Filed under: update | Tags: 1970s, community, french, italy, nanni balestrini, red brigades, short stories, terrible community, tiqqun, zines
“Nanni Balestrini was born in Milan in 1935. Known both as an experimental writer of prose and verse and as a cultural and political activist, he played a leading role in avant-garde writing and publishing in the sixties. His involvement with the extra-parliamentary left in the seventies resulted in terrorism charges (of which he was subsequently acquitted) and a long period of self- imposed exile from Italy.
Let A Thousand Hands… is an extract translated from the novel La Violenza Illustrata (Einaudi, 1976). Using one of Balestrini’s favorite techniques, it is a montage of newspaper reports of the death of Mara Cagol, one of the founders of the Red Brigades.
FIAT (1977) is a first-hand account of work (or its refusal) at the infamous FIAT plant in Turin, Italy.
His major novels are Gli Invisibili (Bompiania, 1987; tr. The Unseen, Verso 1989) and L’editore (Feltrinelli 1989).”
“Everyone knows the terrible communities, having spent time in them or being within them still because they are always stronger than the others. And because of that one always stays, in part – and parts at the same time. Family, school, work, and prison are the classic faces of this form of contemporary hell. But they are less interesting as they belong to an old form of market evolution and only presently survive. On the contrary, there are the terrible communities which struggle against the existing state of things that are at one and the same time attractive and better than “this world.” And at the same time their way of being closer to the truth – and therefore to joy – moves them away from freedom more than anything else.
The question we must answer in a final manner is of a more ethical than political nature because the classic political forms and their categories fit us like our childhood clothing. The question is to know if we prefer the possibility of an unknown danger to the certainty of a present pain. That is to say if we want to continue to live and speak in agreement (dissident perhaps, but always in agreement) with what has been done so far – and thus with the terrible communities – or, if we want to question that small portion of our desire that the culture has not already infested in its mess, to try – in the name of an original happiness – a different path.
This text was conceived as a contribution to that other voyage.”