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Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Gianfranco Sanguinetti is an Italian Italian writer and activist who was a key figure in the Situationist International and the avant-garde protest movement in the 1960s and 1970s.

Gianfranco Sanguinetti Papers

Gianfranco Sanguinetti Papers consists of 62 boxes, including correspondence (more than 650 letters between Sanguinetti and Guy Debord, most of which have never been published), writings, notes, clippings, photocopies, posters, printed materials, legal papers, and photographs by, to, or related to Gianfranco Sanguinetti and the Situationist International.

Other Gianfranco Sanguinetti material

Les ouvriers italiens et la revolte de Reggio de Calabre, 1970.

La véritable scission dans l'Internationale, 1972, includes artcle "Thèses sur l'Internationale situationniste et son temps," by Sanguinetti and Guy Debord.


Related collections

Guy Debord

Lotta Continua

Situationist International

Gianfranco Sanguinetti

Gianfranco Sanguinetti is the son of a wealthy Italian factory owner, Bruno Sanginetti, who fled fascist Italy, spending the late 1920s and 1930s in Belgium and France, where he joined the circles of politically engaged Surrealists around Louis Aragon and Paul Éluard. During the Second World War, Bruno returned to Milan to join the partisan resistance, and after 1945 he emerged as a the most important private financier of the Italian Communist Party. He died prematurely at the age of 41 in 1950, after which it was rumored that he had been assassinated. Gianfranco Sanguinetti was thus raised in a patrician yet unorthodox household, with close connections to the literary circles in the 1960s, which included the poets Umbero Saba and Eugenio Montali, Umberto Eco, Nanni Balestrini, Ettore Sottsass, and Fernanda Pivano. He became involved in student street protests in Milan in 1966-67, before he had even graduated from high school. It was during this period that he encountered the work of Guy Debord, Raoul Vaneigem, and Mustapha Khayati.

Sanguinetti became one of the editors of the first Italian Situationist newspaper, S, and he wrote to Debord following the May '68 uprisings in Paris. The two quickly developed a close friendship, and collaborated on many fronts. Sanguinetti played a leading role in the formation of the Italian section of the Situationist International, the publication of Internationale Situazionista no. 1 (1969), organized the Situationist International Congress in Venice that same year, and wrote and edited texts for Internationale situationniste 13, which was never published.

Debord and Sanguinetti maintained close ties even after the Situationist International dissolved in 1972; Sanguinetti personally arranged Debord's extended stays in Italy in the early 1970s, while Debord for his part played a central role in planning and staging Sanguinetti's most successful intervention, the pseudonymous publication of the Rapporto Veridico sulle ultime Opportunità di salvare il Capitalismo in Italia, and the ensuing Censor scandal of 1975. Written from the aristocratic perspective of a well-informed Italian conservative, this text blended their mutual interest in Machiavelli, rhetoric, and literary style with a Situationist critique of the "society of the spectacle," and the manipulation of the mass media centering around the accusation that the Milan bombings of 1969 had been orchestrated by the government to rally public opinion against the protest movements.

In 1977-78, Sanguinetti applied a similar analysis to the wave of protests that swept across Italy, devoting an entire book to the Movimento del 77. Sanguinetti's passionate involvement in the movement and a quarrel over his interpretation of Aldo Moro's abduction and assassination met with a stinging rebuke from Debord, putting an end to their decade-long friendship in 1978. Only two chapters of Sanguinetti's book were published, as Del Terrorismo e dello Stato, the same year. Sanguinetti continued to write and maintain relations with members of the Italian movement after its supression in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since the early 1990s, he has split his time between Prague and Tuscany.


"Beinecke Acquires Papers of Key Figure in European Counterculture," press release for acquisition of Gianfranco Sanguinetti Papers, January 2014.


"Notes while reading - Guy Debord and Gianfranco Sanguinetti: The Veritable Split In the International," book review by Alan Davies on Poetry Foundation.


Selected texts and correspondence by Gianfranco Sanguinetti, translated into Engish, from NOTBORED!, a pro-situationist digital 'zine run by Bill Brown.

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