Paolo Virno in English

Paolo Virno (b. 1952), University of Rome

I came to Virno through the excellent interview “Soviets of the Multitude” from Mediations (2004), which discusses the micro-collectives that embody the non-representative democracy characteristic of post-Fordist society (see my blog), and the final chapter of Multitude Between Innovation and Negation, “Mirror Neurons, Linguistic Negation, and Mutual Recognition” (available here for research purposes), which examines the relationship of intersubjective empathy (through mirror neurons) and language (through negation as differential [the heteron], not apophatic [the antitheton]).

Virno is best known as a post-operaist, an activist and theorist of immaterial labour, the kind of work that characterizes post-Fordist society. The best introduction to Virno’s post-operaism is his “Virtuosity and Revolution” from ARTicles (2004).

Many of these links here are from the excellent Generation Online site, moderated by Arianna Bove and Erik Empson.

Articles and Books (in chronological order)

Dreamers of a Successful Life.” Trans. Jared Becker. Autonomia: Post-Political Politics 3.3 (1980): 112-17. Also at

“The Ambivalence of Disenchantment.” Trans. M. Turtis. Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics. Minneapolis, MA: UMP, 1996. 17-18.

Virtuosity and Revolution: The Political Theory of Exodus.” Ibid. 189-209. (It is available here or here for research purposes. The piece was reworked for “Virtuosity and Revolution” — see below.)

“Do You Remember Counterrevolution?” Trans. Michael Hardt. Ibid. 241-59.

Notes on the ‘General Intellect.’Marxism Beyond Marxism. Trans. Cesare Casarino. Ed. Saree Makdisi, Cesare Casarino and R. E. Karl. London: Routledge, 1996. 265-66.

The Social Working Day.” Writing as “Immaterial Workers of the World.” n.d. With a response by Toni Negri.

[“Reflections on Labor Power.”] n.d. Excerpt from part 3 of Il Ricordo del Presente (Bollati Boringhieri: 1999).

On General Intellect.” Trans. Arianna Bove. Also published as “General Intellect,” Historical Materialism 15.3 (2007): 3–8, and online at Generation Online. From Lessico Postfordista [Postfordist Lexicon] (Feltrinelli: 2001).

The Two Masks of Materialism.” 1991. Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy 12 (2001): 167-73.

A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life. Trans. Isabella Bertoletti, James Cascaito and Andrea Casson. New York: Semiotext[e], 2004. Available at Generation Online or Excerpted at “Publicness of the Intellect,” Transversal (Jan. 2001).

Paolo Virno and Judith Revel Revisit the Foucault/Chomsky Debate.” With Judith Revel. Trans. Arianna Bove. Generation Online. Seminar at Rome, April-May 2002.

One and Many.” Trans. Nate Holdren (via Spanish [?]). Generation Online. Excerpt from Quando il verbo si fa carne (Bollati Boringhieri, 2003) 186-87 (ch. 7).

Public Sphere, Labour, Multitude: Strategies of Resistance in Empire.” With Toni Negri. Trans. Arianna Bove. Generation Online. Seminar at Pisa, 5 Feb. 2003.

Virtuosity and Revolution.” Trans. Ed Emory. ARTicles. 1 May 2004. Orig. from the Make-World Conference in Munich, 18-21 Oct. 2001; publ. as “paper#2” (Nov. 2002); online at Makeworlds (23 Sep. 2003).

Wit and Innovation.” Trans. Arianna Bove. Transversal. June 2004. “Prologue” to Motto di Spirito e Azione Innovativa: Per Una Logica del Cambiamento [Wit and Innovation: For a Logic of Change] (Bollati Boringhieri, 2005). See “From the Third Person Intruder to the Public Sphere,” another excerpt from Wit and Innovation: For a Logic of Change.

“Childhood and Critical Thought.” Trans. Alessia Ricciardi Grey Room (Fall 2005): 6-12. (Available thru JSTOR.)

