[NetBehaviour] A Laughter That Will Bury You All.

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Jun 10 19:52:25 CEST 2009

A Laughter That Will Bury You All.

Irony as Protest and Language as Struggle in the Italian 1977 Movement.

Patrick G. Cuninghame.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of the Italian ‘‘1977 Movement’’ in
its conflict with the grey, humourless political system was its use of
irony to ridicule its opponents. Irony was central to the identity of
the movement and its cultural and political break with the institutional
old and vanguardist new lefts. Its use, particularly by the
‘‘Metropolitan Indians’’, the transversalists and other ‘‘creatives’’,
marked a social revolt by mainly marginalized young people, who invented
a new political counter-culture based on linguistic experimentation in
circumstances far from the optimism of 1968. The paper, based directly
on primary sources from the movement and on interviews with former
participants, reassesses a movement usually characterized as ‘‘violent’’
by Italianist social history. It concludes that the movement’s ‘‘ironic
praxis’’ contributed to a fundamental change in Italian society in the
late seventies and has influenced the political style of contemporary
alterglobalist and anti-capitalist movements.


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list