Gramsci’s Prison Letters

The theoretical legacy of Marx and Lenin weighed heavily on the communists throughout the 20th century. Indeed few original political theorists emerged from within the mainstream Marxist movements.

Antonio Gramsci, whose Prison Notebooks were published posthumously after his death in Mussolini’s prisons was the most brilliant exception. Christian Spurrier writes on the tragedy of Gramsci as revealed in his letters to his wife and sons.

There can be no better evidence that his spirit triumphed than the last letter he sent Delio: “Darling Delio, I am feeling a little tired and can’t write much. But please write to me all the same and tell me everything at school that interests you. I think you must like history, as I liked it when I was your age, because it deals with living people, and everything that concerns people, as many people as possible, all people in the world, in so far as they unite together in society and work and struggle and make a bid for a better life. All that can’t fail to please you more than anything else, isn’t that right?”

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