Hegemony before Gramsci: The Case of Benedetto Croce Author(s): Edmund E.

Jacobitti Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 66-84 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1877955 . Accessed: 19/03/2013 09:13
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Hegemony before Gramsci: The Case of Benedetto Croce
Edmund E. Jacobitti
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Persons familiar with the thought of Antonio Gramsci will recall his celebrated idea of "culture" set out in Letteratura e vita nazionale: "But what does 'culture' mean in this case? Undoubtedly it means a coherent, unitary, nationally diffused 'conception of life and man,' a 'lay religion,' a philosophy that has become precisely a 'culture,' that is, it has generated an ethic, a way of life, a civil and individual conduct."' A "culture," in other words, provided the parameters within which the otherwise open-ended worlds of theory and practice were confined. It was similar to what Vico in his Scienza nuova called "common sense." "Common sense is judgment without reflection, shared by an entire class, an entire people, an entire nation, or the entire human race."2 Common sense and culture were for Gramsci, as for Vico, the not so solid foundations on which nations rested. Without these foundations theory and practice came unhinged, flying off in separate directions, making behavior unpredictable, and bringing the "unheard of" on an equal footing with what was customary and traditional. Without common sense the king would indeed have no clothes, and civil institutions hitherto armored in that common sense would crash down. To Gramsci, however, "culture" and "common sense" constituted not simply a defense against chaos but a major element in what he saw as the "hegemony" of the dominant class of society over the whole, an element of the "superstructure" used to shield society from the critical analysis of its opponents. Far from sneering at this hegemony Gramsci had for it a singular appreciation, seeing there not only the defensive weapon of the middle class but an example, a model to be emulated in forging an offensive weapon for the proletariat. In the notion of cultural hegemony Gramsci saw the power of an ethical-political atmosphere which, though supposedly serving the interests of only a single class, had come to be the common sense of the whole society.3
(Rome, 1971), p. 20. Giambattista Vico, Scienza nuova seconda, ed. Fausto Nicolini (Bari, 1953), 1:77. 3 Gramsci, of course, was to devote the rest of his life to replacingthat dominant culturalhegemonywith his own hegemony-one he envisioned as serving the interest
1 Antonio Gramsci,Letteratura e vita nazionale
2

[Journal of Modern History 52 (March 1980): 66-84] ?) 1980 by The University of Chicago. 0022-2801/80/5201-0050$01.51

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p. coherent. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . coincidingand being identifiedwith the decisive elements of practice itself. . . . theory was to derive from "real" practice and was to aim at hurryingalong those forces of history he saw as inevitable: "If the problem of identifyingtheory and practice is posed. . but as quality. . necessities of a concrete person. From the techniques of work come the techniques of science and [then] the humanist historical conception. a world This content downloaded on Tue. p.' . . p. ." 4 Later. as constructor.' [ratherthan] a ruler (specialist + politician). . which give a more concrete form to political passion". . 18: "The mode of being for the new intellectualcannot consist in eloquence .. 1971). 17: "The process of forminga determinedcollective will for a determinatepolitical end is representednot through disquisitions and pedantic classifications of principles and criteria . p. an assimilationand conquest that is more rapid and efficacious when the given group spawns its own organic intellectuals. 12: "The position of the philosophyof prassi [i. Indeed the scraping away of "outdated" and "abstract" prohibitions. it was Vico who recalled the Machiavellianconception of a world made by man.g. and bourgeois "common sense" which had prevented the worker from operating coherently in a world where theory coincided with (proletarian) practice: "An active member of the masses operates practically. and efficient" (ibid. 16).p. without which one remains a [mere] 'specialist. . Marxism]is antitheticalto [that of RomanCatholicism]: the philosophyof prassi does not aim at maintaining 'the simple' in their primitivephilosophy of common sense. dating back at least to Machiavelli's attempt to set aside Christian"abstraction"in order to reveal to the Prince the true nature of the world. . For Gramsci. 13). In that union of thinker and worker would be constituted a living example of the unity of theory and practice. accelerates the historical process in being. Gli intellettuali e l'organizzazione della cultura [Rome. His theoretical consciousness rather can be historically in contrast with this activity" (II materialismo storico e la filosofia di Benedetto Croce [Rome. but precisely to construct an intellectual-moralbase to render politically possible an intellectual progress of the masses rather than of isolated intellectual groups".4 It was only at the of the proletariat.e. organizer 'permanent persuader. . One of the most relevant characteristicsof every group that has become dominantis its strugglefor the assimilationand ideologicalconquest of the traditional intellectuals. . and other eternal verities which supposedly masked the forces of the real world has enjoyed a rich tradition in Italy. a theory which. . . How to hurryalong the forces of history-how to shatterthe illusions which concealed "reality" became the central passion of Gramsci's work whether one reads the Note sul Machiavelli (Rome. or II materialismostorico.or Gli intellettuali. making practice in every way more homogeneous. natural laws. e. . but in the active mixing with practicallife. 45). 1971]. it is posed in this sense: constructingupon a determinatepractice. characteristicdeeds. a marriageof thought and action that was to shatter the "illusion" of the autonomous intellectual who elaborated a classless and impersonal intellectual patrimonywhile remainingabove sordid practical interests (see. while Europefell underthe sway of an abstractCartesian hegemony... patriotism. 1971]. The contact between intellectualsand simple men is not to limit scientific activity in order to maintaincontact with the low level of the masses. of action. This elaboration of a proletarianhegemony would disperse those historically"outdated" concepts of religion. The thinker thus turned his attention to the interest of the proletariatso as to overcome the historicalgap between elite and mass. but instead at conductingthem to a superiorconception of life. . but has no clear theoretical conception of this.. p.Hegemony before Gramsci 67 Cutting through that "bourgeois hegemony" which insulated the worker from "historical reality" and establishinga "practical" political theory in the minds of the workers were the themes which dominated the works of Gramsci.

