Did Marx really want to hold my hand?
January 6, 2009 8:50 PM   Subscribe

On one of the last pages of The Trial of Elizabeth Cree, the following statement about death is attributed to Karl Marx: “When it is all over, we shall hold hands and begin again from the beginning.” I love the sentiment of this statement, but I can’t find any other reference to it.

I don’t know why I want to verify that Marx said this or something like it, but I do. In my Googling, the only thing I found that is similar to this is from a letter he wrote to Ruge (I presume Arnold Ruge), which says: “and when everything is at an end, give me your hand, so that we may begin again from the beginning.”

Perhaps part of my trouble is the translation and different translators coming up with different English approximations.

So, any ideas about this quotation? Is the letter to Ruge the original source? Is there a better translation of the sentiment (from the original language) than the one from either of the two sources I give above?
posted by misanthropicsarah to Grab Bag (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
According to the magic of GoogleBooks, there's only one other identical citation: in Robert Payne's Marx (Simon & Schuster, 1968). Alas, snippet view, so I can't see the context. It's possible that Ackroyd is working with an idiosyncratic translation.
posted by thomas j wise at 9:44 PM on January 6, 2009

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