by Valentino Parlato
It was a long time ago that Lucio Magri first told us that he wanted to take his life. We talked to him and tried to persuade him not to, because we needed him, his intelligence and his commitment. We did not succeed. His decision was a highly rational one. At almost 80 years old, the loss of his partner Mara had been devastating for him. The general context also did not help. Lucio made his choice in extreme rationality (and when he made a choice he never changed his mind) and did what he had decided to. Suicide is a basic freedom for the individual. Those who are masters of themselves, as all human beings are, can legitimately and morally set out to bring their life to an end.
Lucio was the mind and soul of our collective life. Together we founded the journal and then the newspaper. There was a short break at the time of the PDUP, but our relationship remained strong, even when we disagreed.
The question is what does Lucio leave with us, to what does Lucio urge us with his suicide? I will try to give an answer. First he invites us to call into question and fight against the present state of things. His culture, his politics and his writings provide us with ideas and knowledge. The tailor of Ulm, who tried to fly before the time had come, crashed, but then humanity learnt to fly. This was his message; and his suicide, although due to his emotional state, is also an act of refusal, of struggle of everything but passive disillusionment. Lucio's analysis and his reading of history are an essential resource, and thus we set out to work on his (many and important) unpublished writings. We will try to learn his lessons better than we have done recently, in order to renew ourselves and fight more effectively. In order to face the present, and historical, crisis of the left, in order to give women and men fresh hope for change, in order to find a way out of the present, vilifying condition that human beings are in.
Lucio's suicide is not a private act, not an act of withdrawal. He had talked to us about it several times and in his last journey he was accompanied by Rossana Rossanda.
Tomorrow is another day, as we used to say in 1968, continuons le combat.
Visit il Manifestoto read the original article (in Italian).
(translated to English by Leo Goretti)