On November 8th, 1926 Antonio Gramsci, a newspaper editor, Marxist thinker, and elected member of the parliament for the Italian Communist Party was arrested by the Italian Fascist police despite his parliamentary immunity, and sent to the Special Tribunal for the Defense of the State. The party was outlawed by Benito Mussolini during his regime, and Mr. Gramsci was sentenced to twenty years in prison for subversive propaganda against the power of state. He was relocated from one penitentiary onto another for precautionary measures; Mr. Stalin himself made several attempts to negotiate Gramsci's freedom via Comintern because Gramsci's Russian wife Julia was the daughter of Apollon Schucht, leader of the CPSU and Lenin's friend. Unfortunately Mussolini refused to negotiate and Gramsci spent years behind bars writing erudite essays on Marxist Theory, political leadership, and analysis of culture; and numerous letters to his family and relatives. According to speculations, Gramsci was betrayed by a quorum of undesirables within his own party with a controversial letter which went straight into the hands of the political police. He died in a private clinic in Rome during probation eleven years later, right before the collapse of Fascism.
DARLING MAMMA, TODAY in particular I have the feeling that my voice has a destructive edge, but I no longer feel under attack; what's the point anyway? I'm no longer persona grata, just a dying revolutionary. I listened to Mussolini's speech proclaiming his Italian empire in Africa; it's sickening. Someone referred to me that initially the reason for my incarceration was for fomenting civil war, but in reality was to prevent my brain from functioning for twenty years; I believe the fascists will fail; my brain is working very well indeed. I'm writing, or reading, I'm not even aware any longer; pages after pages, hopefully history will preserve these documents as a mere attempt of testimony of human courage; I suspect some censorship will be inevitable, but I'm confident that someone will be clever enough to get around such snag. I heard a painter will soon work on my portrait described as the meager little suffering man with the big bushy hair.