Paolo Virno was born in Naples in 1952. From 1968 to its dissolution in 1973 he was an activist in Potere Operaio, a political group founded by some of those members of the workerist journal Quaderni Rossi who did not join the Communist Party of Italy. He was an active participant in il movimento of the 1970s but was not linked to any specific group. In 1979 Virno was arrested in the so-called ʻApril 7th judgementʼ, along with Antonio Negri and others. (For more on this period, see ʻDo You Remember Revolution?ʼ in Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt, eds, Radical Thought in Italy, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1996.) He would remain in ʻpreventative detentionʼ for three years accused of being a member of a terrorist group that the prosecution referred to simply as ʻOʼ (Organizzazione). All the charges were dropped. Since 1994, Virno has taught at the University of Urbino, the University of Montreal and the University of Calabria. Virno has edited the journals Metropoli, Luogo comune, and DeriveApprodi. He is currently an editor of Forme di vita. Among his numerous publications are: Convenzione e materialismo (1986), Mondanità (1994), Il ricordo del presente (1999), Quando il verbo si fa carne (2003), A Grammar of the Multitude (2004) and, most recently, Motto di spirito e azione innovativa (2005). This interview originally appeared in the online edition of Multitudes 18, October 2004.
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