Jon Beasley-Murray jpb8 at
Fri Apr 14 22:02:18 MDT 1995

On Fri, 14 Apr 1995, Ralph Dumain wrote:

> This reminds me, I read Negri's book on Spinoza, THE SAVAGE
> ANOMALY.  I was very interested in the subject matter, but I
> couldn't understand a word of it.  Is it the translators or the
> authors?  I'm fed up with European snobs who refuse to write
> clearly.  Somebody explain this book to me.

I agree that this is a difficult book.  But I think it is rewarding.  One
thing (not the only thing) that makes it (and other stuff by Negri)
difficult is that it is part of a lively and important tradition in
Italian marxist thought, very little of which has been translated.  _The
Savage Anomaly_, in particular, comes as the culmination of this tradition
which began back in the early 60s with _Quaderni Rossi_.

Me, I find historicizing and contextualizing books a way to understand
what they are trying to say and, more importantly, what's at stake in them.

Anyhow, I'd like to say more about Negri but don't have time right now.
Hopefully some of the other autonomists on this list (including the
translator of _The Savage Anomaly_) might put in a word or two.

Incidentally, for Ralph especially, you may know that Harry Cleaver in
the (long) intro to _Reading Capital Politically_ emphasizes the CLR
James of the Forrest-Johnson Tendency (as also _Socialisme ou Barbarie_) as
the two precursors of or most similar movements to Italian *autonomia*.
In general, this is a clear and interesting piece, putting *autonomia* in
its historical and intellectual context (again, I move I find useful).

Take care


Jon Beasley-Murray
Literature Program
Duke University
jpb8 at

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