a kind of "national conscience")-had been ill received. 6 Antonio Gramsci. 1958). 132." Belfagor 17 This content downloaded on Tue. or any other." wrote Gramsci.68 Edmund E. elaboratingin literature and political theory an immanentistand antitranscendent justificationfor the unificationof Italy and the new Italian state. 3d ed. 5 H. his publicationof the New Science occasioning. ed. Gramsci. 185. p. p. Opere. a contemptuous. Stuart Hughes. was immune to the impact of the Neapolitan idealist whose criticisms of Italian positivism and pioneering work in aesthetics had made him. by the turn of the present century. Consciousness and Society (New York. that Gramsci saw for the first time in modern Italy an example of how one "culture" might supplant another. And Norberto Bobbio. returnedto the worldly humanismof Vico and Machiavelli. far off from Naples at the Universityof Turin. and during his life he was unable to awaken the interest of a publisher for his extraordinaryworks (see Bertrando Spaventa."5 No one.) Yet all these thinkers-with the possible exception of De Sanctis (who had become. .if uneasy. and also Eugenio Garin. 343-44. at least at the University of Turin. cannot receive universal applause" (Vico. Nearly everywhere Machiavelli's works were banned and he burned in effigy. In the hegemony of Benedetto Croce over Italian intellectual life Gramsci glimpsed the method and the practice of hegemony. to use the expression of Tacitus as he reflectedupon his own times-times which are so very similarto our own-corrumpere et corrumpi 'saeculum vocatur. In the Risorgimento. L'autobiografia. "in an age which. yawn: "The book appeared. We were Crocean with the same assurance and the same ingenuousnessthat our parents had been positivists" ("Benedetto Croce a dieci anni dalla morte. pp.). the leadingthinkersof the Destra Storica. 1:5. however. 201.naturaliterCrocean. "Not since Goethe. for here one finds not only a comprehensive-though hardly unbiased-analysis of nineteenth-centuryHegelian Italian thought but also a comprehensivebibliography. 1972]. "had any single individual dominated so completely the culture of a major European country. 1958]. Stuart Hughes. being a book which dismays or disturbs the multitude. 1950). 1966]. as Luigi Russo put it in his Francesco De Sanctis e la cultura Napoletana. and that its principlesare thereforeto be found with the modificationsof our own minds" (Vico. e le poesie varie.See his La culturafilosofica napoletana dell'ottocento [Bari. Lettere del carcere (Turin. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . pp. ed. (The literatureon De Sanctis and the Spaventabrothersis too overwhelmingto cite but at least one work of Guido Oldrinimust be mentioned. how one "common sense" might be used to assault and then replace an opposing order. many other intellectuals of that period. establishingno enduringculture. .Cronachedifilosofia italiana [Bari. p. Jacobitti beginning of the twentieth century. one of the leading intellectual figures of Italy and indeed of Europe as a whole."he wrote in a letter of 1726. on the whole. Benedetto Croce and Fausto Nicolini [Bari. "you could say for the first fifteen years of the century. and therefore. Giovanni Gentile [Florence. With the collapse of the Destra Storica in 1876 the parabolaof worldly humanismwent into decline. similarlynoted: "I belong to a generationthat was. 117-18." wrote H. emphasis added). "I and . "6 where there exists "a truth beyond all question: that the world of civil society has certainlybeen made by men. 1973]. Letter to the Abby Giuseppe Luigi Esperti). 1911]. 1:18 ff. Bertrando Spaventa's lectures at the University of Naples were hooted. men like Francesco De Sanctis and Bertrando and Silvio Spaventa. Vico and his works only today have found a wide audience. participated entirely or in part in the moral and intellectual reform promoted in Italy by Benedetto Croce. il carteggio. [Florence. no hegemony.

ignored what Croce called "ethical-politicalhistory. that is. Yet in Croce's domination of the Italian culture. and a glance at contemporary scholarlyjournals indicates the enormous proportionsof the debate." "The most importantelement to be discussed. the search for the "authentic" Gramsci continues to dominate the intellectuallife of Italy whether Marxist or anti-MarxistCrocean or anti-Crocean.publishing the (inconclusive) results in a 592-page text (see Studi Gramsciani [Rome.7 Indeed the two men stood. but especially it was aimed against positivism. the error of any Marxist theory which ignored culture." in this evaluation of Croce. alongside the "merely economic and political fronts. "the philosopher who This content downloaded on Tue. of culturalactivity. Croce explained in 1918. "is this: whether the philosophy of prassi excludes ethical-politicalhistory. the annihilation of "masonic sentimentality" and natural-lawphilosophy.It is concerned with the access to and diligent use of scholarly journals and the scholarly press to saturate the intellectual life of Italy with a single point of view. Croceanism was the Hegelianism of the twentieth century. In his work on Croce Gramsci wrote: "It is necessary to make of the philosophical conceptionof Croce the very same reductionthat the first [Marxist]theorists made of the Hegelian conception. really judges as 'appearance'the facts of the superstructure. For we Italians. of course."8 This article is not concerned with the content of the "cultures" proposed by either Gramsci or Croce but with a technique employed by Croce-and later absorbed by Gramsci-for establishing that culture in the minds of his contemporaries. to be the heirs of classical German philosophy means to be the heirs of Crocean philosophy which is the contemporary world momentof classical Germanphilosophy" (II materialismostorico." a "cultural front. . Gramsci wrote.9 that heir to the Enlightenmentthrone of abstract [November 30. the importanceof the culturaland moral direction. 233). in order to bring about what Croce liked to call the "cultural rebirth of Italy. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and in increasingthe evaluation of the culturalfact.Hegemony before Gramsci 69 Gramsci. leagues apart. 7 To Gramsci. too. 1958]). This is the only historical possibility which will permit an adequaterebirthof Marxism. Indeed in 1958 the Istituto Gramsciheld a conferenceto search out the authenticGramsci. 1962]: 622). . . in his role as a kind of "lay Pope"-as Gramsci called him-Gramsci saw not only the power of Croce but the need to open. a particularculture. the debate over the Croceanismof Gramsci continues. 236-37). but that the most recent phase of [its] development consists precisely in vindicating the moment of hegemony as essential to its conception of the state. 8 And he saw. ignores the reality of the moment of hegemony. on socioeconomic grounds. did not long remain-if ever he wholly was-an orthodox Crocean. 2:621). Closing his two-volume study of twentieth-centuryItalian culture.It can be said that not only does the philosophy of prassi not exclude ethical-politicalhistory." The aim of this culturalrebirthwas the annihilationof the vestiges of eighteenth-centurythought. he warned the reader that "the names of Croce and Gentile have been excluded from the index due to the frequency with which they appear in the text" (Garin. Nevertheless. One can gauge the impact of Crocean (and Gentilean) idealism on Italian intellectual life from the words of Eugenio Garin. the greatest student of the period. 9 At the turn of the century. p. pp. [and]of a culturalfront as necessary alongside the merely economic and political fronts (II materialismo storico.

