Vera Zasulich, communist punk

6 Oct


One of the older generation of Russian radicals, would-be assassin (she was acquitted by a jury in 1878), anarchist and then Marxist comrade of Lenin. But also the first communist punk. Here’s Krupskaya’s description of Zasulich:

She always lived in nihilist style – dressed carelessly and smoked without a stop; her room was shockingly untidy, and she never allowed anyone to do it. Her eating, too, was rather fantastic. I remember her stewing some meat on an oil-stove and snipping pieces off it with scissors and putting them into her mouth.

‘When I lived in England’, she told me, ‘the English ladies tried to be sociable, and asked, “How long do you stew your meat?” “All depends,” I said, “if you’re hungry ten minutes will do, if not – three hours or so.” That stopped them’.

(Reminiscences of Lenin, p. 56)

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