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1. Experiencing Linguistic Diversity and Cultural Unification

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by posing a question: did Gramsci speak Sardinian? In the first place, the real meaning and significance of Gramsci's use of the linguistic resources of the island where he was born are neither fully assessed, nor explained, by an affirmative answer such as: yes, he spoke Sardinian. This simple answer leaves room for further questions about when, how, why, and with whom Gramsci used Sardinian; about whether he did so in years and contexts which were not connected to his Sardinian childhood; and about the way in which Italian and Sardinian positively coexisted within his personality and throughout his experiences as a political militant. Gramsci aimed at overcoming the overall backwardness of Italian culture, including the backwardness of educated élites, which revealed itself in the very fact that they were separated from what he called 'the national-popular mass'.

Keywords: Gramsci; Italian culture; political militant; Sardinian



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