Claudio Parmigiani, Campo dei fiori (1982)

Abstract:
Since the early 20th Century, the theory of poetry in Italy has been accustomed to a set of authoritative statements and categories shaped by Benedetto Croce’s general aesthetics: poetry as the individual intuition of a spiritual state of mind; poetry as the result of a strict selection among the possible ways of expressing that intuition. Thus, poetic inspiration has been often identified with this entirely individual creative process, an idea that is still widely accepted today, especially in the context of higher education.

However, neither gradually nor consciously, a few poets have realized that inspiration could also be found in a kind of ritualistic, collective understanding of the function of the poet himself: in his open concept of time, community, and audience, to whom his voice has to be loudly addressed.

In this paradigm, the search for origins essentially consists of three parallel tendencies: a) attempting a representation of time, while facing its unsolvable contradictions; b) recovering the voice as a viable means for the acquisition of knowledge (especially in the face of a primordial, multilingual chaos); c) redefining accent and rhythm as new possibilities for signification, in contrast with any conventional set of metrical traditions.

In this talk, I would like to share some exemplary texts that show how these three paths toward the origins of poetry have interacted, leading to different solutions and experiences within the Italian poetry of the 20th- and 21st century.

Biosketch:
Stefano Colangelo is Associate Professor of Contemporary Italian Literature at the University of Bologna. He graduated cum laude in Italian Literature, and obtained a Ph.D in Italian Studies at the University of Bologna, under the tutorship of Ezio Raimondi, who designated him as a teaching assistant in rhetoric, metrics, and theories of literary style in 1994. He has also taught Greek and Latin Literature, Italian Literature, and History in Italian high schools, and developed a primary interest in the theory and analysis of poetry, especially related to music and the performing arts.

Colangelo’s research interests include: 1) subjectivity in poetry, and its relationships to poetic forms; 2) autobiography in twentieth-century literature; 3) the perception of Japanese culture and imagery in Italian modernity; 4) the most recent theories on meter, rhythm, and intonation, and their relationships with orality, vocality, and other anthropological issues; 5) the literary representation of labour, factories, the working class, and the ideological issues related to precariat and intangible capitalism.

Colangelo has been a Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor in Italy (Universities of Pavia, Milano Bicocca, Urbino, Trento), France (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III), Germany (Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Freie Universität Berlin), Belgium (Universiteit Gent), United States (Brown University, Providence; Indiana University, Bloomington; University of California, Los Angeles) and Japan (Senshu University in Tokyo, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto).

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