“there is sometimes a lack of effective and concrete “correspondence” in our correspondence”

Lettera XLIV

I tre giganti  

Antonio Gramsci    

Carissima Giulia,  
nella nostra corrispondenza talvolta manca una «corrispondenza» effettiva e concreta. Se a questo si aggiunge l’elemento tempo, che fa dimenticare quello che si è scritto precedentemente, l’impressione del puro «monologo» si rafforza.
Non ti pare? Ricordo una novellina popolare scandinava: tre giganti abitano nella Scandinavia lontani l’uno dall’altro come le grandi montagne. Dopo migliaia d’anni di silenzio, il primo gigante grida agli altri due: «Sento muggire un armento di vacche!». Dopo trecento anni il secondo gigante interviene: «Ho sentito anch’io il mugghio!». E dopo altri trecento anni, il terzo gigante intima: «Se continuate a far chiasso così me ne vado!».  
Beh! c’è un vento di scirocco che dà l’impressione di essere ubriachi.  

Cara, ti abbraccio teneramente con i nostri bambini.  

Letter 44    

The three giants  

Antonio Gramsci    

Dearest Giulia,  
There is sometimes a lack of effective and concrete “correspondence” in our correspondence. If, to this, we add the element of time, which makes us forget what we wrote before, the idea of sheer “monologue” is reinforced.  
Don’t you agree? It reminds me of a popular Scandinavian story: in Scandinavia, three giants live as far from each other as the enormous mountains. After thousands of years of silence, the first giant cries out to the other two: “I hear a herd of cattle mooing.” Three hundred years later, the second giant chimes in: “I heard the mooing too!” And after another three hundred years, the third giant warns: “If you keep making such a ruckus, I’m leaving!”  
Well! The scirocco wind here is such that it makes you feel as if you were drunk.  

Dearest, a warm hug to you and our children.  


Translation ©Matilda Colarossi 2022  

I could dedicate this letter to almost anyone (my “correspondence” often takes on this form), but this one is for my cousin Adriana whose phone calls and messages I often miss, overlook, take no notice of (because I really do not “notice” them in the long list of WhatsApp notifications).   

Painting: The persistence of memory, Salvador Dalí (1931)

2 thoughts on “Antonio Gramsci: I tre giganti/ The three giants

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