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The Unseen

4.41  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
For a brief but explosive period in the mid-seventies, the young, the unemployed and the homeless of Italy’s cities came together in an unexpectedly militant movement known simply as Autonomy. Against the austerity programmes and social discipline of the ruling Christian Democrats and their would-be partners in the Communist Party, the movement developed a “politics of ref ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published January 1st 1989 by Verso (first published 1988)
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Makis Dionis
Jan 08, 2017 Makis Dionis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Έπρεπε να αγωνιστούμε με τα μόνα όπλα που είχαμε στη διάθεσή μας. Η εξέγερση ήταν μία ξαφνική πυρκαγιά που είχε κάψει τα πάντα... για τις παρέες των δρόμων το βράδυ.. ένα γκράφιτι που δεν σταματά με σχέδια και φράσεις που ανακατεύονται αλληλεπικαλύπτονται πάνω σε όλους τους τοίχους ενάντια στα αφεντικά ενάντια στην παράνομη εργασία ενάντια στο γκέτο στην εκκλησία στο δήμαρχο στο συνδικάτο στην ηρωίνη στους φασίστες στους μπάτσους στους δικαστές στο κράτος στη φυλακή στη λιτότητα στην ανία
Jun 27, 2013 Troy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the novel I've been looking for.

the unseen is fast and furious and perfectly captures the excitement that's endemic to being part of a larger movement part of a larger group part of a scene that is bigger than you but that supports you and loves you and wants to change the world for the better

that's the way it's written with fast and punchy paragraphs that are devoid of punctuation but are filled with propulsion speeding you forward with a sense of everything-at-once and sense of fullnes
Karlo Mikhail
Mar 19, 2015 Karlo Mikhail rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A vivid, fast-paced account of the militant struggles of the youth, workers, and unemployed led by the Italian Autonomist Marxists in the 1970s.

The book gives us a slice of life of the people who were caught in the current of this powerful movement which stood up against the bourgeois state at a time when the official communist party and its politics of class collaboration could no longer serve as a channel of workers' resistance.

Nanni Balestrini's prose form of free flowing statements arrange
Dec 05, 2010 Julian rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. The lack of punctuation put me off at first, but after a while I really liked how dreamy and poetic it made the book. So much at stake, so much horror, so much defeat; yet to be in that whirlwind where it seems like everything is up in the air and the whole world could change in an instant--isn't that what we all really want?
Jul 24, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing
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This novel is perfect and essential. It has already been tragic that it remained out of print for so long, but it is even more tragic that it has yet to be considered the masterpiece of world literature that it is.
Jan 16, 2016 foxfire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so beautiful and devastating. I urge all of my friends to read it, if not for it's poetry than for the heavy lessons that can be gained from it.
Feb 17, 2012 Magdalena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this book if you want a breathtaking account of certain parts of the movements emerging and declining in 1970s Italy. Do not read this book if your about to go to jail.
Jacob Wren
Nanni Balestrini writes:

but look I told him I don’t know why but I sounded annoyed but you know I really can’t stand any more I really mean it that we’re still stuck here with this bullshit still with this bullshit about winning or losing and it seems to me that it’s always really been our big misfortune that every time we’ve thought the thing that mattered was basically just winning or losing when instead the things we’ve really done have never had anything to do with winning or losing it’s cle
Mar 07, 2016 Ron rated it it was ok
It's the rare book that I won't slug my way through, and I think this is the second I've encountered this week. I can hardly say that it's bad, owing to the leftist revolutionary sentiments being expressed. The book is exactly the sort of think I love, a fictional account of historic events that rings more true than the propaganda given to us by the media.

The problem lies wholly in the style. The book is without punctuation, but for wide paragraph breaks between little scenes. It is not exactly
Mar 30, 2016 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
intorno alla sede le strade sono percorse continuamente da gruppi di compagni la sera è animata vivace chiassosa per i nostri rumori le grida i canti la musica e colorata dai nostri giacconi le sciarpe le gonne i cappelli i muri sono ininterrotti graffiti disegni e scritte che si mescolano si sovrappongono su tutti i muri contro i padroni contro il lavoro nero contro tutti i lavori contro il ghetto contro il clero contro il sindaco contro il sindacato contro i partiti contro la giunta contro i m ...more
Shelley Ettinger
Sep 15, 2014 Shelley Ettinger rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! I wish I still had the time to keep up my blog because this book certainly deserves a posting but alas I don't think it's in the cards so I'll just say this is the kind of novel I dream of. It takes us right into the experience of the struggle in a way that's extremely rare. Bravo Balestrini! I'm working on ordering what I understand is his masterpiece, Vogliamo Tutti (We Want Everything), just published in the first English translation by an Australian press.
Jul 06, 2009 Don rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books that remains tragically out of print.

A chronicle of revolt and defeat in late 1970's Italy (the joys of occupying a school and the challenges of feminism, the disaster of 'armed struggle' and the bitter isolation of prison), it is written without punctuation but remains compelling and readable.

Are there any other novels that capture this period of history?
Jul 13, 2012 alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great, Balestrini doesn't succumb to the self-romanticising, 'glorious defeat' perspective you expect of leftist fiction and history, instead he describes the disintegration of a movement. The final part is devastating.
Daniel Burton-Rose
Sep 05, 2011 Daniel Burton-Rose rated it it was amazing
Intense evocation of the autonomist movement in Italy in the 1970s, from the perspective of an introspective incarcerated militant. Moving and thought-provoking.
Mike rated it it was amazing
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Panayotis Moutafidis rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2013
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Franco Vite
Franco Vite rated it it was amazing
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Keegan Swenson rated it it was amazing
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Nanni Balestrini is an Italian experimental poet, author and visual artist of the Neoavanguardia movement.
Nanni Balestrini is associated with the Italian writers movement Neoavanguardia. He wrote for the magazine Il Verri, co-directed Alfabeta and was one of the Italian writers publishing 1961 in the anthology I Novissimi. During the 1960s, the group was growing and becoming the Gruppo 63, Balestr
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