Nanni Balestrini | “I write to you opposite the balcony from whence I contemplate the eternal light whose radiant fire slowly fades on the distant horizon”

At one point in ‘Blackout’, Balestrini writes, “This poem should not be published because it is a political manifesto.” The historical events with which ‘Blackout’ is concerned and toward which it is critical began with the wave of conflicts in 1968 at the universities and factories and eventually spread throughout the West. The protests culminated in the “troubled autumn” of 1969, eventually involving the entire Italian working class in strikes, demonstrations, and acts of sabotage.

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,…

Nanni Balestrini | Wer das hier liest, braucht sich vor nichts mehr zu fürchten (Interview)

  Der 1935 in Mailand geborene Schriftsteller Nanni Balestrini gehört zu den wenigen, die, obwohl sie im normalen Literaturbetrieb anerkannt sind, weiterhin über die revolutionäre Bewegung der 60er und 70er schreiben. Selbst Aktivist der sozialen und Klassenkämpfe der Jahre 1968-80 in Italien, hat Balestrini alle seine Romane über die Geschichte der radikalen Linken geschrieben. Seine Bücher handeln von den Arbeiterkämpfen bei FIAT, von den Ursprüngen des bewaffneten Kampfs oder von der Jugendbewegung (Autonomia) Ende der 70er. Sein Standpunkt bleibt dabei klar, an der subjektiven Sicht der Rebellierenden rüttelt Balestrini nicht. Ihm geht es, auch wenn er nach eigenem Bekunden, „keine…

Nanni Balestrini | “I close my eyes and start to sing”

NANNI BALESTRINI (1935-2019)     I close my eyes and start to sing threads are entangled and transformed into spots whose dance moves ever more slowly I sang my repertoire then I started monologues with my eyes closed I walked back and forth in the cell four steps forward four steps back I invented dialogues for two characters that spoke different languages like at the cinema when the film ends there are those who make love who smoke there are those who merely exist   Nanni Balestrini, the radical Italian experimental visual artist, poet, and novelist known for recombinatory, revolutionary…