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25 June 1987
... criticism might seem to sit oddly with what I’ve called its ‘personal’ and autobiographical dimension, but the two tendencies are deeply entangled. Every contemporary critic longs to be what Gramsci called an ‘organic’ intellectual, connected by elective affinities with a cause, a social movement, a collective programme. This means that criticism cannot simply be an objective body of ...
7 January 1988
... One of AntonioGramsci’s most compelling distinctions is between two kinds of political struggle. What he variously called the ‘war of manoeuvre’ or the ‘war of movement’ entailed the seizure of state power. This ...

Another Tribe

Andy Beckett: PiL, Wire et al

1 September 2005
Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-84 
by Simon Reynolds.
Faber, 577 pp., £16.99, April 2005, 0 571 21569 6
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... were able to find a way out, and at what cost. Scritti Politti began as an intense but amateurish collective of musicians and non-musicians named after an approximation of the title of a book by AntonioGramsci. They were based in a London squat, took speed, read philosophy books, talked all night and gradually developed a unique ramshackle sound. Their first record was called ‘Skank Bloc Bologna ...

In the Potato Patch

Jenny Turner: Penelope Fitzgerald

19 December 2013
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 508 pp., £25, November 2013, 978 0 7011 8495 7
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... inadequate. They aren’t ‘set’ in ‘periods’ so much as inhabited or even haunted by other works. In Innocence (1986), the highlight is the astonishingly precise and sympathetic portrait of AntonioGramsci, dying in a Roman prison. Tolstoy himself does not appear in The Beginnings of Spring (1988), but his legacy does, in several variations, comic, beautiful, menacing. Her last novel, The Blue ...

At the Guggenheim

Hal Foster: Italian Futurism

20 March 2014
... imperialist, agitating in support of the First World War, an instance of hygiene that carried some of the most talented futurists, such as the painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni and the architect Antonio Sant’Elia, to early deaths. A modernist movement that is both radical and reactionary is hardly an oxymoron, but it is still a problem to puzzle over, and in some ways futurism is the prototypical ...
12 March 2009
... by the mid-1950s, extending from peasants in the South through artisans and teachers in the middle of the country to industrial workers in the North. It also had a richer intellectual heritage, in Gramsci’s newly published Prison Notebooks, whose significance was immediately recognised well beyond the party. At its height, the PCI could draw on an extraordinary range of social and moral energies ...

Land without Prejudice

Perry Anderson: Berlusconi’s Italy

21 March 2002
... broke, it was risky for the PDS to pose too aggressively as a champion of clean government. A larger difficulty lay in the overall evolution of the PCI since the war. The Party had received from AntonioGramsci, whose Prison Notebooks were first published in 1948, a great intellectual inheritance. Out of it, with whatever elements of tactical selection or distortion, the PCI created a mass political ...

Merry Kicks

Mark Ford: The Madness of Marinetti

20 May 2004
Selected Poems and Related Prose 
by F.T. Marinetti, translated by Elizabeth Napier and Barbara Studholme.
Yale, 250 pp., £35, January 2003, 0 300 04103 9
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... to the child: "all right, if you want to drag nests and torment kittens, do it, lustily!” But I reserve the right to answer: "all right, try it on. But if I catch you at it you get a hiding.”’ Gramsci, too, was initially exhilarated by the ‘impetuosity of their youthful energies’, their conviction that an alliance of artistic and technological innovation would sweep away bourgeois culture once ...

Where’s the omelette?

Tom Nairn: Patrick Wright

23 October 2008
Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War 
by Patrick Wright.
Oxford, 488 pp., £18.99, October 2007, 978 0 19 923150 8
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... and dead-ends? When reliable news of events in Russia reached Turin in the winter of 1917, an obscure diagnosis appeared the day before Christmas in the Socialist Party paper Avanti! The title of AntonioGramsci’s piece was ‘The Revolution against Capital’, and his argument was that ‘events have exploded the critical schemas whereby Russian history was meant to develop according to the canons ...

Slammed by Hurricanes

Jenny Turner: Elsa Morante

19 April 2017
The World Saved by Kids: And Other Epics 
by Elsa Morante, translated by Cristina Viti.
Seagull, 319 pp., £19.50, January 2017, 978 0 85742 379 5
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... a whole was unthought through; Morante should have kept revising for at least another year. Morante and Pasolini had become friends in the 1950s, when she helped him get his long poem ‘The Ashes of Gramsci’ published in Nuovi Argomenti, the journal edited by her husband, the novelist Alberto Moravia. The marriage had long been an open one, and for two years in the early 1950s Morante had been ...
22 March 1990
... from a breezy summer-house on the beach near Cartagena, and left the day-to-day business of government in Bogota to the ultramontane grammarian, schoolteacher, Virgil-translator and polymath Miguel Antonio Caro, who in the course of a long life, legend has it, not only never bothered to see the sea, which was then many days distant, but even drew the line at going to see the River Magdalena, close ...

Make for the Boondocks

Tom Nairn: Hardt and Negri

5 May 2005
by Michael Hardt and Antonio​ Negri.
Hamish Hamilton, 426 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 241 14240 7
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... appropriate groups, whether Italians, Liberals, Conservatives, socialists (or whatever). Identity in a more than bureaucratic sense had arrived. Its artificers were new too: the intellectuals. As Gramsci wrote in the Prison Notebooks, the function of modern intellectuals is inseparable from being torn between past and future. Their task is to reconcile the ‘tradition’ of established rulers with ...

Lula’s Brazil

Perry Anderson

31 March 2011
... the distinction between institutional misconduct and individual degeneration was swept away, in spectacular fashion. The single most powerful figure in the government was the minister of finance, Antonio Palocci, a mayor from the interior of São Paulo, who had been the inspiration behind the ‘Letter to the Brazilians’, Lula’s electoral billet-doux to the business community, and the key broker ...

Confronting Defeat

Perry Anderson: Hobsbawm’s Histories

17 October 2002
... figures of thought, a note of bluff Englishry can at times be heard – the lowering term ‘guru’ recurs all too frequently in Interesting Times, assigned to thinkers like Raymond Williams or Gramsci. Perhaps there is an earlier strain of plumpes Denken too. These might help explain the curious absence of ideas from his self-portrait. Or more simply, setting aside any cultural factors, there ...
7 February 2019
... next to her when she won. Head of her campaign, and then chief of staff in Brasília (the equivalent of prime minister), was the most notoriously corrupt single politician in the ranks of the PT, Antonio Palocci, the toast of big business when he was Lula’s finance minister, before being forced to resign after a particularly ugly scandal in 2006. His reappearance in 2010 was greeted with delight by ...

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