Gualberto Alvino is an italian philologist, literary critic and writer. Naked Truths had the opportunity to ask him 5 questions. Enjoy the reading!
#1. I read on your website the poem Humanitas from your poetry collection Da caccia, da séguita e da ferma; your list made me think that, nowadays, you could also include electronic elements as part of an extension and upgrading of the human body. In which direction, in your opinion, is the perception of ourselves evolving?
How can you perceive something being nothing more than that something? Anyway, I don’t see that anything is evolving. We regress. On every front.
#2. What does “body” mean?
Everything. We are nothing but this, as said in my text that you have (appropriately) mentioned in the first question.
# 3. The word, the reality, the body as vehicles for the message. In your life experience until today, what have you seen and how has it changed the relationship between these three elements?
I see a unicum (corporeal). The reality, or rather: the realities (as many as individuals), are inventions and projections of that unicum; the word is also a physical, material fact — or, as art critics say, materic —, integral part of the unicum. Regarding the «message», I always advise not to use this term: if you employ the word as a vehicle, you distort it. I am for expression. Against the communication. I am for the word not as a meaning but as an intent (much more rich and substantial than the so-called content-meaning).
#4. One of the main topics of Naked Truths is the use of the nude in art, communication and advertising. Where do you put the limit between “use” and “exploitation” of the body? When the naked body is art?
When an artist assumes it as the object of his work. But of course: there are no aesthetic or not aesthetic objects in itself: everything becomes aesthetic when it’s touched by the artist’s eye.
#5. In your activities as philologist and critic you approached authors like Antonio Pizzuto, Gesualdo Bufalino, Nanni Balestrini and Vincenzo Consolo. It’s also known that you collaborated with «Le reti di Dedalus» so I suppose you are also updated on the actual landscape of Italian poetry. Can you highlight the most obvious differences and similarities — on linguistic, conceptual, thematic levels — between the poetry of the last century and the current one? In simple terms: can you draw a vague line denoting the general evolution of relationship between the poet — the body —, the word and the reality that surrounds and crosses him?
Considering that it’s not about “periods” but about aesthetic value, I firmly believe that the poetry word is silent from the seventies of the twentieth century, which is configured as a doubly “brief” century. Since then decent poets and writers, sometimes even decorous, have emerged, and they continue to emerge from time to time, but nothing more. We forgotten the sacred distinction between antagonist literature (the only one that matters) and commercial writing, or entertainment literature, as used to say the (sometimes) great Benedetto Croce. The creative semi-desert implies of course also the critic one: we are reduced to Ferroni and Berardinelli, destined to be supplanted by rampant and verbose Cortellessas. You see. Regarding Trinity and Unity, I’ve already answered.