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The Novels of Nanni Balestrini with the MEP Literature Group

Thu, October 20, 2022 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


The MEP Literature Group resumes this fall/winter and continues its tradition of reading international political fiction. We will read several works by the Italian author Nanni Balestrini, including We Want Everything and The Unseen. These selections are in honor of Michael Lardner, an enthusiast of Balestrini’s writing and the convener of the MEP’s literature group for many years. Balestrini, born in 1935, had by the early 1960s an active literary career in Gruppo 63, edited journals, and participated in computer experiments. From literary spats, he moved to political involvement during Italy’s Years of Lead (ca. 1968-1988). Upon being charged with membership in a guerrilla group he fled to Paris and later to Germany. We Want Everything chronicles a rebellion centered at the Fiat Mirafiori factory in Turin; The Unseen continues the story of Italy’s explosive 1970s when the young and unemployed of cities joined workers in an unexpectedly militant movement known simply as Autonomy (Autonomia). Its “politics of refusal” called forth draconian repression from the employers and the state. We will begin with selections of Balestrini’s poetry.