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Postmodern Impegno - Impegno postmoderno

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

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Edited By Pierpaolo Antonello and Florian Mussgnug

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.

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Part II Theorizing (Postmodern) Impegno

Extract

Giuseppe Stellardi Pensiero debole, Nihilism and Ethics, or How Strong is Weakness? To what extent can a philosophical position such as that going under the name of pensiero debole support meaningful ethical and political engage- ment? One possible answer may simply consist in pointing in the direction of Gianni Vattimo, one of the founding fathers of pensiero debole, whose philosophical and academic career has been accompanied by significant involvement in matters of politics (including within institutional organisms, at both national and European level), as well as in issues belonging to the sphere of civil society. However, a de facto coexistence of levels of activity is not in itself proof of conceptual compatibility, let alone causal relation. In other terms, the question remains: to what extent (if any) can pensiero debole be correlated to specific ethico-political positions and actions? To what extent does the former justify or necessitate the latter? The publication of Vattimo’s Nihilism and Emancipation (2003)1 brings together in a coherent fashion texts where the issue of the relation- ship between theory and praxis is articulated at several levels. The book constitutes the proof that Gianni Vattimo is not a pure philosopher (what- ever that may mean), or a purely theoretical philosopher; it demonstrates, in effect, a co-implication of an abstract reflection on key philosophical concepts with a keen attention to the practicalities of contemporary social life, specifically in its political and even juridical dimensions. At the same time, it confirms that a purely factual answer to the...

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