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Title: Reverberations of The Prince: from 'heroic fury' to 'living philology'
Authors: Thomas, PD
Keywords: Modern Prince;Machiavelli;Living Philology;Political Organization
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Thesis Eleven
Abstract: This article explores the ways in which Gramsci’s engagement with Machiavelli and The Prince in particular results in three significant developments in the Prison Notebooks. First, I analyze how the ‘heroic fury’ of Gramsci’s lifelong interest in Machiavelli’s thought develops, during the composition of his carceral writings, into a novel approach to the reading of The Prince, giving rise to the famous notion of the ‘modern Prince’. Second, I argue that the modern Prince should not be regarded merely as a distinctive (individual or collective) figure, but rather, should be understood as a dramatic development that unfolds throughout ‘the discourse itself’ of the Prison Notebooks, particularly in the crucial phase of reorganisation in the ‘special notebooks’ composed from 1932 onwards. Third and finally, I suggest that the combination of the two preceding themes is decisive for understanding the modern Prince as a distinctive form of political organization. Rather than equated with a generic conception of the ‘(communist) political party’, this notion was developed as a part of Gramsci’s larger argument regarding the necessity for anti-Fascist political forces in Italy in the early 1930s to grow into an antagonistic collective body guided by principles of ‘living philology’.
ISSN: 0725-5136
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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