This article examines the experimental realism that Aldo Nove has adopted in two recent poetry collections, A schemi di costellazioni (2010) and Addio mio Novecento (2014).
These works similarly feature a time in which personal memories intertwine with geological elements. In doing so, they seemingly mark a break with Nove’s previous poetry and prose, concerned with a disturbing representation of late-capitalist lifestyle. I argue, though, that Nove’s cosmological poetry ushers in a new stage of the author’s material and visionary realism. His recent poetry represents the “material complexity” of the Anthropocene, while suggesting playful ethics of non-hierarchical coexistence with nonhuman agents. Nove retraces these perspectives of co-survival to the oft-forgotten origin of western thought, which—beginning with the Milesian School—is surprisingly rooted in the recognition of nature as the generative principle of life and meaning.
At a metaliterary level, Nove’s twenty-first century realism marks a farewell to the twentieth-century tradition, while foreseeing new stylistic and thematic possibilities for Italian poetry. The author repurposes the polemic materialism of the avant-gardes and the anti-realist poetics of the “parola innamorata” into a thought-provoking reflection on the meaning of playful care in the troubled epoch of the Anthropocene.