Date: Thursday 28 August 2014
Speakers: Professor Callum Morton & Warren Taylor
MUMA and Telephone Publishing would like to invite you to join us for the launch of the first English edition of Nanni Balestrini's Vogliamo Tutto!
Vogliamo tutto: we want everything—the novel of Italy's "Hot Autumn"! Vogliamo tutto focuses on the "hot autumn of 1969" that started with a big strike at Fiat, Turin, and sparked nearly 10 years of radical action in Italy. It's a story of emigration, the revolt against work and the birth of political consciousness from the point of view of a young southern Italian. Balestrini documents experiences on the factory floor, in the meetings and demonstrations and at the barricades to create a poetic remix of a novel, a call to arms for a just society.This book is the first English translation of this important work. Told in the first person, the story is based on interviews with one particular worker, flyers from the movement and transcripts of rallies and assemblies during the strike.
"Only Balestrini ... has succeeded in reconciling the tragic-epic spirit of the revolutionary movement and the ironic-combinatorial spirit of literary experimentation ... Vogliamo tutto is probably the most important Italian literary work of the 1960s."
—Franco Berardi (Bifo).
Nanni Balestrini, a poet, author and visual artist, was born in Milan in 1935 and now lives in Rome. In the early '60s he was a member of the poetry group Novissimi and, along with Umberto Eco and Eduardo Sanguinetti, of Gruppo 63, which brought together writers of the Neoavanguardia movement. In 1961 he composed Tape Mark I, the first poem made using the combining possibilities of an early IBM computer.He is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including the Signorina Richmond cycle and Blackout. His novels include La Violenza Illustrata, L'editore (on the death of publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli in a supposed terrorist action) and Gli Invisibili. He was also involved in founding the cultural magazines Il Verri, Alfabeta and Zoooom. Balestrini was a founding member of far-left group Potere Operaio and a supporter of Autonomia Operaia. In 1979, along with many other intellectuals and activists in Italy's extra-parliamentary left, he was accused of membership of an armed organisation and with subversive association. He fled to France to avoid arrest, where he lived in exile until the charges were dropped in 1984. Although almost all of Balestrini's work has been translated into French, German and Spanish, this is among only four of his books available in English. The others are The Unseen (Verso), Tristano (Verso) and Sandokan (Melville House).