In the Classical Germanthought of Fichte. as for Gramsci. 1955]. Croce saw the foil to static materialism.momentary. the notions of eighteenth-century free masonry and natural-law philosophy. Schelling. 3d ed. and Italian Marxism. 33-37). however." Cultura e vita morale. . It can be said [in fact] that the entire Italian Risorgimento developed as a reaction against that French. Schelling." Culturae vita morale. [Bari. Jacobitti. One French invasion was enough for Croce! "The Masonic mentality used to be called Encyclopedismand Jacobinismin the 18th centuryand Italy suffereda sad experience at its hands at the time of the French invasions. as ever the Encyclopedistshad been.and impetuousfad. in Marx's revision of Hegel Croce had found an antidoteto dominantpositivism. "Labriola. with its abstract naturallaws and its hostility to history and development. . ix). Croce. this philosophy had begun with Machiavelli and Vico whose respective assaults on abstract Christian and Cartesian theories envisioned concrete man grounded in historical reality. Masonic. In its rebirth. 12 Althoughany attemptto reduce the complexity which is Croce's philosophyto a footnote is apt to produce (at least it ought to produce) irreverent snickers. 3d ed. and especially to those forms of it that collided with or swept away the very reasons for studying literatureand history which I had cultivated" (Primi saggi. 11Edmund E. according to Croce.' . [Bari. 145-46). no. . whether it worshippedGod or Nature.70 Edmund E.had obscured the Wisdomof the early Italian humanists." For Croce. a new cultural rebirth based on a concrete and immanent historical idealism:12 "In the last half century enjoyed the greatest fame and following in Italy was Spencer (now almost entirely forgotten)and with him many other positivists and evolutionists. 10 The negation of positivism and with it the negation of every form of transcendence and belief is what is now called the 'rebirth of idealism. and thereforeas foreignto Italy. . Jacobitti thought. philosophicalidealism must recognize and take up again its historical tradition . we again import among ourselves that calamity from which we have [already] suffered more than a century ago" ("Due conversazioni. .10 Against the positivist scientific culture (as well as against the positivist Marxism of the Italian Socialist party)1" Croce sought to establish a new consensus. . by its tendency to become an orthodoxy. . . must be recalled to life" (Benedetto Croce. Positivismwas as French." Journal of the History of Ideas 36. pp. "Per la rinascita dell'idealismo. Yet Germanphilosophy was also marred. This content downloaded on Tue. Fichte. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . some attempt to at least outline his thought is necessary if we are to understand the techniqueshe employed in the disseminationof what he called "modernphilosophy. only slightly disguised. . . . its right wing lapsing into insignificance. p. .Then in the nineteenthcenturypositivism-that offspringof Enlightenment materialism-threatened again to dim the truths revealed in historical idealism by trundlingout. Jacobin.Those four thinkerswho form the philosophical quadrilateralof Germany-Kant. simply to imitate the French. [And] it now seems impossible that at the beginningof the 20th century. 1951]. My first critical affirmations thereforetook the form of oppositionto that disoriented. . . The successful construction of the eighteenth-century Heavenly City. 2 (April-May 1975): 297-318." For Croce Marxism-despite its hostility to abstract schemes-had enchainedman in an "inevitable" history as effectively and ruthlessly as ever orthodox Hegelianism had done. a religion which seemed to harness the true spontaneityof creative man within a preconceived dialectic. a materialist and worldly "philosophy of history. Still. direction. and saw renewed appreciation in the Hegelian unity of the real and the rational. It was because of this rigidity that by the mid-nineteenth century Hegelianismwas in crisis. a worldly humanism opposed to "theologizing philosophy" (filosofia teolgizzante) whether that philosophy was religious or secular. interrupted for some decades by the positivist interregnum.its left-having broken with transcendentHegelian Logos-succeeding only in imprisoningman in another Logos. . and especially Hegel. Kant.pp.saw again that for history and developmentwhich he revered in Vico. and Hegel.

masonic lodges and electoral committees. if at all. . "I intend. 71 the naturalist and mathematicalculture has been raised to the level .'"15 By definition the idea of hegemony implied a hostility to any notion of the "free market place of ideas. These new directors of social life are entirely insensitive to art. The magazine will be written." This was so not only because Croce was not writing to man in the marketplacebut because he did not share the view that man would be willing to pay and in Marx himself a kindredspirit whose rejection of abstract Hegelian thought as well as the ahistorical materialismof the eighteenth century resembled that earlier Machiavellian-Vichian rejection of abstract Christian and Cartesian thought. "to begin the publication of a small critical magazine. The philosophical and cultural reawakening will have to put the naturalists. 22-23. and psychiatrists in their place and destroy their arrogance. p. pp." Cultura e vita morale. 1951). in . Croce announced. the German-languagephilosopher. . p. Benedetto Croce. .. ."'13 To put the opposing culture "in its place" Croce saw that it would be necessary to appeal to intellectuals outside the "official culture" and especially outside those citadels of official culture. ought not to obscure for us the similaritiesof their positions: their mutualhostility to eternal for history and the historicaldevelopmentof man." Croce wrote in 1902 to his friend Karl Vossler. 28. . but especially at Naples. the universities of Italy. abstractthought. "will have to be [made] by the laity. . Instead Croce appealed to those private men of letters who throughoutItaly. physiologists. If it were possible to reduce Croce's intentionsat the beginningof the presentcenturyto a singlesentence it wouldhave to be this: to defeatthe positivistdomination and establishin its place a worldlyimmanentism. mostly by myself in order to give it a determinatedirection. "The cultural rebirth of Italy. their appreciation the ambiguityof their mutualcontacts with Hegel. 22. 13 14 15 Croce. they ignore history. regardedthe universities not only as threats to their own roles as private tutors but as threats to learning in general. This content downloaded on Tue. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Hegemony before Gramsci of the supreme cultural ideal. they sneer like drunken bumpkins at philosophy and they satisfy their religious needs. Carteggio Croce-Vossler (Bari. violent critic of Marx's "unilateral" and "one-sided"economic approachto man. that is not by the university men.' To sustain the cultural rebirth Croce determinedto found a scholarly journal in order to put forth an order of ideas which would be single minded in their orientation. That that Croce was latera Croceremainedan idealistrefusingto accept Marx'smaterialism. doctors. at least at the beginning. Ibid. . or by the university men only in so far as they feel "14 themselves of the laity. "Il risveglio filosofico e la cultura italiana. an antideterministhistoricism which was idealist rather than materialistand which refused to reduce man to any unidimensionalscheme and especially not to the homo economicus of Marx.

