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Lecture 18

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David Young

Fox 1 Lecture 18 SOCIOL 2S06 Monday November 18, 2013  TEST DAY= no class? Fox 1 Lecture 19 SOCIOL 2S06 Thursday November 21, 2013  A Biographical Sketch of Antonio Gramsci cont. G) Arrest and Treatment After Arrest 1) Imprisonment a. Put in a prison on an island near Sicily to await trial for a few weeks, then was transferred to a prison facility in Milan i. Journey took 19 days ii. In chains the entire time iii. In poor health – journey was extremely hard for him iv. Spent over a year in the prison in Milan waiting for his trial v. Segregated from the other prisoners vi. Not permitted to read or write, apart from the occasional personal letter 2) Trial a. Taken to Rome to stand trial in 1928 i. Trial intended to be a political showpiece for the fascist regime to send a message to other people 1. Sent a message to those who dared to stand up to Mussolini ii. 20 year prison sentence – guilty of organizing an armed insurrection iii. During the trial, the official prosecutors told the judge “We must stop this brain from working for 20 years” – that was the justification for putting him away – so he couldn’t influence anyone H) Time In Prison • After the trial, Gramsci was sent to a prison in Turi in 1928 1) Writing Notebooks a. Because of his length in prison, he was allowed to receive books and to write, however the prison sensor very closely monitored what Gramsci was reading and would not allow Gramsci to have access to any of Marx’s writings or any Marxian texts b. Because he didn’t have any access to Marx’s writings, he had to rely on memory of what Marx had wrote when continuing his theoretical ideas c. In some cases, he was able to find very short abstracts/quotations of Marx in some of the books he received d. Had to write his theoretical ideas in a sort of code to ensure that the prison sensor would not understand what he was actually referring to e. During his time in prison, he produced 33 notebooks and these notebooks contained a total of 2848 pages on handwritten notes 2) Worsening Health a. While he was in prison, his health did start to deteriorate b. There were problems with his internal organs, and as a result, he started vomiting blood, and his digestive system collapsed i. He was unable to eat solid food – had to rely on a liquid diet c. Suffered from terrible headaches that became more and more frequent d. He started to suffer from chronic insomnia due to all these issues – an hour of sleep a night e. Throughout all of this, he was not given any medical treatment – the fascist regime let him sit there and suffer, and under these conditions he wrote all of his notebooks – gives us a real sense of how much those notebooks were an accomplishment 3) Writing Letters a. Wrote personal letters in particular to Julia, the woman he had been involved in, and the two children he had with her i. The youngest of the two children he had never seen – the child was born after his arrest b. His letters are a testament to human tenacity i. You would think there would be self-pity in their contents due to everyth
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