In this essay we set off on the quest for “translation-translatability” leitmotiv, remembering that Gramsci was “a revolutionary, a historicist” and, at the same time, a student with a solid background in glottology at the University of Turin. A first starting point, long before the prison years, is the debate on Esperanto, in which Gramsci took part in January 1918. Parallel to this, as from 1919, revolutionary political action came more and more to be presented as a form of translation. At the theoretical level, the thought of Labriola was one of the other important sources for the centrality of the idea of translation in Gramsci. Gramsci’s account consideration is also based on certain texts of Marx’s (the Theses on Feuerbach and the Holy Family), and was developed in a particularly thoroughgoing way in October and November 1930. 1932 was the year of the further and last detailed development of the notion. In the end, translatability appears as the instrument that allows one to think the unity of theory and practice that, for Gramsci, belongs typically to the thought of Marx and which is the foundation of the superiority of the philosophy of praxis over any other philosophy.
Keywords: Antonio Gramsci, translation, traducibility, Antonio Labriola, marxism.
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