p. journals with a "very single-minded intellectual orientation. . Hitherto almost unknown save for a few unique criticisms of Marx. 1953]. the journal "struck out simultaneouslyin every direction. 1968): 977-78. To cut through these sentimental theories and expose the raw flesh of historical reality there came the journal La critica. "Rejecting the prudence of divide et impera. The opening salvo in its first issue made public its opposition to any misguided notions of tolerance: "We propose to sustain a determinate point of view. pp. . This content downloaded on Tue. . for examplethe contents of every issue ought to be approvedby the editorial majoritybefore publication" (Gli intellettuali. in fact. Nothing is. Indeed he held to a kind of Gresham' s law in the matter of ideas. 19 "The editorial orientationought to be vigorously organized so as to produce an intellectuallyhomogeneouswork . It was Antonio Gramsci who. 205-12). for in La ' "Introduzione. Gentile wrote almost half the journal. 1903): 3. . To his friend Giuseppe Lombardo-Radice."19 put "Critica of B. in Raffaele Colapietra. 14. p. Croce invited the young idealist thinker Giovanni Gentile to assist him. Benedetto Croce [Turin. the famous pedagogical theorist. and in this way solicited the 16 17 most reluctant and hesitant spirits" (La critica e il tempo della voce [Naples. maintaining that bad ideas would always drive out good ones. Croce" first on his list. . and the Spaventa brothers. and see Fausto Nicolini. . Croce wrote that the journal would be partisan and hostile to the disparate points of view tolerated by "false liberalism": "My little magazine will be exclusive. in a discussion of the advantages of "disciplined" and "homogeneous" journals. and the "Voltairean Jesuits" of the Enlightenment." 16 Founded in 1903."Lettere inedite di Benedetto Croce a Giuseppe Lombardo-Radice. De Sanctis. 1902. 1962].17 La critica was to be an instrument of battle rather than a forum.72 Edmund E. . Jacobitti the price for the best idea even if it were to be found in the marketplace. . more dangerous to the healthy development of scholarship than that misunderstood sentiment of tolerance which is in fact indifference and scepticism. Yet for the first decade of the century he was viewed as-and seemed to be content to be viewed as-a minor partner jostled by the Crocean wake into collaboration on La critica. the magazine immediately declared war "without quarter" against naturalists. Though the magazine was always Croce' s. pointing out its errors and divergences from the modern way. We have been ruined in Italy by false liberalism."La critica 1 (January20. 175). for man had an invincible ability to comfort himself in any pleasant theory which masked the harsh reality of life." as Alfredo Parente put it. 18 La critica was to concentrate on the history of Italian culture. pointing out the hitherto unnoticed relevance of such idealists as Vico. positivists. free masons. 18 See letter of July 24. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . On principle we will limit ourselves to a few collaborators." II ponte 24 (August 31. partisan.

"Contributo 1967). 22 That is. La rassegna contemporaneo. 334-35. 21 Renato Serra. Every [two] months you await their feelings on books and events. It is them. La nuova antologia. the young Carducci scholar and admirer of Croce. "in the widest sense. 22. It is testimony to Croce's success that twentieth-centuryItaly is far more acquaintedwith the thought of Spaventa. and only graduallywere others permitted to write in the magazine-so long as they maintainedthe proper perspective. "Croce's real political strength. and others of its Idealist philosophers than ever was the Italy in which those men lived. Epistolario di Renato Serra. Vico. 1953)."23 And indeed it was. for it seemed to envelop politics as a whole. establishingthose parametersof cultural hegemony which Gramsci so admired in the skill of his teacher. That these early thinkers were presented not always as they were. 23 Benedetto Croce. 2d ed. But take a whole year: Croce and Gentile." noted 20 Henry Stilton Harris. Luigi Ambrosini." he wrote to his friend Luigi Ambrosini of La stampa. "political." "If you want to begin a journal. Ill. a quarter-centuryafter Croce's death. predecessor. as Renato Serra. p. Gentile and Croce. "think of La critica": "A single issue can appear a little pedantic. pp. and that only now. alla critica di me stesso. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . curt." as he put it. and rival. One then began to see appear in the journal some of the more famous names associated with the Idealist movement (Adolfo Omodeo and Guido De Ruggiero.. "to have been written by a committee. ed. That is their power. for if there were differences between them.20 when faced with a common enemy it was the "determinatepoint of view" which invariably prevailed.Hegemony before Gramsci 73 critica "the combinationof directing elements agree. that they were dissected always according to the formula of "what is living and what is dead" in their philosophies." And "agree" Croce and Gentile most certainly did. The Social Philosophy of Giovanni Gentile (Urbana. but as precursorsof Croce's own thought. challengedby a new orthodoxywhich seeks to make them all precursors of Gramsci. De Sanctis. friends to their readers. once put it." Etica e politica (Bari. a concordia discors as Harris put it. For Croce the effort of La critica was political. (Milan. for example) as well as some of the more obscure but fedelissimi crociani. are those orthodox Crocean interpretations being challanged22is simply further proof of the Crocean hegemony which began at the turn of the century. seemed. Other contemporaryjournals. 310.'"21 In the early La critica it was not uncommon to find entire issues written by Gentile and Croce alone. p. 1960). They have become familiar. This content downloaded on Tue. La rivista d'Italia. arid.

On the contrary.Y. and friend of Croce. The Philosophy of Art. . Mario Vinciguerra. in the marshalling of parties."26 Vinciguerra was not unique. 'humanistic. as he put it while commenting on his discovery. on the basis of the documents in their butcher shops. Giovanni Gullace (Ithaca. and. "the case of a boy of acute sensitivity. 24 25 28 Croce. 11. it was.. .. was now approaching its zenith. the vituperation poured upon "eminent figures. rather the spiritual disposition of a great part of our generation. "The journal. In a nation of prevalent literary formation. 25 One can sense a little of the drama the journal produced in the words of those men who later recalled their early discovery of La critica. 125. 27 Ibid. a rehash of ten German authors or an approval of some author." upon scientists and university professors ("i signori professori who for years and years have furnished us with books devoid of any thought or passion")28 whose books were reviewed at the end of each issue with devastating sarcasm.. p. "gave the two men a powerful instrument for the dissemination of the Idealist philosophy which was to revitalize the Italian culture. See Giovanni Gullace in the introductionto G. 72. N. 1957). for the majorityof professors. 1972). p. trans. only to the few."27 Doubtless also important for the young was the constant polemic. a year earlier. and bands . in the national government. Giuseppe Prezzolini. It was not.. pp. reminisced: "That day ..' [formation]. the resonance of [Croce's] views was decisive. 1974). [but] in opinions diffused through [La critica].. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Intellettuali italiani del XX secolo (Rome. for example. once a young Crocean enthusiast and later editor of La nuova Europa. but I had no need of discovering Croce. 3-4.. ."24 It was in fact exactly the strategy needed to guide a disoriented culture into a determinate point of view. p. or through the medium of periodicals inspired by him.74 Edmund E. before publishing. in local administration..Croce: Ricordi e pensieri (Naples. Leonardo. "Ho letto . groups. "is not to be sought in his participation in the Senate. This content downloaded on Tue. p. or as is usually said." as Gullace noted. Jacobitti Garin. the philosophy professor or the student of letters ' Eugenio Garin. I stood ecstatic for a few minutes before the journal for I now had the indubitable proof that the star to which we adolescents were already looking as a guide. Croce explained. of Croce's book on aesthetics. xii. editor of another journal. in collaboration with newspapers. . I discovered La critica. "were they in a position for an instant to comprehendthe gravity of the charges that I have made against them. in a 1904 La critica: I write. Gentile." Cultura e vita morale. 26 Mario Vinciguerra. chuckled at the reviews and the embarrassment of the professors as they stood before their students: "At least now. would no longer deserve them" (La critica 2 [1904]: 520).

