Postmodern Impegno - Impegno postmoderno

Ethics and Commitment in Contemporary Italian Culture - Etica e engagement nella cultura italiana contemporanea

by Pierpaolo Antonello (Volume editor) Florian Mussgnug (Volume editor)
©2009 Edited Collection X, 348 Pages
Series: Italian Modernities, Volume 4


This book challenges widespread and largely negative assumptions about Italian postmodernism and postmodernism in general. It considers contemporary Italian culture as a particularly interesting testing-ground for pluriform struggles of an ethical or political kind, struggles which build upon, whilst rejecting the essentialist assumptions behind, conventional notions of artistic commitment, or impegno.
Drawing on a variety of cultural fields and artistic media – from cinema to the literary genres of autobiography, romance and the giallo; from feminism to pensiero debole; from theatrical performance to shared practices of cultural memory – the volume charts instances of ethical commitment and emancipatory social and political intervention in Italian culture within a post-ideological and post-hegemonic framework, siding with a more constructive and less ‘apocalyptic’ analysis of the cultural climate of the past two decades in Italy. This balancing act is described by the contributors as ‘postmodern impegno’. The authors, artists and thinkers discussed in the essays include, among others, Eraldo Affinati, Adriana Cavarero, Marco Tullio Giordana, Carlo Lucarelli, Nanni Moretti, Marco Paolini, Roberto Saviano, Gianni Vattimo and Antonio Tabucchi.
Questo libro mette in discussione la diffusa posizione critica che tende a svalutare l’esperienza culturale della postmodernità e del postmodernismo in Italia. Il contesto italiano contemporaneo è di fatto un esempio quanto mai interessante e sintomatico per il definirsi di forme plurali e non monologiche di impegno politico-culturale, che pur rifiutando forme di assolutismo o essenzialismo epistemico o ideologico, mantengono fede a una consolidata tradizione di engagement artistico.
Partendo dall’analisi di vari generi e strategie discorsive – cinema, teatro, filosofia, letteratura di genere (romance, giallo, autobiografia) o di denuncia – e di vari autori – Eraldo Affinati, Adriana Cavarero, Marco Tullio Giordana, Carlo Lucarelli, Nanni Moretti, Marco Paolini, Roberto Saviano, Antonio Tabucchi, Gianni Vattimo, e altri – questo volume raccoglie e analizza esempi di impegno etico e di intervento socio-politico all’interno di una prospettiva post-ideologica e post-egemonica, proponendo una visione più costruttiva e meno «apocalittica» del clima culturale generale degli ultimi vent’anni in Italia.


X, 348
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (March)
Cultural memory postmodernism social intervention Italian culture
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. X, 348 pp., 1 ill.

Biographical notes

Pierpaolo Antonello (Volume editor) Florian Mussgnug (Volume editor)

The Editors: Pierpaolo Antonello is Senior Lecturer in Italian at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John’s College. His publications include Il ménage a quattro: Scienza, filosofia e tecnica nella letteratura italiana del Novecento (2005), Imagining Terrorism: The Rhetoric and Representation of Political Violence in Italy, 1969–2009 (2009, co-edited with Alan O’Leary) and a long interview with the French anthropologist René Girard, Evolution and Conversion: Dialogues on the Origins of Culture (2008, with João Cezar de Castro Rocha). Florian Mussgnug is Lecturer in Italian at University College London and a member of the executive committee of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA). He has published essays on twentieth-century Italian literature, high modernist experimental prose, philosophy of language, literary theory and comparative literature. His book The Eloquence of Ghosts: Giorgio Manganelli and the Afterlife of the Avant-Garde is forthcoming from Peter Lang.


Title: Postmodern Impegno - Impegno postmoderno