The book aims at constructing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, historical, material and political phenomenon. Since there has never been a strong tradition of thinking about language in Marxism, the book provides an overview of the question of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's book, taking in an essay by Pasolini), and it seeks to construct a number of concepts for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The book belongs to the tradition of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. It should be particularly useful to those who, in the fields of language study, literature and communication studies, have decided that language is not merely an instrument of communication.
This paper examines the process of othering between languages in Luigi Meneghello’s autobiographical work Il dispatrio. Besides offering a case study of an Italian author and scholar who others both the Italian and the English language in his writing, this study also uses a reading of Il dispatrio to question established philosophies of language in both linguistics and postcolonial criticism, arguing that each language is a philosophy in itself. This alternative conception of philosophy as a way of speaking and writing makes it possible to do away with narrow categories of cultural belonging, such as North–South or East–West, and to draw attention to the reciprocity of linguistic processes that shape every intercultural transaction, including those in Meneghello’s work.