because of his position at Florence has influence and aspires to take authority . On De Sarlo's view of Croce and Gentile.." La rassenga d'Italia 1 (February-March 1946): 235. 1903) in La critica 2 (1904): 142-43. 981. "Croce e la sua casa nel ventennio. among them the editor of Logos. 243-47. See. "La critica. "and the decisive beginning of it was signalled by the appearance of La critica in 1903." Revista di studi Crociani 5 [1968]: 76). La critica appeared on schedule. especially in Italy.' or 'G. founder in 1907 of the journal La cultura filosofica which he directed until 1917. reassuring its readers by its very presence that although all else had ceased to be familiar the solidity and dependability of the journal remained unshaken. duty. He and his school were opponents of both positivism and idealism. Before Croce's own star had begun to rise he had in fact a rather amiable relationshipwith De Sarlo." wrote Armando Carlini.. One risked being taken for an innocent or sent to Berlin by the so-called positivists" (see "Un' inedita lettera di Croce a De Sarlo su marxismoe vita morale... attemptingto reconcile philosophy with the "science" of psychology."I know that I am right and I know that De Sarlo. For a taste of Croce and Gentile on De Sarlo.G. 33 Giuseppe Prezzolini. in fact revolutionaryin its thoughts . his "Il professore De Sarlo e i problemi della logica filosofica. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . absolute value." Leonardo 4 (October-December1906): 362. [But] I aim not at him but at the young who hear and read him. "Lettere inedite di Benedetto Croce. try Benedetto Croce's Review of I dati della esperienza psichica (Florence. 33 ArmandoCarlini. ." La nuova politica liberale 2 (February 1924): 34. too." "There has been a reform in Italy. with a disconcerting 31 32 This content downloaded on Tue. the senator and undersecretary of public instruction. Colapietra. Thus of his polemic with the Florentine professor De Sarlo30 Croce wrote to his friend Giuseppe Lombardo-Radice. or better yet. see his Gentile e Croce: 29 30 Lettere filosofiche di un 'superato' (Florence. from 1900 to 1933 professor of theoretical philosophy at the Istituto de Studi Superiori in Florence. founder in 1903 of the Gabinetto di Psicologia Sperimentale. aside from directing the reader toward idealism. 1925). "Benedetto Croce e il fascismo."'31 Every two months. . Francesco De Sarlo (1854-1937). De Sarlo was an importantthinkerin Florence who between 1905 and 1917 enjoyed a devoted following. and others.." p. Guido Delle Valle. GiovanniCal6.It is truly consoling that students and thinkerslike you are emerging [!] after the period that has passed when it was. Alfredo Parente's description of La critica: "An original movement.. see with great satisfactionthat you see and keenly feel the moralproblem.Hegemony before Gramsci 75 will think more than twice as he sees rise before him the vengeful vision of a review signed 'B.' "e29 The point of the reviews. He will not like my repy [to him] which is already at the printer ." La critica 4 (1907): 165-69. . . From one end of the peninsula to the other the journal was read-passed from hand to hand during the Second World War32bringing about a transformation. Florianodel Secolo. and "Una seconda riposta al professore F. etc. absolutely forbidden to pronounce words like moral ideas.C. pp. a "reform. writingto him on one occasion: "I . was to discredit the "official culture" in the minds of the young students." ibid.. De Sarlo. year after year. Antonio Aliotta. through first one world war and then another.

have all felt the influence of the thought that every two months was spread by that journal. to become the largest in the south and one of the most prestigious in all of Italy. a series he proposed to call "The Little Library of Modern Culture. with the richness of its investigations" (La critica e il tempo della voce. the militantsocialist deputy Ettore Ciccotti (who broke with the party in 1905 and in the twenties and thirties became a militantfascist). This content downloaded on Tue. 36 The Neapolitanradical Francesco Saverio Nitti. and. Jacobitti No modern Italianjournal quite equaled the prestige or commanded the allegianceof La critica: "[It] will remainin the history of culture an example. later prime ministerof Italy. Laterza wanted advice on publishing a series of books on social and politicalproblems. to demonstratethat past thinkers-or at any rate the "living" part of past thinkers-all pointed to the idealist crescendo. 1953]:1). within less than a decade. ."La critica. the criticism of art. 1973). and in Laterza Croce found precisely novelty in its historical and critical methodology. history and historical criticism. required more than a journal. most importantlyof all. . 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 125. 1946): 235. Luigi Russo put it even more emphaticallyas he recalled his first reading of Critica: "It was a fascinating and disturbingreading for me. that never easily pigeonholedrebel whose struggleto aid the south and undo "Ministerof the Underworld"Giolitti. perhaps unique. To press forward the idealist view. 35 Tullio Gregory. as well as Gaetano Salvemini." La rassegna d'Italia 1 (February-March."35He had already spoken with other intellectuals. The arrival of Giovanni Laterza in Naples at the end of 1901 provided Croce with an opportunityto widen his own role in Italian life. . a series which lasted only al single year. if highly influential. not for a book but for an entire press. to discredit the opposition. a firm which was." in Catologo generale delle edizioni Laterza 1973 (Bari.clientele. p. 37 AlthoughNitti proposed a series on its own which would deal with the problems of the South. was still only a journal.37 but they did not appreciate the significance-the political significance-of the series as a whole.36who had proposed a text or two within the series. p. In Croce Laterza found precisely what he needed. its views-its instructions-appearing only once every two months and then only to a limited. law.76 Edmund E. even a journal like La critica.let him througha long list of oppositiongroupsincludinghis own Lega. an intellectual with a grand design. literary criticism. of the formative and reformativepower of a journal."34 And yet a journal. "Biblioteca di cultura moderna. 34 Attilio Momigliano. Young Laterza had recently founded a publishing firm across the peninsula at Bari. 9). When I read Croce I felt like a loaded powder magazine" ("Conversazionicon Benedetto Croce. linguistics." Belfagor 8 [January31. He who examines the state of studies in 1903 and the present state and examines their development during these forty years will see that philosophy and particularly aesthetics.

