March 12, 2013

I NOVISSIMI (The New Ones) (Italy)


I NOVISSIMI (The New Ones) (Italy)

The I Novissimi was a group of Italian poets writing in the 1950s who coalesced around the anthology I Novissimi: Poesie per gli anni ’60, published originally by Rosconi e Paolazzi Editore in 1961, and reprinted in 1965 by Giulio Einaudi Editore.

     Edited by poet Alfredo Giuliani, I Novissimi included five poets—Nanni Balestrini, Alfred Giuliani, Elio Pagliarani, Antonio Porta, and Edoardo Sanguineti—who shared a sense of linguistic crisis, demanding a “new” and experimental poetry within the critical moment.

    The original volume included poetry by each of the five poets along with extensive footnotes and a groundbreaking essay by Giuliani. The group had an immediate impact on Italian poetry and, through its influences, on poetry throughout Europe and South America. By the 1990s, however, the influential volume had gone out-of-print in Italy, and was republished, in both Italian and English, edited by Luigi Ballerini and Paul Vangelisti (with translations by David Jacobsen, Bradley, Dick, Michael Moore, Stephen Sartarelli, and the two editors), published by Sun and Moon Press in the United States. The volume used the same cover design as the original, and included both the 1961 and 1965 introductions by Giuliani, as well as a new “Preface to the American Edition” by Giuliani.

   The groundbreaking book has since been reprinted into Italian.

   Although there have been numerous other developments in Italian poetry since the I Novissimi group, the poets and their poetics remain today a source of important inspiration for Italian and European literature.

Douglas Messerli

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