Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

California Italian Studies

California Italian Studies banner

“La poesia dopo la fine della poesia”: Visionary Realism and the Ethics of Playful Care in Aldo Nove's Twenty-First Century Poetry


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.


Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View