International Gramsci Society Newsletter
Number 11 (December, 2000): 1 tofc | next >  


Valentino Gerratana died on on 16 June 2000. Many readers of this Newsletter knew Gerratana personally. He did not travel widely and he participated in relatively few conferences and conventions. Yet, many Gramsci scholars from all over the world who conducted research at the old Gramsci Institute in Rome during the 1970s and 1980s would have met him in the office he shared with his closest collaborator, Antonio Santucci. Countless others knew him indirectly through his scholarly work--especially his invaluable contributions to the study of Giaime Pintor, Antonio Labriola and Antonio Gramsci. The International Gramsci Society has lost its president and the widespread community of Gramscian scholars has lost its most prominent figure. Nevertheless, his intellectual and scholarly legacy will continue to bear fruit. For, among other things, he ensured that Gramsci's prison writings are truly für ewig.

There is much that could be said about Valentino Gerratana's life and work. On this occasion, though, it might be best to resist producing long encomiums; it would be inappropriate to inflict upon him, or upon our memory of him, the kind of euolgistic rhetoric that always used to make him profoundly uncomfortable. It should suffice to say that Valentino Gerratana was, like Antonio Gramsci, an exemplary intellectual "who possess[ed] deep convictions which he would not trade for anything in the world." (See Gramsci's letter to his brother Carlo; 12 September 1927.) In this issue of the Newsletter, we have reproduced an article by Francisco Fernàndez Buey that provides an appreciative account of the richness of Valentino Gerratana's life and work stretching from his early years as a university student, through his heroic participation in the communist resistance against the Nazi occupation of Rome, to his post-war political engagement and scholalry work. In a sort of anthological article, Rocco Lacorte, surveys what was written in the major Italian papers and periodicals soon after Valentino Gerratana's death. In this issue, we have also included a bibliography of Valentino Gerratana's publications.

More than anyone else, with the sole exception of Tatiana Schucht, Valetnino Gerratana ensured the preservation of Antonio Gramsci's most valuable legacy. His edition of the Quaderni del carcere enabled us to discover not only the rich complexity and theoretical depth of Gramsci's thought, it not only helped establish Gramsci as a classic of political philosophy, but it also revealed in its fulness the anti-dogmatic and open-ended character of Gramsci's innovative and bold intellectual and political project. Many members of the International Gramsci Society are continuing Gerratana's work by producing critical editions of the Notebooks in various languages, and by using Gerratana's own philological and critical work in order to enable a fuller understanding and appreciation of the pertinence of Gramsci's legacy for our time.

  ^ return to top ^ tofc | next >