V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 2-3. Sent from Shushenskoye to Switzerland. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 120-122.
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.
Other Formats:   Text

July 19, 1897

Yesterday, Mother dearest, I received your letter and Manyasha’s dated the 29th. Merci for them.

Because of the exceptionally long time our letters take, answers to questions arrive so long after they are asked that many of them turn out to be unnecessary. In this letter, for instance, you are still worrying about money and the bale of books—it is now, of course, a long time since you received my letter explaining all that; I received the money a long time ago, I did not draw it for some time because I did not need it and because nobody came from A.M. I still have not received the bale of books; I do not know if it has arrived in Krasnoyarsk (it was expected there at the end of June), and from there it will be brought by someone coming here whom I expect shortly. To send it from Krasnoyarsk by post would probably cost quite a lot because the post is not sent by steamer but by rail to Achinsk and from there by road to Minusinsk.

Similarly you also must know by now not only that Mark has received an offer to go to St. Petersburg, but also what decision he has made; he wrote me that he was awaiting an answer from you from abroad.

I received your letter with details of the Kokushkino business and have already answered it. Yesterday, too, I received the first letter from Mitya in which he, too, described his trip to Kazan.

As far as hygiene is concerned, I do not think I am any worse off here than you are in Spiez.[5] I also bathe   (sometimes twice a day) in the Yenisei, take walks[1] and go shooting. It is true that there are no decent walks near here, but for shooting we sometimes wander a long way, and there are some nice places.

Yesterday I received news from Tesinskoye about a wedding—Basil and A.M. I am invited to be best man.[6] It will not take place very soon, of course.

I am very sorry about Pyotr Kuzmich![2] Your letter was the only news I had heard of him.

Kisses—and please do not worry about me.

V. U.

I have received a letter from the doctor from Verkholensk (Irkutsk Gubernia), where he has been sent. N. Y. Fedoseyev has also been sent there.


You ask me to describe the village of Shu-shu-shu.... Hm! Hm! I think I did describe it to you once. It is a big village with several streets, rather muddy, dusty—everything as it should be. It stands in the steppes—there are no orchards or greenery of any kind. The village is surrounded by dung, which the people here do not cart to the fields but dump outside the village, so that if you leave the village you always have to pass through a certain amount of dung. There is a stream called the Shush right beside the village; now it is very shallow. At about a verst or a verst and a half from the village (or rather from me—the village is a long one) the Shush joins the Yenisei which breaks up here into a large number of streams with islands between them so that there is no way of reaching the mainstream on foot. I bathe in the biggest stream, which is now also very shallow. On the other side (the opposite direction from the River Shush) there is, at a distance of about a verst and a half, what the peasants quite seriously call “the pine grove”; it is really a very poor bit of woodland, in which   most of the trees have been felled so that there is no real shade (but a lot of strawberries!); it bears no resemblance to real Siberian taiga which I have as yet only heard about but have never been in (it is at least some thirty or forty versts from here). Mountains ... when I wrote about those mountains I was very inaccurate, for they are about 50 versts from here so that you can only look at them, when they are not hidden by clouds, in exactly the same way as you can see Mont Blanc from Geneva. Because of this the first (and last) line of my poem contains a sort of poetic hyperbole (the figure is used by poets!), about “Sayan’s foot”.[3] I can give only one answer, therefore, to your question about which mountains I have climbed—-the sandhills in the “pine grove”, so called—and in general there is plenty of sand about here.

My work is progressing very, very slowly.[4] I do not know whether I shall need any extracts from books. I hope that by autumn I shall make an arrangement with some Moscow or St. Petersburg library.

I read with pleasure your description of life abroad and your impressions from there. I should be glad if you would write to me more often.

Your plan to send “a pood of cherries” here, over a distance of six thousand versts and a bit, made me open my mouth in amazement (not from a desire to gorge myself on cherries—there aren’t any here but there will be water melons) at the richness of your imagination. What are our chemists, compared with this!

V. U.


[1] I wear a net to protect myself from the swarms of mosquitoes we have here. And they say this is nothing compared with the north! —Lenin

[2] Pyotr Kuzmich Zaporozhets.—Ed.

[3] See Letter No. 24—Ed.

[4] This refers to Lenin’s work on The Development of Capitalism in Russia.—Ed.

[5] Spiez—a village on the shore of Lake Thun in Switzerland, where Lenin’s mother and his sister Maria were spending a holiday at that time.

[6] Lenin attended the wedding of V. V. Starkov and A. M. Rosenberg, which took place in Tesinskoye on July 30, 1897.

< backward   forward >
Works Index   |   Volume 37 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index