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Giorgio Manganelli and the Afterlife of the Avant-Garde
My book "The Eloquence of Ghosts" (2010, winner of the 2012 Edinburgh Gadda Prize) examines the creative possibilities of hybrid genres and open form, as they emerged in the context of Italy’s literary and artistic neo-avant-garde of the Fifties and Sixties. I specifically explore the influence of literary and philosophical models, the relationship between literary and visual texts, and changing assumptions about realism and fantasy. I am also interested in the idea of a nostalgic and deliberately anachronistic “late modernism”, in explicit contrast with Postmodernism’s radical displacement of established norms. Giorgio Manganelli, one of Italy’s most original authors, has been at the centre of this project, but I have also been interested in the works of Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Elsa Morante, Guido Morselli, Paolo Volponi, and others.
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