Vincenzo Binetti (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Nanni Balestrini proposes in Gli invisibili, in an effort to confront the reader with a possible, and necessarily problematic, political awakening, a "visualization" of what the ideology of the Italian nation-state was trying instead to relegate to the comforting domain of invisibility, obliterating the desires and needs of an explosive and destabilizing collective subjectivity. But it is precisely by revisiting those places of violence and coercion, in the company of the first-person narrator, that it becomes possible, at least in the literary domain of the narrated elements, to surpass the boundary wall of prison space and enter into contact with a disturbing and dramatic reality which nevertheless allows for a destabilizing "porousness" (in the Benjaminian sense) between "inside" and "outside", between public and private space, between official history and individual and "community" stories. The novel therefore comes across as a provocative ideological and narrative project beyond the expectations of an audience of readers who, by contrast, were used to filtering the history of those creative and tumultuous years – the period that is of the student and labor movement struggles, of the rejection of work and conformity, the period of Autonomy, demonstrations, the occupation of universities and factories – through a more comforting and deceptive representation produced by the culture of mass-media.




A version in Italian of this essay is included in Alain Sarrabayrouse, ed. Images Littéraires de la Société Contemporaine. Actes du colloque "Guerre et violence dans la littérature contemporaine italienne." Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3, 21-22 novembre 2003. Cahiers d'études italiennes 3 2005.