Realism beyond Mimesis: Massimo Bontempelli's Novecentismo

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Simona Storchi


Following the theorization conducted in the field of the visual arts, Bontempelli retrieved the notion of "realism" as an antidote to the experience of the avant-garde, not only in relation to avant-garde formal radicalism, but also in terms of the envisaged role of the artist in the new epoch. While in the visual arts the post-war "return to order" took the form of the elaboration of a realism which Massimo Carrà defines as the result of "una meditazione di tipo umanistico sulla convivenza possibile fra fenomenico ed assoluto, emozione e razionalità, sensazione e idea," Bontempelli's version of realism was strictly related to a specific mode of literary production - journalistic writing - and operated a shift from an emphasis on poetics to an emphasis on modes of production, distribution and reception.

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Storchi, S. (2016). Realism beyond Mimesis: Massimo Bontempelli’s Novecentismo. Spunti E Ricerche, 19(1), 107–121. Retrieved from