Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867

Marx To Ludwig Büchner
In Darmstadt

Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 367;
First published: in Marx and Engels, Works, First Russian Edition, 1934.

Hanover, 1 May 1867 (c/o Dr Kugelmann)

Dear Sir,

Although we are entirely unacquainted, I am taking the liberty of addressing a personal letter to you, on a personal, although at the same time scientific, matter; and I hope you will excuse my so doing on account of the confidence you inspire in me as a man of science and of the party.

I have come to Germany to deliver the first volume of my work ‘Capital. A Critique of Political Economy’ to my publisher, Mr Otto Meissner in Hamburg. I have to stay here a few days longer to see if it will be possible for the printing to be done as quickly as Mr Meissner intends, viz., whether the proof-readers are sufficiently learned for such a mode of operation.

The reason I am writing to you personally is this: I should like to have the thing published in French as well, in Paris, after its publication in Germany. I cannot go there myself, at least not without risk, as I have been expelled from France, first under Louis Philippe and a second time under Louis Bonaparte (Président), and finally I have been ceaselessly attacking Mr Louis during my exile in London. I cannot therefore go personally to seek out a translator. I know that your work on ‘Stoff und Kraft’ has appeared in French, and therefore suppose that you can put me in touch, directly or indirectly, with a suitable person. As I have to prepare the second volume for printing this summer and the concluding third volume next winter, I do not have the time to attend to the French version of the book myself.

I consider it to be of the greatest importance to emancipate the French from the erroneous views under which Proudhon with his idealised petty bourgeoisie has buried them. At the recent congress in Geneva, ditto in the links that I have with the Paris branch as a member of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association, I am constantly confronted with Proudhonism’s most repugnant consequences.

As I do not know for how long I shall be staying here, I should be obliged to you for an early answer. If 1, for my part, can be of any service to you in London, I shall do so with the greatest pleasure.

Yours most respectfully
Karl Marx