume II, Section I. Read Chapter I thoroughly, then you can take Chapters 2 and 3 more lightly; Chapter 4 more exactly again as it is a summary; 5 and 6 are easy and 6, especially, deals with secondary matters.

Section II. Chapters 7-9 important. Specially important 10 and 11. Equally so 12, 13, 14. On the other hand 15, 16, 17 need only be skimmed through at first.

Section III is a most excellent account of the entire circuit of commodities and money in capitalist society – the first since the days of the Physiocrats. Excellent in content but fearfully heavy in form because (1) it is put together from two versions which proceed according to two different methods and (2) because version No. 1 was carried to its conclusion by main force during a state of illness in which the brain was suffering from chronic sleeplessness. I should keep this right to the end, after working through Volume III for the first time. For your work too, it is not immediately indispensable.

Then the third volume. Important here are: In Section 1, Chapters 1 to 4; less important for the general connection, on the other hand, are Chapters 5, 6, 7, on which much time need not be spent at first.

Section II. Very important. Chaps. 8, 9, 10. Skim through 11 and 12.

Section III. Very important: the whole of 13-15.

Section IV. Likewise very important, but also easy to read: 16-20.

Section V. Very important, Chapters 21-27. Less so Chapter 28. Chapter 29 important. As a whole Chapters 30-32 are not important for your purposes; 33 and 34 are important as soon as paper-money is dealt with; 35 on international rates of exchange important, 36 very interesting for you and easy to read.

Section VI. Ground rent. 37 and 38 important. Less so, but still to be taken with them, 39 and 40. 41-43 can be more neglected (Differential rent II. Particular cases). 44-47 important again and mostly easy to read too.

Section VII. Very fine, but unfortunately a fragment and with very marked traces of sleeplessness as well.

Thus, if you go through the main things thoroughly and the less important ones superficially to begin with, following these indications (best first to re-read the main things in Volume II) you will get an idea of the whole and can later also work through the neglected portions more easily.