The debate on literature and the arts provoked by the Italian neoavant-garde (neoavanguardia) is undoubtedly one of the most animated and controversial the country has witnessed from World War II to the present. Comprising the period between the late 1950s and the late 1960s, the phenomenon of theneoavanguardiainvolved key writers, critics, and artists, both as insiders - Sanguineti, Balestrini, Guglielmi, Eco, and others - and adversaries such as Pasolini, Calvino, and Moravia.
InThe New Avant-Garde in Italy- the first book in English to document the movement - John Picchione's objective is twofold: to provide a comprehensive analysis of the theoretical tenets that inform the works of theneoavanguardiaand to show how they are applied to the poetic practices of its authors. Theneoavanguardiacannot, Picchione argues, be defined as a movement with a unified program expressed in the form of manifestos or shared theoretical principles. It experiences irreconcilable internal conflicts that are explored as a split between two main blocs - one that is tied to the project of modernity, the other to post-modern aesthetic postures. This study suggests that some of the contentious views proposed by theneoavanguardiaanticipated a wide range of issues that continue to be significant and pressing to this day.