LETTER

Socialist realism

Even in light-hearted references to history, it doesn't hurt to get our facts straight. Lenin was Vladimir Ilyich, not Vladimir Ivanovich. The words were "What is to be done?", not, "What, then, is to be done?" (February Freelance). And they were not Lenin's words, but Nikolai Chernyshevsky's - the title of his marvellous utopian socialist novel, written in prison and published in 1863, which greatly influenced several generations of Russian radicals. Lenin borrowed them for the title of his later and, to my mind, much less interesting book.

The editor self-criticises: Moral: when inserting words to stand up a headline, look up the correct name and paste it in. And remember the web "confirms" all possible misquotes.

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