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This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring against the Czar's Li... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
On Individualism and the Anarchist Movement in France
Viola, Bromley, Kent March 5, 1902 My dear friend, I read your letter with a great deal of personal and general interest, and I would like to be able to answer it at length, as well as to discuss one of its essential points, individualism. Maybe someday I will write a few articles on individualism. At any rate, I will try to answer you now without entering into lengthy details. I will start with the central point of your letter, in which you ask why youth is not the same now as it was in 1890-94. According to you, it is because at the time, we were affected by the libertarian movement in art and literature and so forth. Well, we still are. The only difference is that it is they who no longer want us, and that, after having given us several ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Naked Warriors Herbert Read, London: Art & Letters, 1919. PREFACE I would like to speak for a generation to following effect: We, who in manhood's dawn have been compelled to care not a damn for life or death, now care less still for the convention of glory and the intellectual apologies for what can never be to us other than a riot of ghastliness and horror, of inhumanity and negation. May we, therefore, for the sake of life itself, be resolved to live with a cleaner and more direct realization of natural values. May we be unafraid of our frank emotions, and may we maintain a callous indifference to falsely-artistic prettifying of life. Then, as the reflex of such beauty where hitherto it has had no absolute existence. From sickness of lif... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This letter was translated by John Clark and appears in Anarchy Archives with his permission To the editors of la Huelga General in Barcelona. Brussels, Dec. 4, 1901. Corresp. III:238-240. Dear comrades, We have an ingrained habit of exaggerating both our strengths and our weakness. During revolutionary periods, it seems that our most minor actions have incalculably great consequences. On the other hand, during times of stagnation, though we may be totally dedicated to our work, our entire lives seem barren and useless, and we may even feel swept away by the winds of reaction. What then should we do to maintain our intellectual vigor, our moral energy, and our faith in the good fight? You come to me hoping to draw on my long experience of p... (From : Anarchy Archives.)