Eros Alesi (1951-1971) is the author of a brief and fragmented diary which at first glance some readers might be inclined to dismiss as nothing more than one young man’s confession; but growing up in and around European cities in the Sixties were thousands of young people who had come to a starkly simple conclusion: if life (or ‘tae choose life’ as Irvine Welsh would put it) means nothing but drudgery and crushed expectations, then death is preferable. In its raw immediacy, Alesi’s account of his shipwrecked search for a new, adult identity paints a much more accurate portrait of life in metropolitan Italy than most would suspect, and shows the beginnings of an awareness of poetic form.
Alesi belonged to the generation that was introduced to the concept of derangement as a pathway to self-knowledge and spirituality by the works of what we have reductively come to know as the Beat writers. Allen Ginsberg’s Hydrogen Jukebox, translated into Italian by Fernanda Pivano and published in 1965, had jump-started a revolution in poetic language that seemed connected through huge feedback loops to changes in the perception of the self.
– from Cristina Viti’s Introduction in MPT Series 3/3 Metamorphoses