Franco Fortini, ‘Communism’ (1958)

I was a communist throughout.
Justly though, the other communists
looked askance at me. I was a communist
despite their certainties, despite my doubts.
Justly they did not see themselves in me.
They would not admit my discipline.
My centralism seemed anarchy to them.
My self-criticisms contradicted theirs.
Special communists cannot be:
to think so is not to be so.
Justly they did not see themselves in me,
my comrades. Like them, I too
was enslaved. Even more so: I tended to forget it.
They did their work, I followed my inclination.
Exactly that: I was a communist throughout.
Despite their certainties, despite my doubts
I always wanted this world ended.
Myself ended too. And it was that exactly
which estranged us. My hopes had no point for them.
My centralism seemed anarchy to them.
As if I wanted more, more truth,
more for me to give them, more
for them to give me. Thus living, dying thus.
I was a communist throughout.
I always wanted this world ended.
I have survived enough to see
comrades who bruised me broken by intolerable truths.
Now tell me: you knew very well I was with you?
Was that why you hated me? My truth is truly needed,
breathed in through space and time, heard patiently.

Translated by Angelo Quattrocchi and Lucien Rey
New Left Review I/38, July–August 1966

Further reading on Fortini: Alberto Toscano, ‘Communism Without Guarantees: On Franco Fortini’, September, 2015, Salvage Journal, http://salvage.zone/in-print/communism-without-guarantees-on-franco-fortini/

and

Franco Fortini, ‘Letter to a Communist’, (1957)

https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2608-franco-fortini-letter-to-a-communist

 

 

About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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