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Asor Rosa, Alberto

Literary historian and politician Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Rome, ‘La Sapienza’ and a pupil of Natalino Sapegno, Asor Rosa was a long-time member of the PCI (Italian Communist Party) and from 1989-90 directed the party weekly Rinascita. In the early 1960s Asor Rosa edited two influential journals on the Left, Classe operaia (Working Class) and Quaderni Rossi (Red Notebooks). His most important works have treated political and social issues as well as literary and cultural topics. In Scrittori e popolo (Writers and the People) (1985) he traces the thread of populism in Italian literature from the Risorgimento through to Pasolini, while questioning Gramsci’s notion of a ‘nationalpopular literature’. Asor Rosa has also written extensively on seventeenth-century literature and society. In 1979 he was elected a member of the Chamber of Deputies, only to resign a year later (see also Parliament). Since 1982 he has been editor-in-chief of Letteratura italiana (Italian Literature), published by Einaudi.