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New Italian Epic

New Italian Epic (the English term is used in Italian) is a term coined by the Italian writer collective Wu Ming to describe certain (quasi-)fictional works written in Italy since around 1993. The general definition is This body of works is described as being formed of novels and other literary texts, which share various stylistic characteristics, thematic constants, and an underlying allegorical nature. They are a particular kind of metahistorical fiction, with peculiar features that derive from the Italian context.. Key features of the works are:

1. Ethical commitment to writing and storytelling, which means: a deep trust in the healing power of language and stories.
2. A sense of political necessity — and you can choose between the broader and the stricter sense of the adjective”political”.
3. The choice of stories that have a complex allegorical value. The initial choice may not even be intentional: the author may feel compelled to tell the story and later on understand what he was trying to say.
4. An explicit preoccupation for the loss of the future, with a propensity to use alternative history and alternative realities to force our gaze into imagining the future.
5. A subtle subversion of registers and language.”Subtle” because what’s important is not language experimentation in and of itself; what’s important is telling your story in what you feel is the best possible way.
6. A way of blending fiction and non-fiction that’s different from the ones we’ve gotten used to (e.g. Hunter S. Thompson’s”gonzo journalism”), a manner that I dare describe as”distinctly Italian”, which produces”unidentified narrative objects”.
7. Last but certainly not least, a”communitarian” use of the Internet to – as Genna himself put it -“share a hug with the reader”.
Several books published in Italy in the past few years share all or many of these features. Each one is peculiar, and sometimes, if we judge by immediate appearances, a novel doesn’t resemble the next in the slightest: different styles, different plots, different historical backdrops, seemingly different genres. And yet, if we go down deep enough, we’ll see that all these books are in resonance with each other.

Key writers include Roberto Savino, particularly his work Gomorrah, Giancarlo De Cataldo, Carlo Lucarelli, Massimo Carlotto, Valerio Evangelisti, Giuseppe Genna, Girolamo De Michele, Antonio Scurati, Giovanni Maria Bellu, Tommaso Pincio, Gianni Biondillo, Alessandro Bertante, Valter Binaghi, R. S. Blackswift, Guglielmo Pispisa, Letizia Muratori, Vanni Santoni e il gruppo SIC, Alessandro Defilippi and Rosario Zanni.

Other links

New Italian Epic
New Italian Epic
A Discursive Construct of XXI Century: The New Italian Epic
New Italian Epic (in Italian)
New Italian Epic (in Italian)
New Italian Epic 2.0c (in Italian)
Premessa alla versione 2.0 di New Italian Epic (in Italian)
Riflessioni sul New Italian Epic (in Italian)
New Epic Bloc. Tre anni dopo il “memorandum” sul NIE (Primi aggiornamenti 2011) (in Italian)