Alberto Toscano | Mayakovsky at Mirafori: Operaismo and the Negation of Poetry

  Though many of the watchwords and guiding axioms of Italian operaismo and its successors have percolated into critical discourse on aesthetic production, and multiple analyses of its intersections with visual art and architecture in the 1960 and 1970s have been advanced, little has been made of its specific approach to the question of poetics. This chapter aims partially to correct this tendency by exploring the arguments about the unhappy marriage between avant-garde poetry and communist politics sketched out in some interventions by the key literary critic and historian in the collective of militant intellectuals that made up ‘classic’ operaismo,…

Esther Leslie | Men of Doubt: Fortini, Benjamin, Brecht

I will present my ideas as theses, in recognition of the fragmented and poetic modes of the men I discuss. And, too, as reflection of the central idea here, that of ‘doubt’ – aiming at a certain non-definitive articulation, the wish to leave something uncompleted, unsealed, possible but yet to be made actual, if it can. I begin with a translation of a poem by Fortini.

Jacques Rancière; The Unforgettable

    1 In front of the camera lens It is an image from turn-of-the-century Saint Petersburg, both ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. The imperial family is passing by, surrounded by an escort of officers and dignitaries. The crowd gathered there, at the side of the road, is addressed by an officer with an imperious gesture: when the Tsar passes, the thing to do is to remove your hat. The commentator’s voice is heard: I don’t want this image to be forgotten. What is Chris Marker trying to tell us by placing this image at the opening of…