Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lenin Confronts the Cold Heart of Capitalism

One hundred years ago this spring Lenin, soon to be the leader of the world revolution, touched down as a transient in Paris, along with his faithful wife Nadezhda Krupskaya:
Studying in Paris was very inconvenient. The Bibliotèque Nationale was a long way off. Vladimir Ilyich usually cycled there, but riding a bicycle in Paris was not what it was in the suburbs of Geneva. It was a great strain. Those cycle rides tired him out. The library closed at lunch time,. There was a lot of red-tape in the arrangements for ordering books, and Ilych swore at the library, and while he was at it, at Paris in general. ... In the end his bicycle was stolen. he used to leave it on the stairs of a house next door to the Bibliotèque Nationale and pay the concierge ten centimes a day for it. When he came for the bicycle and found it gone, the concierge declared that she had not been hired to look after the bicycle but only to let Ilyich keep it on the stairs.
--N.K. Krupskaya, Reminiscences of Lenin 194 (1970)

1 comment:

elrojo said...

goddam, if only the paris library had not kicked lenin out at lunchtome when it closed, and if only the concierge had not let lenin's bike get stolen, who knows how he would have seen marx's and engel's little economic treatise. whole world could have been different.