volodya in capri

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‘Thus when Maxim Gorki had invited Bogdanov and Lenin together to his villa on Capri, Lenin at first refused, even though he had asked to come and stay. Lenin eventually went in April 1908 and suppressed his feelings to the extent that he played chess with his old partner in chess and politics. A degree of joviality was obtained. The problem was that Lenin’s competitive side got the better of him; Gorki was astounded at how angry and ‘childish’ he became when he lost the game. This happened even when Lenin and Bogdanov were avoiding conversations about politics. Only when he went fishing did Lenin relax. The local fishermen took him and Gorki out in their boats and taught them how to use a line without a rod. The trick was to wrap the end of the line over the forefinger of one hand and wait for the vibration signalling that a fish was biting. The fishermen told him that it would sound like: ‘Cosí: drin, drin. Capisce?’ Their Italian charm captivated Lenin, and as soon as he got a nibble, he cried out: ‘Drin, Drin!’ Afterwards the fishermen called him Signor Drin-Drin -the only one of his nicknames not chosen with the Revolution in mind. They missed him when he left the island, asking Gorki: ‘How is Drin-Drin getting on? The tsar hasn’t caught him yet?’
From Robert Service‘s balanced, although occasionally rather shallow, account of Lenin’s life.
[Lenin: The Biography, 2000, Macmillan]

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