Not a typical 70s revival
January 18, 2011 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Brazil won't extradite an Italian writer convicted for political murders in the 1970s, so a Venetian official wants his books out of libraries. Not only Cesare Battisti's works, but also those written by Italians who supported him through petitions.

The Wu Ming group is on the case (English translation), fearing this will worsen and spread to the rest of Italy.

Like some other 70s radicals, Battisti fled Italy, and has lived on the road ever since. He was condemned in abstentia.

The Italian government is pressing for Brazil to change its mind.

Previous MetaFiltery: Wu Ming on Foucault's Iran, the transmigration of Luther Blisset, and a note on what Battisti was convicted of.

(My first post; please be kind.)
posted by doctornemo (9 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Mention Wu Ming's novels - one of which can be downloaded for free online - as well.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 9:07 AM on January 18, 2011

cool, i bought a copy of '54' from a bargin bin at x-mas.
oh, more free stuff, thanks.

'This is our blog in English. Our main blog is called Giap, and it is in Italian.' 'Giap' is this not Japan in Italian or is it referant for the vietnamese general?
posted by clavdivs at 9:20 AM on January 18, 2011

The Wu Ming group

Weren't they Old Skool rappers?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:23 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

From Battisti's Wikipedia entry, concerning two of his alleged murders: "The murder of Torregiani and Sabbadin had been decided by the PAC because both of them had killed a robber in the past, thus as an act of armed opposition to self-defense by attacked persons."

Besides being incredibly awful, does this seem like either an incredible lack of irony, or some kind of perverse joke?
posted by dhens at 11:33 AM on January 18, 2011

My undrstanding of Battisti's record - and I admit it is difficult to pin down an exact source, because, living in Italy, I've heard/read so much about the man over the past 20 or so years that details have become simply part of the accepted history - is that he was not guilty of political murders, for which some might find a spark of justification somewhere, but of straightforward armed robbery murders. His political awareness (which some may view with scepticism, and others might accept) apparently began while serving a prison sentence for totally non-political crimes. To portray him therefore as a freedom fighter being persecuted for his political beliefs begins to ring hollow. I am on record as having no trace of sympathy whatever for the current government in Italy, but I have to admit that it seems reasonable for them to want to extradite him to face trial for murders (and for leaving the son of one of his armed-robbery victims, jeweller Torregiani, a paraplegic) which appear to have no political significance at all. In short, it is gilding the lily to portray him as a man with a political motive for using a firearm which may or may not be what you believe in but which has at least a shred of social justification. In his case, it appears to have none.

Of course, as long as Silvio Berlesqueloni continues to denounce his own country's system of justice and its magistrates as communist-inspired taleban, it's no wonder that any other country might hesitate to extradite a defendant back to a country where the head of government in person appears to have no faith in the neutrality of the courts.

Having ranted all of that, nonetheless a fascinating (first!) post, for which many thanks.
posted by aqsakal at 12:26 PM on January 18, 2011

...extradite him to face trial to serve a sentence for murders...
posted by aqsakal at 12:34 PM on January 18, 2011

clavdivus, I expect it's Giap the Vietnamese general, Võ Nguyên Giáp.

Thank you, kind aqsakal.
posted by doctornemo at 7:22 PM on January 18, 2011

nice first post doctornemo. I thought it might refer to Giap which seems more the style then 'Japan'. It fits, Giap was/is a respected general.
posted by clavdivs at 7:50 PM on January 18, 2011

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