Monday 22 January 2024

A Person On The Periphery

Antonio Gramsci was born on this day in 1891. I am coming to believe the rumour that he returned to the Church on his deathbed. Even if he was cremated, and his ashes interred in the Cimitero degli Inglesi. Where Keats is buried. Gramsci was a Romantic hero born out of his time, really, wasn't he?

Hence, I am coming to believe the rumour. It is something that I have heard by word of mouth from time to time. He was only 46, the age that I am now, and if the trajectory of his thought had continued, then that would have been where it had ended up: the insistence on the unity of theory and practice, the rejection of economic determinism and of metaphysical materialism, the celebration of the "national-popular", the call for an organic working-class culture and self-organisation including worker-intellectuals.

When I die, then I should like to be cut in half, after the manner of Saint Catherine of Siena. Her top half is in Siena, while her bottom half is in Rome. But which half of me should go to the Cimitero degli Inglesi with Gramsci and Keats, which half to Père Lachaise with Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, and why?