himself. 1912): 757-58. 39 Tullio Gregory. 5 (December. Croce himself saw his collaboration with Laterza as a prosecution and widening of the work he was doing in La critica.. he said "to make yourself an editor with a determinate physiognomy. it meant. He. Forty years later Gregory."43 Enlarging upon Laterza's idea of the "Little Library. "Speaking of the activity of the Laterza publishinghouse one is tempted to consider it as a moment or an aspect of the complex activity of Benedetto Croce-so lasting and profound was the association between Giovanni Laterza and Croce. 1962): 702. 41 Benedetto Croce." Croce proposed an expansion of the program. at least according to the funeral oration delivered by Croce in Giovanni's honor in 1944. "Biblioteca di culturamoderna. and in Croce's aim to remake Italian culture he proved invaluable. "adherence to the programof cultural renewal that Croce hoped to promote in those years through La critica.in an article celebrating the sixtieth anniversay of the publishing firm wrote. .." Croce intoned. etc." p. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Quadernidella Critica 1 (1944): 1. 42 Ricardo Zagaria. "40 Laterza. so precise the orientation that the Neapolitan philosopher imprinted on the activity of the Apulian publisher. that Laterza was to remain "outside the academic culture as well as the 'avantguarde'culture"." Belfagor 17 (November 30. You ought. Culturamoderna is the journal of the Laterza Press. pp. as Riccardo Zagaria noted. 701. 40 Gregory. diligent. of the history of art. an editor of serious stuff." La voce 4 (February 15. Benedetto Croce. as Tullio Gregory explained in 1973. are frequently unsigned. in short." Culturamoderna. "Bari.. of philosophy. In 1906 he took over the publication of La critica and. and the title of the series became the Library of Modern "La mostra storica della casa editrice Laterza a Milano. "Per i sessant'annidella casa Laterza. 25-26." It meant. . Its lead articles. 125-26. "The collaboration between Benedetto Croce and Giuseppe Laterza . in other words an editor of political and historical works. 1961). and precise instrumentof that active spirit of a man to whom today all Italy pays honor."38 Six months after their initial encounter Croce wrote to Laterza.Hegemony before Gramsci 77 what he needed. "Proemio. responded to Croce's invitation with humble deference: "To me. "you said simply: I will follow you in whatever you wish to do. "Per i sessant'anni."41 Laterza indeed did follow Croce. This content downloaded on Tue. the Laterza press quickly became "the ready. 43 Gregory. would be the director. no. [although]on differentlevels aimed at a single end."42namely."39 The emphasis was upon the word "serious. being written by the editorial staff."pp. not to passively furnish what the Italian culture requested but to orient it with a precise criterion for nearly 50 years. do not give a thought for me.

127. This content downloaded on Tue. but to better understandCroce."44 Indeed not only were the discussions of Marxism "conditioned." but Marx himself was absorbed into that long itinerary of thinkers who pointed the way to Croce. and Sorel] works which for a long period of time introduced and conditioned the discussions of Marxism in Italy. Gentile likewise provided. Indeed a list of the writers in the Library of Modern Culture bears a marked resemblance to the list of the writers in La critica and other journals inspired by Croce. Labriola. also. for by 1920 over 100 titles had appeared. Gentile had written three. the Reflections on Violence. by 1930 200. Even after Croce had become persona non grata in the fascist regime.78 Edmund E. during his days at Croce's house the enormous correspondence of Croce "with the innumerable [young scholars] that turned to him . p. as well. any discussion of Marxism "intended not to arrive at Marx. There was. Croce himself had written twenty-one of the series. I don't ever recall having heard of Marx or Marxism in either philosophy or jurisprudence classes. In 1907 came. Croce's own (1907) What Is Living and What Is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel. contributed another handful. the standard view of the nineteenth-centurycritic and political leader. the diminutive Little Library being deemed insufficiently ambitious-and rightly so. There was. an irreverent denunciation of Hegel's dialectic in favor of Croce's. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."45 How profoundly Croce has affected Marxist studies may yet be gauged today by glancing through contemporary Marxist journals where the names of Croce. "Biblioteca di cultura moderna. for example. then still a follower of Gentile. 622. "They were [those texts on Marxism. Sorel's antipositivist and antimaterialistrevision of Marx enthusiastically introduced by Croce. introduced another half dozen. As director of the Library of Modern Culture Croce was in a unique position to affect what the literary public read. Labriola. Jacobitti Culture. when they hoped to see [their 44 45 Gregory. and Gramsci are intertwinedin a kind of holy-and inextricable trinity. by the time of Croce's death in 1952 500. 6 above). while Guido De Ruggiero. Bobbio (n. until the last decade. edited or introduced another twenty. . the orthodox view of Spaventa. too. the publication of the works of De Sanctis with interpretive introductions by Croce which have set." p. the publication of many of the works of the great Marxist thinker Antonio Labriola along with the critical remarks of Croce. noted Norberto Bobbio at the University of Turin. . The tone of the Library of Modern Culture series was set by one of its first publications. for the same period of time. Edmundo Cione recalled.

