"Many readers may feel perplexed at Traverso's persistent attachment to the ideal of communism when the actual record of Soviet-bloc party-dictatorship was 'left-wing' only in name. (You don't mourn a regime that murdered millions; you cheer its demise.) Between political reality and political aspiration, however, there is always a kind of wound. Every ideal, no matter how inspiring, carries with it a feeling of sadness at how far the world falls short, and melancholia is nothing but the name for the space between."
At The Boston Review, Peter E. Gordon reviews Enzo Traverso's Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory.