Alberto Toscano has edited and translated Franco Fortini’s The Dogs of the Sinai, and is currently finishing his translation of Fortini’s A Test of Powers: Essays 1948-1968, for The Italian List at Seagull Books, which he edits. He is the author of Fanaticism (2010) and Cartographies of the Absolute (2015, with Jeff Kinkle). He is an editor of the journal Historical Materialism, and teaches at Goldsmiths, University of London.
by Franco Fortini
How have we lived, in the last thirty years? Before replying, try to read the conclusions of this book*, which did so much in its time. The first of eight Italian editions is from 1962, one year after the French, a few months before Fanon's death.
The revolt of the Arab world and of the Black world, Africa and Algeria. Who was that doctor from the Antilles, between psychoanalysis and Marxism, prefaced by Sartre, who still dared to write: ‘Come, then, comrades, brothers’? The idiot who, one eye open, dozes in all of us, opens the other one. And smiles. What use do we have, he mutters, for this kind of oratory, after so many catastrophes and disproofs?
By Alberto Toscano
Marxism is an ephemeral, partisan knowledge. The obsessiveness with which it has sought to secure its documents against the vicissitudes of struggle is perhaps an ironic statement to the condition of a thought and practice whose apotheosis, like that of the proletariat and of philosophy, would mean its disappearance – or at least a change beyond recognition. The ponderous bound volumes of Kim Il Sung's or Hoxha's Collected Works are the grim side of this predicament, the philological minutiae of contemporary Marxology its honourable sublimation.