Giovanni Castellano. and his inclination to exaggerate. in reviewing the work for II resto del Carlino. therefore speaking of himself in the third person. il critico. for example. and so it "became necessary to entrust that badly elaborated work . not to say an obsession. Cionne. In 1919 he managed to put together a work. Francesco Flora. "46 Clearly the doors were not open to anyone to write in the series nor even to publish at Laterza. But with his confused mind. Ragazzate letterarie which was published by Ricciardi. to the complicated. 204). to be paradoxical.II materialismostorico.Benedetto Croce. unless of course they had that "determinate point of view. and others are also interesting(see Gramsci. became critic and historian of himself. did not please Croce. with the title." Of the works which were accepted Croce occasionally found himself forced to rewrite and edit parts which did not meet the standards he required. 14-15. lo storico. This was done in no more than two weeks and from it came the little masterpiece. Croce turned to the formation of other and more powerful libraries. in II resto del Carlino (December30. The manuscript. to the theatrical. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . p. . 39. included certain "elucidations" and "short critical notes written or sketched by 'the philosopher. however. to the outrageous." another frequenter of Croce's house. pp. commented that "the long familiarity of Castellano with Croce has caused the former to acquire the very same style as the latter. as Croce's biographer put it. In January of 1905 the plans for the Classics of Modern Philosophy 46 Edmondo Cione. This content downloaded on Tue. a work which. 47 Nicolini (n. . another of Croce's friends. p. that Pietro Pancrazi. The remarks of Gramsci on the "certainly authorized" works of Castellano. . Ruta was the man least adaptedto give the appropriate literaryform to a series of concepts."48 Buoyed up by the success of the Library of Modern Culture. . 1963). to the hand of Enrico Ruta. 48 Pietro Pancrazi. while makinguse of the name of Castellano and. Following this. 205. pp. Castellano wrote a work on Croce called Introduzione allo studio delle opere de Benedetto Croce which was published by Laterza. had come to Croce's house at the end of the first decade of the new century and at the age of thirty had developed a zeal.47 And indeed so penetrating was the analysis. p.and see Nicolini.' Encouraged by his "success" Castellano decided to write a work for the Library of Modern Culture-a more detailed and philosophical work on Croce. . with the life and works of the Neapolitan philosopher. ilfilosofo. 17 above). 202-5. [and so it was necessary to] resort to the heroic remedy that Croce. Benedetto Croce ed il pensiero contemporaneo (Milan. 1923).Hegemony before Gramsci 79 works] published by Laterza. Giovanni Castellano. so Crocean the style.

80 Edmund E. as is natural.. . 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . no.."that then became our history of modern philosophy. The Classics "is designed. beginning. This series was to be directed by Croce and Gentile. 13 (March 1953). 51 Ibid. difficult. Leibnitz (1909-12). . Italians were now exposed-and in a real sense exposed for the first time-to the works of Fichte (1910). 1909-10). Other works of Hegel came later. Kant (Critique of Judgment. "I classici della filosofia. Jacobitti were drawn up. Critique of Practical Reason. 6 52 Ibid. according to our way of thinking and is informed by the principles that are propounded in the journal La critica. At the time that the plans for the Classics were drawn up. Thereforethe Hegel that many educated Italians knew and meditated upon. with Croce's "Preface" to the Encyclopedia in which the reader was told-now that the muddied course of Western intellectual development had. to obtain the works of the Italian masters like Bruno and Vico in a good edition.."53 Along with Hegel. p.. it was difficult to obtain a translated edition of a foreign philosopher. 7. and the impact of the series must be viewed always in light of that gap as well as in light of the scant knowledge of foreign languages-especially German-among many Italian students.49The Classics of Modern Philosophy was to fill that gap. That other Hegel came at another time and under different auspices. Critique of Pure Reason. as Croce noted. an editorial partnershipwhich lasted until 1925 when the two men went their separate ways. 50 Ibid. 6." but was to aim again at that new order envisioned by Croce. This content downloaded on Tue."that each of the volumes which follow this one will be assigned. its place in the history of thought. to be "no ordinarycollection of translationswithout a principleor an order. . been clarified." Cultura moderna. The series was. p. perhaps."52The Encyclopedia appeared in 1907. that of the Logic and the Philosophy of Right: which may. at last. "In accordance with the 1905 program the Phenomenology did not appear. p. 1909. explain a number of things. as Croce noted. 5. side by side with Croce's What Is Living and What Is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel. 53 Ibid. for that matter." noted Eugenio Garinspeakingfor a generation of Italians. p. more precisely. as this one has been assigned. 1906.''51 It was that "a priori construction of a history of philosophy.. Schelling 49 As quoted by Eugenio Garin. In 1913came the Philosophy of Right and in 1925 Hegel's Logic."50 The series was to contain twenty-five or thirty volumes beginning with Croce's own edition of the Encyclopedia of Hegel. was for a long time .

perhaps the major contribution to this vision belongs to those 'Classics' of Laterza. not perceived. "Morte e resurrezionedella filosofia."55 Following the Classics of Modern Philosophy came an entire series devoted to the works of Croce himself." Leonardo 3 (April 1905):45-48. so to speak. and Spinoza (1915).54 As to the French thinkers of the eighteenth century with their natural laws and their antihistorical bias there was nothing at all. was out of the bag. as the meeting ground for the necessary synthesis of rationalism and empiricism. But of the Empiricist school of Great Britain there was no Bacon (until 1965).but he also saw it as the logical conclusion to the great thinkers who had preceded him." Leonardo (December 20. ibid. Gian Falco [GiovanniPapini]. 8." Leonardo 2 (June 1904): 4-7. This series set out in four early volumes the Crocean conception of the "Philosophy of Spirit. and Hegel. and even those hostile to Croce and Gentile welcomed the opportunityto devour at last and in their own language the editions which flowed out of Bari.Hegemony before Gramsci 81 (1908). "I classici.g. This content downloaded on Tue. 55 Garin. Kant. . and "Risposta a Calderoni" (whose letter precedes Prezzolini's). however. destined to lead through Fichte and Schelling to the logical crescendo of Hegel's Encyclopedia-if this was the historical perspective of European thoughtwhose maturefruit had to be the new idealism [of Croce and Gentile]. The Left Hegelians with their assault upon Idealism appeared in 1960 and the works of Feuerbach in 1965. no Locke (until 1951). . Schopenhauer (1914-16).' that is. "II pragmatismo messo in ordine. The Florence Pragmatist Club."a Trojanhorse": "If empiricismand the Enlightenmentwere to remainfor decades on the fringes of Italian philosophical culture. Diderot and D'Alembert appearingonly in 1968 and Voltaire in 1962. Giulianoil Sofista [Giuseppe Prezzolini]. They did not note that their welcome had been extended to-in Garin'sinimitablewords. "Un compagno di scavi. a kind of summing up of 54 See. if Kant was to appear as the author of the three 'Critiques. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (November 1904): 7-9. Berkeley appeared in 1909-but introduced and utilized by those Florentine "Magical Pragmatists"momentarilyendorsed by Croce.. The singular perspective of the Classics was. which is to say that they appearedat Laterza only after they had been popularizedelsewhere and much later by anti-Idealistpresses." distinguishing it from other dominant ideologies such as positivism and Marxismbut also-if less severely-from the thought of men like Vico. and the cat. 1903): 1-7. the English bishop was made to appear as a foil to Charles Saunders Peirce and the forerunnerof WilliamJames's Will to Believe. Croce regarded his philosophy as a personal triumph. e." p. no Shaftesbury (until 1962).

