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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The neoavanguardia ("New Vanguard") was an avant-garde Italian literary movement, characterized by a strong push towards formal experimentation in language. Authors involved include Nanni Balestrini, Edoardo Sanguineti, Umberto Eco, Antonio Porta, Elio Pagliarani, Alfredo Giuliani, Giorgio Manganelli, Luigi Malerba, Germano Lombardi, Francesco Leonetti, Alberto Gozzi, Massimo Ferretti, Franco Lucentini, Amelia Rosselli and Lello Voce among others.

Neoavanguardia poets, inspired by modernist English language writers such as Ezra Pound and TS Eliot, were opposed to the crepuscolarismo (intimistic view) which had characterized Italian poetry in the 20th century, and, above all, to what they defined as neo-capitalistic language. The result was a quasi-parodistic language that often led to meaningless verses (non-significanza) and the so-called "art as a plaything in itself."

The movement originated as the Gruppo '63, which was founded in a hotel at Solunto, near Palermo, mostly by writers who had collaborated with the Il Verri literary magazine. The conference included a theatre spectacle on works by Balestrini and Sanguineti among others. The appearance of the movement spurred fierce polemics in the Italian literary world: they were accused of being "irrational formalists", dangerous Marxist revolutionaries, "late Futurists", "a vanguard of the rearguard", or the creators of a "renewed Arcadia."

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