Gramsci’s Influence on Antonio La Penna
From Gentile training to Empiriomaterialism
This article aims at clarifying Antonio Gramsci’s influence on Antonio La Penna, one of the most important Italian Classicists. It will show how Antonio Gramsci’s works provided La Penna with several categories which were fundamental in his analysis of both Latin literature and Roman society. Moreover, I will argue that Gramsci’s thought represented for La Penna a doorway to Marxism in the postwar period, and subsequently a way to overcome it. In fact, the reading of Gramsci’s work determined La Penna’s constant attempt to emancipate himself from Idealism. As matter of facts, this philosophy deeply characterised the training he received during his childhood and youth in the Italian school system which was dominated by the figure of Giovanni Gentile throughout the thirties and the early fourties.