1st Edition

Walter Benjamin and Antonio Gramsci A Missed Encounter

Edited By Dario Gentili, Elettra Stimilli, Gabriele Guerra Copyright 2025
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book marks a missed encounter between two of the most influential Marxists thinkers of our age, Walter Benjamin, and Antonio Gramsci, studied here for the first-time side by side.

    Benjamin and Gramsci were contemporaries, whose births and deaths took place within a few years of each other in Western Europe in the first half of the 20th century. Two Marxists sui generis, they radically changed Marxism’s themes and vocabulary, profoundly influencing the most significant analyses and debates. At a time in which Marxism was considered to be outdated and in crisis, both Gramsci's and Benjamin's thought provided resources for its renewal: particularly in post-colonial studies for Gramsci and in new media studies for Benjamin. Both were victims of fascism, on the threshold of the catastrophe of the Second World War. These two philosophers’ posthumous fortune depended on the transmission of their thought, which was first entrusted to friends and comrades, and then to entire generations of scholars from a wide range of disciplines.

    Editors, Dario Gentili, Elettra Stimilli, Gabriele Guerra explore with leading voices on Benjamin and Gramsci the most relevant and topical issues today.  An indispensable new perspective in Marxism for students and researchers alike.

    Introduction  Part 1: Philosophy of History and Historical Materialism  1. Benjamin’s Break with Newtonian Time and the Introduction of Relativist Space-Time into Critique  2. Between Determinism, Freedom, and Messianism. Gramsci and Benjamin on History  3. Historical Materialism and Philosophy of Praxis: Gramsci and Benjamin Critics of Socialism  Part 2: Revolution, Counterrevolution, Passive Revolution  4. Present, Presence, Passive Revolution: Gramsci and Benjamin  5. On Gramscian Temporality  6. Charles Baudelaire in the Age of Passive Revolution: Benjamin and Gramsci  7. Gramsci, Benjamin, and the Passive Revolutions  Part 3: Capitalist Modes of Production, Production of Subjectivity  8. The Little Prince: Sorel, Myth and Violence between Benjamin and Gramsci  9. “To live in a glass house”: Gramsci and Benjamin, or What Becomes of Historical Materialism When the Personal is Political  10. Technique and politics. From Gramsci to Benjamin  11. Social Rebels and Rag Pickers: On the Theoretical Function of Marginalized People in Gramsci and Benjamin  Part 4: Translation and Criticism, Avant-garde and Popular Culture  12. Critique, Mediation, and Strategy from Gramsci to Benjamin  13. Language in the Age of Its Capitalist Translatability  14. A non-real fire: Gramsci and Benjamin, interpreters of Futurism  15. The Contours of the Banal: Popular Art and Culture, Folklore and Kitsch


    Dario Gentili is Professor of Moral Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Communication and Performing Arts at Roma Tre University. He is co-director of the Master “Environmental Humanities – Studi dell’Ambiente e del Territorio”. He co-directs the editorial serie “MaterialiIT”, published by the Italian publishing house Quodlibet. He is co-founder of the Italian Walter Benjamin Association and a member of its Board of Directors. Among his publications: Il tempo della storia. Le tesi “Sul concetto di storia” di Walter Benjamin (2002; 2019); Topografie politiche. Spazio urbano, cittadinanza, confini in Walter Benjamin e Jacques Derrida (2009); Italian Theory. Dall’operaismo alla biopolitica (2012); Crisi come arte di governo (2018; 2022), translated into German, English and Spanish.

    Elettra Stimilli is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome. She directs the editorial series “Filosofia e Politica” and “MaterialiIT” by the Italian publishing house Quodlibet. She is part of the scientific committee of the Bloomsbury book series “Political Theologies” and of the Editorial Board of the Journal "Political Theology". She is also co-founder of the Italian Walter Benjamin Association and a member of its Board of Directors. Among her publications The Debt of the Living, New York: Suny Press 2017; Debt and Guilt, London: Bloomsbury 2018;  Jacob Taubes. Sovranità e tempo messianico (2004), Macerata: Quodlibet 2019;  Filosofia dei mezzi. Per una nuova politica dei corpi, Vicenza: Neri Pozza 2023.

    Gabriele Guerra is Professor of German Literature at the Department of European, American and Intercultural Studies at the Sapienza University of Rome. His main research interests are German Jewry in the literature and thought of the first half of the 20th century, the Konservative Revolution and Ernst Jünger, the historical avant-garde, and more generally the connection between aesthetics and religion and between theology and politics in German Literature and Culture. He is editor of the journal "Links. Journal of German Literature and Culture. Zeitschrift für deutsche Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft" and President of the Italian Walter Benjamin Association. Main Publications: Judentum zwischen Anarchie und Theokratie. Eine religionspolitische Diskussion am Beispiel der Begegnung zwischen Walter Benjamin und Gershom Scholem, Bielefeld 2006; La forza della forma. Ernst Jünger dal 1918 al 1945, Rome 2007; Spirito e storia. Saggi sull’ebraismo tedesco 1918-1933, Rome 2012; L’acrobata d’avanguardia. Hugo Ball tra dada e mistica, Rome 2020.