EXPIRED: 05/18/10 – Edoardo Sanguineti, 79, used to say that the role of the poet is, in some way, to help explain the world. Who the hell would want that job?
Sanguineti, for one. He was a poet. And a critic and an intellectual whose playful use of language made him an important neo-avant-garde figure on Italy’s 1960s literary scene.
In the early 1960s, Sanguineti founded “Gruppo 63,” in which experimental poetry explored what he considered the “dissolution” of daily language.
He was also a former Communist lawmakers in Parliament from 1979-1983 who liked to call himself “the last Marxist.”
Sanguineti, who was born in Genoa, was an expert on Dante, and taught literature at several Italian universities, wrote plays and essays as well as poems. His first book of poetry, “Laborintus,” was published in 1956, and he went on to publish several more volumes, as well as two novels. Many Italians, including his longtime publisher, called him a “stubborn and intelligent critical conscience of our time.”
He went into a hospital in Genoa for an abdominal aneurysm and never came out.