“Loaded Words: A Rebel’s Guide to Situationese,” by Denis Diderot and Jean-Paul Marat (pseud.) in New Morning: A Berkeley Community Newspaper. February, 1973.

Cover of New Morning, February, 1973.

We first heard of “Loaded Words” via the very useful bibliography of American pro-situationist publications that Not Bored! put together years ago and posted on their website (here). We were confused because they put Cleveland as the place of publication, where there was a newspaper by a collective also called “New Morning” (info here). But the piece was actually published in the Berkeley publication New Morning: A Berkeley Community Newspaper.

There is no online archive of New Morning issues and very little writing that mentions the publication from what we could find. (There must be a memoir that includes discussions of it somewhere, please let us know if you are aware of any!) There’s not much detail in the publication itself. Here’s the masthead from the February, 1973 issue:

Tom Woodhull, part of the pro-situ group Negation (as mentioned in his interview with Chomsky, here), had some involvement with New Morning for at least a couple of issues, as he was also involved in the preceding month’s issue that included an article on council communism. This issue was likely that mentioned by Ken Knabb in his essay “Remarks on Contradiction and its Failure,” when he cites “an underground paper trying to fill up the current ideological void will put out a special issue on situationism which simply lumps together everyone who is able to babble a few slogans about the spectacle, sacrifice, Leninism, etc., and publishes a “Dictionary of Situationese” for the edification of those who aren’t yet even capable of that.”

Yet, even given Knabb’s criticisms, “Loaded Words” is, in fact, a good, quick and dirty introductory guide to core situationist concepts. It seems reasonable to guess that Woodhull may have been one of the two pseudonymous authors. In 1975 the “Beni Memorial Library” in Ann Arbor published a very helpful book (available here) called A Bibliography of North American Situationist Texts, which included an entry on “Loaded Words”:

We see no reason to repeat the contents of that entry (anymore than we already have), since it does the bibliographic job quite well.

We were surprised that “Loaded Words” hadn’t been placed online yet, so we scanned it and put it on Libcom, here.

This issue of New Morning is uncommon, though available, it appears, in some microfilm collections of the underground press and in a handful of libraries.

“Lettera da Rebibbia a Metropoli di Oreste Scalzone” (supplement to Metropoli) – May 1979

Following the mass arrests of April 7th, 1979, where militants and intellectuals were arrested on conspiracy, subversion and insurrection charges (tens of thousands would be arrested across the following years). Antonio Negri, famously, was part of the sweeping round-up, having been wrongly accused of being part of the Red Brigades and behind the killing of former prime minister and leader of the Democrazia Cristiana party, Aldo Moro. Many of the prisoners were incarcerated at Rebibbia Prison in Rome.

A May 1979 statement, signed by Mario Dalmaviva, Luciano Ferrari Bravo, Toni Negri, Oreste Scalzone, Emilio Vesce and Lauso Zagato, states:

“We are being tried for a decade of political struggle in Italy, from 1968 to 1979. With this prosecution, State power has spoken out loud and clear — a horrendous alibi for its incapacity to resolve the real underlying problems confronting Italian society in the crisis. This trial is aimed to outlaw the political movement of working class and proletariat autonomy. In order to succeed, State power has to state and prove that “the party of the new social strata of the proletariat” is the same thing as “the armed party” — i.e. the terrorist groups. They have to be made to appear as identical. All of us in the Movement know the motive behind this operation. The State “projects” onto these strata and onto the men and women who have lived the social struggles of the new proletariat, the accusation of being terrorists, “the armed party in Italy”, so that, by criminalizing the Movement, it can resolve its own inability to function. We are militants and intellectuals of the autonomous Left movement. In striking its blow at us, the State is attributing to us a power as “leaders”, a representative role, that we do not possess.”

Oreste Scalzone, a leading militant of Potere Operaio, and a founder of the important journal Metropoli, was one of those arrested (his arrest occurred two months before the publication of the first issue of the journal). This supplement to Metropoli was published before the printing of Metropoli’s first issue in June 1979. The second issue of the journal was published, nearly a year later, in April 1980.