“Familiar Horror.” Trans. Alessia Ricciardi. Grey Room 21 (Fall 2005): 13-16. (Available thru JSTOR.)

“About Exodus.” Trans. Alessia Ricciardi. Grey Room 21 (Fall 2005): 17-20. (Available thru JSTOR.)

“Theses on the New European Fascism.” Ibid. 21-25. (Available thru JSTOR and for research purposes here.)

Right to Resistance” (2004). Trans. Nate Holdren. Generation Online. 31 May 2005.

Anthropology and Theory of Institutions.” Trans. Alberto Toscano. Transversal. May 2007.

On the Parasitic Character of Wage Labor.” Trans. Max Henninger. SubStance 36.1 (2007): 36-42.

Labour and Language.” Trans. Arianna Bove. Generation Online. 3 July 2007.

“Post-Fordist Semblance.” Trans. Max Henninger. SubStance 36.1 (2007): 42-46. (Available thru Muse and for research purposes here.)

Jokes and Innovative Action: For a Logic of Change.” Artforum 46.5 (Jan 2008): 251-57.

Multitude or Working Class.” Trans. Arianna Bove. 6 Mar. 2008.

From Violence to Resistance.” Trans. Nate Holdren. Generation Online. 6 Mar. 2008.

Multitude Between Innovation and Negation. Trans. Isabella Bertoletti, James Cascaito and Andrea Casson. Los Angeles, CA: Semiotext(e), 2008. (The bibliographical details are at MIT Press; it is partially viewable at Amazon and one chapter is available for research purposes here.)

Natural-Historical Diagrams: The ‘New Global’ Movement and the Biological Invariant.” Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 5.1 (2009).

Angels and the General Intellect: Individuation in Duns Scotus and Gilbert Simondon.” Trans. Nick Heron. Parrhesia 7 (2009): 58-67.

“The Money of Language: Hypotheses on the Role of Negation in Saussure.” Timothy Campbell. Diacritics 39.4 (2009): 149-61. (Available through Project Muse.)

“The Anthropological Meaning of Infinite Regression.” Trans. Lorenzo Chiesa. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 16.3 (2011): 63-76.

Interviews (in chronological order)

“General Intellect, Exodus, Multitude.” Trans. Nate Holdren. Archipélago 54 (June 2002). Generation Online. 6 Mar. 2008.

“The Republic of the Multitude.” With Marcelo Expositio. Trans. Nate Holdren. Generation Online. 3 Dec. 2003.

“Creating a New Public Sphere, without the State.” With Héctor Pavón. Trans. Nate Holdren. or Generation Online. 24 Dec. 2004.

“Interview with Paolo Virno.” With Branden W. Joseph. Trans. Alessia Ricciardi. Grey Room 21 (Fall 2005): 26-37.

“Multitude and Working Class.” With Maurizio Lazzarato. Trans. Arianna Bove. Generation Online. 23 May 2007.

“Between Disobedience and Exodus.” With Flavia Costa. Trans. Nate Holdren. Generation Online. 6 Mar. 2008.

“Facing a New 17th Century.” With Veronica Gago. Trans. Nate Holdren. Generation Online. 6 Mar. 2008.

“The Dismeasure of Art. An Interview with Paolo Virno.” With Sonja Lavaert and Pascal Gielen. Open 17: A Precarious Existence: Vulnerability in the Public Domain (May 2009).

“The Soviets of the Multitude: On Collectivity and Collective Work.” With Alexei Penzin. Mediations 25.1 (Fall 2010) 81-92.


4 thoughts on “Paolo Virno in English

  1. Pingback: Paolo Virno English bibliography | Progressive Geographies
  2. hi, the date of my interview with virno is mistaken – not 2008 but December 3, 2003 – just a detail 😉 congratulations and million thanx for the compilation! – marcelo /

  3. Pingback: Paolo Virno in English |

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