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Gramsci, Antonio

DANIEL M. MARKOWICZ


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405183123.2011.x


Extract

Antonio Gramsci was a leading Marxist intellectual whose theories of ideology and hegemony have had a profound impact on contemporary thinking about literature and culture. He founded or edited some of the most notable political newspapers in Italy in the first quarter of the twentieth century, including L'Ordine Nuovo (The New Order) and Grido del Popolo (Shout of the People). He was a factory organizer, representative to the Communist International in Moscow (1922 – 4), Member of Parliament, and Secretary General of the Italian Communist Party (PCI). Imprisoned for organizing an insurrection against Mussolini's Italian Fascist regime, Gramsci wrote important texts on Italian history and politics, culture, and Marxist theory, the Prison Notebooks , for which he is best known and in which he reflected on the nature of dominant social groups, particularly how such groups manage to maintain ideological hegemony in the society at large. Thirty-three notebooks containing his writings were smuggled from his room in a Roman clinic, where he was treated for spinal malformations (due to Pott's disease, a form of tuberculosis) that plagued him his whole life. He died there on April 27, 1937. From the time of his trial, he was considered a dangerous thinker, so much so that the public prosecutor pointed to him and declared, “For twenty years we must stop this brain from functioning” ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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