Men like Adolf Joffe couldn’t remain silent and submit to Stalinist policies and practices – and he criticised Trotsky for doing soA year and a half ago Lucio Magri, one of Italy’s most respected leftwing intellectuals, flew to Switzerland, entered a clinic and drank the fatal hemlock; in his case it meant swallowing a death pill. For a few days most of Italy was in shock. Suddenly Magri was everywhere. Parliament observed a minute’s silence, newspaper comment was broadly sympathetic, but his closest friends were unhappy. His wife had died after a long illness two years earlier, and had discouraged Magri from following suit, insisting that he finish his book on the fate of Italian communism. With The Tailor of Ulm completed and published, he decided to say farewell to life. The loss of his wife was the trigger, but there were other reasons. He no longer felt contemporary.Italian communism and those on its left had committed political suicide. A bankers’ clique governed the country, with the staunch backing of an octogenarian, ex-communist president, the left intelligentsia had collapsed – so what was the point of living? Most of his friends were unconvinced, even angry. They tried to talk him …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books