Peter Valente

Funeral rites

On Nanni Balestrini's 'Blackout'

Nanni Balestrini’s Blackout is a requiem for the generation of 1968, whose hopes and ideals were exhausted by the time of the poem’s composition in 1979. The original impetus for the poem was the blackout in New York on July 13, 1977, that lasted for twenty-five hours and drew widespread media attention due to countless episodes of violence and looting. 

To understand Italy one must understand the United States. — Sylvère Lotringer / Christian Marazzi 

Peter Valente

Introduction and translation of Nerval's essay 'Le Diable Rouge'

[With the help of Henri Delaage (a well-known figure in the nineteenth century among the “initiated” in Paris) and some illustrators (including the famous Nadar, who was a designer before becoming a photographer), Gerard de Nerval composed the journal Le Diable Rouge, which was meant to be a “Cabalistic Almanac for 1850.” Le Diable Rouge inaugurated Nerval’s “Republican” period, the one that would see him, in 1850, publishing in Le National, the great daily organ of the Left.

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