Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Un weekend postmoderno, Rimini, Altri libertini, Amnesia, Oblivion, Memory, Dissimulation, Lying, Andrea Pazienza
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Tondelli opens his Un weekend postmoderno. Cronache dagli anni Ottanta declaring an intention opposite to the display of amnesia. In the long table of contents of his book, he writes down everything, in an excruciating streaming of details, so that the table of content becomes an exhaustive index of names and ideas. Yet, hidden within the hundreds of analytical snapshots, one of its many characters mentions the importance of dissimulation. Dissimulation, according to Tondelli, hides what is known, to protect the dissimulator and to mask the truth. Also, amnesia is a voluntary practice that can be enacted in order to hide. The “I don’t remember” of the subject suffering from amnesia cannot always be separated by the act of dissimulation. The pair amnesia/dissimulation is not only understood as a means to protect oneself, but now also as the manifestation of the unconscious that reveals the subjects’ relationship with their desires.
According to Tondelli’s character, dissimulation is typical of the melancholic individual. Dissimulation is what I posit as one of the traits of Tondelli’s writing of Un weekend postmoderno, that is: he hides something in his pages by showing something else. Paradoxically then, he could also be hiding moments of amnesia in order to dodge a rooted sense of desperation and melancholy that cuts across the personal and the societal/political spheres that he experienced (for example the troubles with the censorship of Altri libertini, or the political scandals he evoked in Rimini). Is the excess of information an act of dissimulation? The exuberant prose that Tondelli chose to describe the exuberant Italian 1980s might then be a deceiving tool to describe the destitute decade with which – torn between repulsion and admiration – he decided to play a dangerous game.
Giannini, Stefano. “The Paradox of Amnesia: Tondelli’s Un Weekend Postmoderno.” Italian Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 195–198, 2013, pp. 79–92.
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