Monday, February 19, 2007

Red Brigades write back

The Genovese daily Il secolo XIX has received a leaflet signed "24 January 1979 Group" (an important date in the history of the Red Brigades) which, among other things, threatens grave repercussions on Genoa for the arrest of their comrades on the 12th.

Excuse me thrusting this on you. It's just that the mind-numbing rhetoric of these people never fails to fascinate me.

About the arrests

The action is of no concrete significance because the banner that fell has been promptly regathered for the struggle and the proletarian emancipation from the Zionist and imperialist bourgeois. To the slandering bourgeoisie, to the forces of the constituted and anti-proletarian bourgeois order, to the holders of the means of production, we say that our struggle goes on and will always go on in name and on behalf of the oppressed masses. The illegal action of the bourgeois police will come to nothing but the intensification of our concrete action against the city of Genoa. We shall strike whoever tries to chain the liberty of proletarian thought, the response of the masses, and the intention to attain Socialism as the only way to overthrow the system.
Don't you love the phrase "the liberty of proletarian thought". And also "the forces of the constituted and anti-proletarian bourgeois order".

I haven't been able to render the full flavour. For example, where I have written 'holders', the Italian has 'padroni', which is, literally, 'masters', but I was sure you would think I was taking the mickey. Now the best rendering of the word would probably be 'bosses', but that doesn't have the Olde Worlde connotations that are needed. Because the complement of 'padrone' is 'servo', which may mean either 'servant' or 'slave'. You can see why they continue to employ the term.

Another inadequacy in my translation is 'response' in the phrase "the response of the masses". The Italian word in "riscossa". We would need a noun to match the meaning of the phrasal verb 'strike back', as in The Empire Strikes Back. I can't think of one. You need both the meaning of 'hit back' as well as that of success in your counter-attack.

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