Since I betched awhile back about the unavailability of Antonio Gramsci’s writings online, I am now happy to report the International Gramsci Society’s new effort to digitize his oeuvre. Spinoza, Kant and Nietzsche are online, so why not Gramsci too? For those whose Italian is rustier than mine here’s a rusty translation of the rationale:
The site is intended as a means of democratic diffusion of Gramsci’s works for an increasingly vast global public of readers increasingly less able to invest money in the purchase of books. Indeed, today’s demand for culture and education coming from below has characteristics and forms that must be intercepted and guided. Further, the site is intended to address recent new research methods, which need electronic supports unlike books and offer distinct research opportunities.
Well good for them. But still the old Leninism and just barely getting this newfangled technowhatsis, eh? In my mind there’s always been something retro, nostalgic, not hidebound exactly but sort of genially out-of-touch about the Gramsci scholarship which produces anxious claims of the Master’s enduring relevance (attualita’) with ritual frequency while sternly guarding the Gramscian essence in all the ways guaranteed to keep the cult small. Of course as a historian I’m fine with a past-tense Gramsci. It will be interesting to see if the current effort creates conditions that, intended or not, change the ethos any.
The new portal will be at gramscisource.it and is promised within months.