Piergiorgio Bellocchio, a militant intellectual, dies

The writer and literary critic Piergiorgio Bellocchio, one of the most famous militant intellectuals of the heterodox left, who with his magazine “Quaderni Piacentini” made a decisive contribution to the renewal of Italian culture, died last night in his home in Piacenza at age of 90 years. The news of his disappearance was confirmed to Adnkronos by his trusted doctor, Dr. Giorgio Gatti, and by his architect friend Romano Maffi. He leaves behind his wife Marisa, currently hospitalized with a fractured femur, and his daughter Letizia. Born in Piacenza on 15 December 1931, he was the elder brother of the director Marco and had recently participated together with his other brothers (Letizia, Alberto and Maria Luisa) in the film “Marx can wait” (2021), dedicated to the Bellocchio family. On 27 December 1968 Camillo Bellocchio, twin brother of the director Marco, took his own life at the age of 29: the surviving brothers retrace that tragedy in the documentary without filters or modesty. In 1962 Piergiorgio Bellocchio founded the magazine “Quaderni Piacentini” and directed it until its closing in 1984. His companions in adventure were, in particular, Grazia Cherchi and Goffredo Fofi, who also supported him in the direction of the quarterly which appeared with the subtitle “by the youth of the left”, as an extension of the activity of the “Incontri di cultura” club in Piacenza. It has been a central magazine as well as a point of attraction for the culture and evolution of leftist political thought in Italy since the second half of the 1960s. He then published “Diario” (1985-1993), a “personal” magazine entirely written with Alfonso Berardinelli (the complete reprint of “Diario. 1985-1993” appeared by Quodlibet in 2010). entries for the Encyclopedia of Literature (1972) and for the European Encyclopedia (1976) and prefaces to Stendhal, Dickens and Casanova. From 1977 to 1980 he directed the small Gulliver publishing house in Milan and – among many other things – was the first editor in charge of “Lotta Continua” in 1969. With the stories collected in the volume “I pleasant servi” (Mondadori, 1966) Piergiorgio Bellocchio won the Pozzale di Empoli Prize. His critical prose are collected in “Dalla parte del torto” (Einaudi, 1989), “Eventually” (Rizzoli, 1993), “The astuteness of the passions” (Rizzoli, 1995), “Lost objects” (Baldini Castoldi Dalai, 1996). In the book “Under the scrum. Satires and essays (Scheiwiller, 2007) the author has collected articles and notes dedicated to the works and political and cultural activity of the Piacenza writer, Cherchi and Fofi and to history of the “Quaderni Piacentini”, “Ragionamenti” and other magazines of the heterodox left. Beyond the differences, what unites these militant intellectuals is mainly the critique of the institutional left, of power, of culture and of dominant values. essayist Bellocchio appears capable of seeing in the various and apparently heterogeneous changes in Italian society the constants of an “ugly power that dominates in common damage.” For Feltrinelli he wrote the introduction to “Scompartimento for readers and taciturns” by Grazia Cherchi (199 7). With Gianni D’Amo he had promoted the Cittàcomune association in Piacenza in 2006. Bellocchio has collaborated with various periodicals (“This and other”, “Rendiconti”, “Linea d’ombra”, “Panorama”, “Italian illustration”, ” Illustrated time “,” l’Unità “,” Paralleli “,” King “), he wrote prefaces, voices for miscellaneous works, costume notes. In 1969 Piergiorgio Bellocchio was the first director in charge of” Lotta Continua “, appeared for the first time as a weekly on 1 November of that year as the official organ of the extra-parliamentary formation of the same name, but not following the editorial evolution. As editor of the newspaper he was denounced and did three months in prison before being released from prison. Announcing his release from prison, an unsigned editorial in the newspaper explained that the accusations against Bellocchio were due to the fact that he would have betrayed the “corporation of members of the Register of Journalists” by not checking who wanted to write in the newspaper and being an intellectual , meddled with a “revolutionary political action” that printed a newspaper that ended up in the hands of workers and proletarians. Among his most recent commitments, in 2006 he founded together with Gianni D’Amo the Cittàcomune association, still very active in Piacenza. (by Paolo Martini)