The pamphlet is divided into 3 letters from Scalzone, with one co-written with militant prisoner Lauso Zagato. The first letter is a vivid description of camaraderie on the inside, with Scalzone finding other comrades in the prison before being forcibly transferred to another; the second is an analysis of his interrogation whereby the authorities can only see a conspiracy (and not a diffuse movement); and the third a brief analysis of, and call for struggle on, the terrain of prisons and law.

We were unable to locate a scan online so have uploaded on – here – to Libcom. The publication is rare, we locate only a single institutional holding, which is at Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma.

Resurgence! Jonathan Leake, Radical Surrealism, and the Resurgence Youth Movement 1964-1967 (ed. Abigail Susik, Eberhardt Press, 2023)

We are extremely excited about the publication of Resurgence: Jonathan Leake, Radical Surrealism, and the Resurgence Youth Movement, 1964-1967, printed in a limited edition of 500 copies by Eberhardt Press in Portland, Oregon.

The book helps to fill a significant gap in the literature available about the anti-authoritarian left in the US during the 1960s, as well as circulation of surrealist ideas during this period, and connections between the American ultraleft of the 1960s and the punk and squat scenes in New York City in ensuing decades.

The book is divided into 3 major sections. The first consists of essays that contextualize the Resurgence Youth Movement. Perhaps most relevant and useful for readers of this little blog is scholar Abigail Susik’s essay on the anti-authoritarian left of the 1960s. It it is in Susik’s essay that we learn the neat factoid that the first issues of Resurgence were printed on a mimeograph machine provided to Jonathan Leake by Raya Dunayevskaya after a News and Letters convention (p. 17).

The second section of the book consists of selections from journal Resurgence, much of which was impossible to access up until the publication of this book. The third section of the book consists of selections from Jonathan Leake’s unpublished autobiography, Root and Branch.

The design of the book is simply breathtaking and is clearly a labor of love printed by Charles Overbeck, the person behind Eberhardt Press.

Ill Will has published some selections from the book, here. It is available for purchase, until the print run is gone, from Eberhardt’s website, here. We hold donor’s copy #19 in an edition of 150.

Oask?! – Unique issue, 1977 (Pablo Echaurren, w/ Maurizio Gabbianelli, Massimo Terracini, Pablo Echaurren, Gandalf, and Carlo Infante).

Oask?! cover

Oask?! (an anagram of “kaos”) was the first publication of the Metropolitan Indians. It was published as a supplement to issue 74 of Lotta Continua, and is primarily the work of famed Italian artist Pablo Echaurren. This was the only unique issue of Oask?! published, but Echaurren would use the nameplate in other collaborations (for example the publication of Abat/Jour). At the time, Echaurren worked full-time for Lotta Continua.

Jacopo Galimberti (2022) provides useful discussion of the context and publication of Oask?!,

“Apart from his work for Lotta Continua, Echaurren and some peers published a zine called Oask?! (an anagram of caos, meaning ‘caos’). Released in the aftermath of the March 1977 revolts, its graphic look took the inventions of A/traverso and Zut to the extreme” (p. 339-340).

The publication is one large single piece of newsprint that folds out to a stunning poster, reading “Diffidate della realta?!” (“Do you trust reality?!).

We take the listing of authors from Echaurren’s digital archive at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max Planck Institut) in Rome, which hosts a high resolution scan of the initial version of Oask?! that they credit exclusively to Echaurran (here). We note that De Donna & Martegani (2019) list the authors as Echaurren, M. Gabbianelli, Carlo Infante, G. Malatesta, S. Pela, R. Di Reda, F. Saglio, M. Terracini, and O. Turquet (p. 332).

The publication is rare. Worldcat lists the Beinecke library at Yale as only institutional holding (they bought Echaurren’s archive some years ago), but we know others hold the publication.