Podcast: “Slightly More Than Expected from a Band of Novelists: On How and Why a Group of Writers Called Wu Ming Set to Disrupt Italian (nay, European) Literature and Popular Culture (and then Came to Boston to Brag About It)”

Wu Ming 1 is a founding member and representative of the Wu Ming Foundation, a collective of writers from Italy. Most members of the collective were deeply involved in the Luther Blissett Project, an international experiment in culture jamming, radical pranksterism and guerrilla mythology that ran from 1994 to 1999. During that time, a group of LBP activists wrote a controversial novel titled Q, which was published to much acclaim in 1999. In January 2000 the authors of Q founded the Wu Ming Foundation, which takes its name from a Chinese word meaning either “anonymous” or “five names” depending on how the first syllable is pronounced. The name is meant both as a tribute to dissidents (“Wu Ming” is a common byline among Chinese citizens demanding democracy and freedom of speech) and as a refusal of the celebrity-making machine which turns authors into stars.

 
 

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