[Letter to his wife, Natalia Sedova]In addition to the happiness of being a fighter for the cause of socialism, fate gave me the happiness of being her husband. During the almost forty years of our life together she remained an inexhaustible source of love, magnanimity, and tenderness. She underwent great sufferings, especially in the last period of our lives. But I find some comfort in the fact that she also knew days of happiness.For forty-three years of my conscious life I have remained a revolutionist; for forty-two of them I have fought under the banner of Marxism. If I had to begin all over again I would of course try to avoid this or that mistake, but the main course of my life would remain unchanged. I shall die a proletarian revolutionist, a Marxist, a dialectical materialist, and, consequently, an irreconcilable atheist. My faith in the communist future of mankind is not less ardent, indeed it is firmer today, than it was in the days of my youth.Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.
To the Technocrats: Have mercy on us. Relax a bit, take time out for simple pleasures. For example, the luxuries of electricity, indoor plumbing, central heating, instant electronic communication and such, have taught me to relearn and enjoy the basic human satisfactions of dipping water from a cold clear mountain stream; of building a wood fire in a cast-iron stove; of using long winter nights for making music, making things, making love; of writing long letters, in longhand with a fountain pen, to the few people on this earth I truly care about.
Forse sapevano, un po' meglio degli altri, decifrare, o magari suscitare, questi segni favorevoli. Le loro orecchie, le loro dita, il loro palato, come se fossero stati costantemente all'erta, aspettavano solo questi istanti propizi, scatenabili con un nonnulla. Ma, in questi momenti in cui si lasciavano trasportare da un sentimento di calma totale, di eternità, che nessuna tensione turbava, in cui tutto era in equilibrio, deliziosamente lento, la forza di quelle gioie esaltava tutto quel che c'era in esse di effimero e fragile.
The majority enjoy a young girl as they enjoy a glass of champagne, at one effervescent moment-oh, yes, that is really beautiful, and with many a young girl that is undoubtedly the most one can attain, but here there is more. If an individual is too fragile to stand clarity and transparency, well, then one enjoys what is unclear, but apparently she can stand it. The more devotedness one can bring to erotic love, the more interesting. This momentary enjoyment is a rape, even if not outwardly but nevertheless mentally, and in a rape there is only imagined enjoyment; it is like a stolen kiss, something nondescript. No, if one can bring it to a point where a girl has but one task for her freedom, to give herself, so that she feels her whole happiness in this, so that she practically begs for this devotedness and yet is free-only then is there enjoyment, but this always takes a discerning touch