19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." His aim was wider. for he meant not to affect the outcome of a single issue. as Gianfranco Folena put it. Beyond the philosophical works there were as well the works on aesthetics and criticism. a series which was dedicated to Victor Emmanuel III and was to comprise some 600 volumes. The aim was. that simply because his work did not always address the obviously political it did not mean that he was "above politics.' '56 In 1909 the design for the most ambitious of the Laterza libraries was drawn up. within the "philosophy of Spirit. to uncover the history of twentieth-century Italian Idealism. 292. In fact my book penetrates minds and souls and I see it continuallyrecalled . and. p. GianfrancoFolena. in the problems that concern Italian life and the conditions of Southern Italy. and therefore the general outcome. In all. "La politica dei non politici. p. there to shape and form from within the debate over current political issues. for example. . volumes which placed the great minds and works of the past. . Croce responded. but the context. the apparent flux and chaos of Western history into a rational and coherent cosmos. Laterza and Croce designed the Writers of Italy. Accused of being indifferent to politics. "Scrittori d'Italia. candidly. . The subtle "political" nature of those "histories" was often missed. [the nature] of my best and most enduring "political work. my History of the Kingdom of Naples." Cultura e vita morale. the works of Croce constituted some seventy volumes. of politics as a whole: Do [my critics] believe that I was not engaged in politics when writing. the Achaeans disembarking unnoticed into the culture. as well as the present. 9. the histories. And that is . At a summer meeting in the mountains of the Abruzzo. "the single cultural consciousness of modern Italy. . of course.82 Edmund E. One need only remember the famous History of Italy (1870-1915)-issued in 1928 as a blow against fascism. a summing up which was to constitute the foundation for-but also the limits of-all future thought. as a glorification of the prefascist years so as to deflate the myth of the fascist Gallahad-to note the power of Croce's word. Jacobitti the results of Western thought." in Catologo generale. like some twentieth-century Newton. ." ordering. . This content downloaded on Tue. [a work] which would never have been born without my political passion for the past and the present?Do they think I would have behaved more usefully if I had intruded among the politiciansor [engagedin] the daily political chase? ."57 Thus the opening program of the Writers of Italy announced the intention of "assuring at last for Italy the corpus of writers that gave her a tongue and that 56 57 Croce.

Croce delegated a good deal of the responsibilities to other men. Nor was there space for the statesman and philosopher Carlo Cattaneo. Thus appeared the works of Machiavelli. Fausto Nicolini. the so-called father of Italian positivism. and Italians devoured with relish the history of their modern culture without noticing the gaps and empty parentheses which might have led to other definitions of "modern culture. somewhat hurriedly compiled. Gentile.Hegemony before Gramsci 83 through the centuries reaffirmed and maintained her racial unity and glorious civilization. Foscolo.' " Cultura moderna. 1919). or Volta.''58 As with the Library of Modern Culture. "Argomenti letterari. isolated. Beccaria.Vico. the great Vico scholar. was directed by Croce's biographer. for example. however. each Italian writer from the remote past down to the present would be "assigned his place" in the historical drama whose crescendo had come in the works of Croce. Other directors had to be found. though Croce himself "wrote the programfor [the "Gli 'Scrittori d'Italia. of a kind of "closed sectarianism" in the attitudes of Croce and Gentile and of a "bias" in the series coming from Bari. Why. 60 FerruccioFocher. and scores of others. serie prima (Naples. De Sanctis. p. No room was found. however. 58 This content downloaded on Tue. Gioberti."59 Cattaneo's works were." "The revolutionary character of the collection and the change that its realization accomplished in the culture of the country was not perceived by many at the time. Profilo del opera di Benedetto Croce (Cremona. pp. and yet each had to have that "determinate point of view" which was to give coherence to the effort as a whole. Arcari's awareness of the bias of the Laterza press was. no. The Writersof Italy. however. not published by Laterza until 1965.1963)." Pagine sparse. announce the republication of Cattaneo's works. 7 (February 1953). In the newspaper Azione of Milan a certain professor Arcari wrote. with literary propriety." Croce responded. the leading Italians of the Enlightenment. p. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in 1909. 59Benedetto Croce. he inquired. "an edition of Cattaneo's works was (and still is) in progress at [the publisher] Le Monnier and I [therefore] thought one could not. Cuoco. Guicciardini. 1."60 The ambitiousness and the very size of the tasks undertakenby Croce. Was I deceived? If so I will add [Cattaneo] to the next catalogue. 130-31. or annotate the volumes. after 1912 and until 1927. authors had to be located to write. for Galvani. introduce. and Laterza meant that these three alone could not possibly supervise the publication of each of these series. 254. were men like Cattaneo excluded? "At the time the catalogue [of proposed authors] was.

Laterza and La critica were in a very real sense the voice of the south. by religion. noted that "in the South there exists only the publishing house of Laterza and the journal La Critica. 6-7. but a spiritual hegemony which. "La questione meridionale. Gramsci. even personally editing several volumes. did not feel the weight of Croce as did others of that generation. Jacobitti series] and supervised it with love.62 Out of Bari over the next decades there flowed the hundreds and hundreds of volumes inspired by Croce. but also an emptiness. with envious anger. secure in his religious faith. Weakness perhaps there was. like Guzzo. and emptiness filled for some. 236-37. there are academies and cultural groups of great erudition" but there are no small or even medium-sizedjournals. as Gramsci noted. there are no other publishers "around which Southern middle class intellectuals are gathered. has made Croce for Italians down to the present day "the contemporary world moment of Classical German philosophy. 19 Mar 2013 09:13:43 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Dieci anni dopo (1952-1962) (Turin. 1962). 17 above). but for others by those books sent out of Bari accordingto "the deliberateprogramfor" not an empire. reflecting. 229." Southerners seeking a voice in the press therefore were forced to write through Laterza or to seek the unlikely "hospitality" of a northern publisher. once suggested that "those who felt the immense authority of Croce as a dominationhave not always asked themselves whether the domination should be imputed to the weakness of whoever allowed himself to be dominatedrather than to the precise will to power and to the deliberateprogramfor an empire of "63 the dominator." Augusto Guzzo who. 61 62 This content downloaded on Tue."64 Nicolini (n. on the strength of Croce's hegemony. "in a little more than ten years. the voice of a traditionuniquely telescoped and harmonizedthrough the writings of Croce into a single theme. volumes which flowed into librariesand private homes and eventually into the universities."61 In assessing the weight of Croce's impact on twentieth-century Italy one must recall the singularposition of the Laterza press in the formation of the minds of contemporaryeducated Italians. had transformed the libraries of every educated Italian" and succeeded "in imposing a precise orientationon the culture. The texts. pp. as Garin put it. 64 Materialismo storico." Rinascita 2 (February 1945): 41 (published posthumously). pp. p.84 Edmund E. 63 Augusto Guzzo.