Italy Literature Part 4

Italy Literature Part 4

Equally intense was, in theater, the activity of D. Fo playwright strongly linked to his own acting and always marked by a corrosive and violent criticism of power (as well Ties that gap so all the same, 1969; Accidental death of an anarchist, 1970; Pum! Pum! Who is it? The police!, 1972; People’s war in Chile, 1973), and by G. Rodari as the author of a children’s literature brought to a scientific level (Grammatica della fantasia, 1973) but without losing the fantastic vein (Nursery rhymes in heaven and on earth, 1960; Favole per telephone, 1962;The affairs of Mr. Gatto, 1972; Machine-made short stories, 1973).

According to, the arrival of the Eighties does not visibly change the lines of the literary panorama, but rather perpetuates them in a prolonged series of proposals and controversies and, at the same time, in repeated attempts to make order by selecting and cataloging texts and authors in numerous anthologies compiled by writers personally engaged in literary disputes (A. Berardinelli, F. Cordelli, The public of poetry, 1975; A. Porta, Poetry of the seventies, 1979) or with less militant and more academic intentions (G. Contini, Literature of united Italy, 1861-1968, 1968; PV Mengaldo, Italian Poets of the Twentieth Century, 1981) and continued in the nearest years. In such an eventful situation, the magazine Alfabeta, which partly took up the positions of the neo-avant-garde, started a debate on The Sense of Literature in 1983, which would be followed the following year by a conference in Palermo with the same title, in which the relations between literary and extra-literary were discussed and the two tendencies of the ” expressionists ” and the ” neo-romantic ”.

But what resulted was rather the denunciation of disorientation and the sense of the precarious rather than optimistic indications for the present and the future, with explicit critical points towards the intrusiveness of mass communications and editorial conditioning, but also calling into question the figure of the writer and the author-reader relationship that now passes through a no longer easy distinction between research literature and consumer literature. Discussions or diatribes have found their most suitable places in a long series of specialized magazines (In the form of words, Little Hans, Marka, Critical Notebooks, By approximation, The imagination, etc.).

As far as the production of texts is concerned, the permanence of already proven authors is recorded, from E. Sanguineti, who collected in Bookmark (1982) thirty years of poetic activity, to F. Fortini, who in the poems of Passage with snake (1984) takes up the dialectic already developed in This Wall (1973) between order and disorder, defeat and redemption, enigma and reason, life and death; to P. Volponi, who in the thematic segmentations of Corporale (1974) had given the anguished representation of contemporary man dominated by the nightmare of a catastrophe whose results are given in The irritable planet (1978); The javelin thrower(1981) instead moved the times to the years of fascism and, after the poetic interlude of Con testo a Fronte (1986), Le flies of the capital (1989) faced the world of industry in the years of neocapitalism, and La strada per Roma (1991) took up the theme of youth in a novel whose writing dates back to the 1960s.

However, it can be said that in general the Eighties provided interesting indications in the field of fiction rather than in that of poetry. The decade opens in fact with the worldwide success of U. Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose (1980), where a skilful detective novel architecture and a skilful historical reconstruction of the 14th century combined with a style of excellent league high literary yield; and it is always Eco who concludes it with Foucault’s Pendulum (1988), a complex novel in which eras and ideas intersect and confront each other, in the melting pot of contemporary tragic events, magical-cabalistic references and humorexorcising. The following years saw other names appear for the first time, even if not young, such as G. Rugarli (La Troga, 1988); G. Bufalino (Diceria dell’untore, 1981; Argo the blind, 1984; The invaded man, 1986; The lies of the night, 1988; The light and the mourning, 1988; The naked island, 1989; Qui pro quo, 1991) and C. SamonĂ  (Fratelli, 1978; Il custode, 1983); V. Consolo, who after The smile of the unknown sailor in 1976, published Retablo (1981), The stones of Pantalica (1988),Nottetempo, house by house (1992).

Alongside them a new generation of storytellers has appeared, in some of whom an autobiographical vein prevails, translated into a writing free from both moral and stylistic restraints that still leave judgment open (PV Tondelli, A. Busi) while others (D. Maraini, F. Cordelli, A. Tabucchi, V. Cerami, G. Montefoschi, D. Del Giudice, A. De Carlo, etc.) seem to be based, each in its own way, on less extemporaneous and probably more solid modules. The multiplicity of modes or fashions and the number of authors equipped with excellent means but not yet able to dominate the literary landscape and to mark its character with their work, is recorded, and perhaps to a greater extent and with less yield, in the field of poetry, rich perhaps more in debates than in probative texts.

The general feeling in front of the literary production of the nineties is therefore that of a very lively and eclectic condition, in which it is easier to record single valid works than the common coordinates of culture and taste, as it had happened at other times in the course of the 20th century following the various ” isms ” that had followed one another and which now seem to leave room for more disordered, or perhaps more free, choices.

Italy Literature 4