Francesco Mores

An «Acute Sense of Reality»: Togliatti, De Luca and Erudition

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This article analyses one aspect of the relationship, thus far overlooked, between Palmi¬ro Togliatti and don Giuseppe De Luca: their alleged shared understanding of «scholarship». The starting point is a commemorative piece on De Luca, which was written by Togliatti for «Rinascita» on 15 June 1963 - that is, more than one year after De Luca's death (19 March 1962). Two passages from this very well-known document have not been sufficiently clarified: Togliatti's definition of «scholarship» ("erudizione") as an in¬terest that he shared with De Luca, and an implicit quotation from Augustine. Did the secretary of the West's most important Communist Party and the learned priest from Lucania, who was interested in cultural politics, really share an interest in scholarship? Did the discussions about Augustine convey a different type of communication between the two, in the form of an exclusive and «elevated» dialogue? This essay shall attempt to answer this question by focusing on an image published to illustrate Togliatti's commemorative article.

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