Walking in Lenin’s footsteps

In the New Criterion Dalrymple takes a walk through Zurich, seeing it through the eyes of the Lenin portrayed in Solzhenitsyn’s book Lenin in Zurich.

I walked up the Spiegelgasse, the narrow street in which Lenin lodged in 1916…Here Lenin lodged in spartan conditions, reluctant to spend any party funds on himself: a proof, if any were needed, that there are worse vices than simony, peculation, and defalcation of funds. It would not be possible to lodge in such conditions now, of course; not only has the Spiegelgasse been gentrified since Lenin’s day, but such spartan conditions have probably been made illegal in Switzerland…

Other than the plaque, there is no trace of Lenin’s residence in the Spiegelgasse, except for an image of him, half red and half green, that changes colour depending on the angle from which it is looked at, in the window of the trinket shop that has opened on the ground floor of Number 14. Such is the fate in the modern world of men who think they embody history itself: They become playful images to amuse the pseudo-sophisticated of our age.

3 thoughts on “Walking in Lenin’s footsteps

  1. Pingback: Auf den Spuren von Vladimir Lenin | A dose of Theodore Dalrymple

  2. peter monro

    I wanted to send a few paragraphs for Mr Dalrymple, re his recent piece in Taki’s Mag.
    I Have Seen the Future, and it Is Idiocy

    If I send it to you, will you forward it to him ?

    I have been a reader of his for the last 30 odd years, in the Spectator, his articles and books.


    Peter Monro


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