A portrait of the Italian poet, died on May 20th 2019, by Australian journalist and translator Matt Holden.
Italian experimental poet, writer and political activist, Nanni Balestrini, died in Rome at the age of 83 on May 20, 2019. He was associated with the Italian writers' movement known as Neoavanguardia.
Balestrini was born in Milan in 1935. During the 1960s, he bacem the editor of Gruppo 63, together with prominent Italian writers such as Edoardo Sanguineti, Umberto Eco, Antonio Porta, Elio Pagliarani. He also worked with Feltrinelli and Marsilio, two of the major Italian publishing houses.
In 1968, Balestrini was co-founder of the Potere Operaio political group and in 1976 was an important supporter of the Autonomia Operaia. In 1979, he was accused of membership in a guerilla group and fled to Paris and later Germany.
Balestrini became known thanks to his first novel We Want Everything (Vogliamo tutto, 1971). It describes the struggles and conflicts in the car factory of FIAT in what was called the "hot Autumn" of Italian history.
The book was translated in French, Spanish and German, when in 2014 it was translated for the first time in English by Matt Holden (Telephone Publishing, Melbourne).
To listen to the portrait of Nanni Balestrini by Matt Holden, click the player on the photo above.
Mr Holden talked us trough the plot of Vogliamo tutto; the story of one young southerner’s experiences, a story of emigration, the revolt against work and the birth of political consciousness.
A story that reveals several parallels with today's situation and the history of the many migrants arrived from Southern Italy at the end of WWII in Australia.
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