The Under 25 Project

(1985 - 1991)

The "Progetto Under 25" was launched in 1985 and was an immediate success in terms of participation. By December 31st of that year, the deadline for participating in the first volume, four hundred texts had arrived at the publishing house - which later put out the three anthologies under the name Transeuropa - and another hundred arrived in early 1986.
The initiative also found a priveliged place of popularisation in several magazines ("Rockstar", "Reporter", "Fare Musica", "Annabella", and "Linus"). As well, Tondelli wrote a series of somewhat didactic articles for "Linus" on the necessity of participating, they were included in "Un weekend postmoderno" [A Post-modern Weekend].
Present in these writings is a definition of "didactics of writing", understood not only as an exercise, but essentially as a possibility of expression and communication.
The main points of these indications can be divided into three studies : 1) writing as an expression of personal experience ; 2) rewriting as a stylistic exercise ; 3) background reading for expressive enrichment. It is important to emphasise that, from the writer's point of view, publication is not the culmination of writing but rather its incentive or a proving ground. It becomes the final check. The possibility to compare oneself with the written page, with the judgement of a potential reader and with the mechanisms of communication. It is the final act, not the end of the project.
The invitation offered by Tondelli to youngsters was to develop their own creativity through the instrument of literature without presuming to be writers. In fact, Tondelli pointed out, " ... our goal is, and always will be, to let young people talk".
One point always emphasised was to never consider a text as absolute ; writing is a continuous exercise that is subject to modification. In this sense, Tondelli suggested, " ... do not be afraid to throw things out. Rewrite every page until you are satisfied. You will realise that each word can be substituted with another. So, by choosing, working, rewriting and cutting you will have already arrived at the heart of your novel".
The first volume, "Giovani Blues" [Young Blues], came out in May of 1986 and presented the stories of Andrea Canobbio, Andrea Lassandri, Roberto Pezzuto, Giuliana Caso, Paola Sansone, Rory Cappelli, Alessandra Bruschi, Giancarlo Visconvich, Claudio Camarca, Vittorio Cozzolino and Gabriele Romagnoli. The underlying theme was " ... a juvenile condition competing between mediocrity and adventure, a lightweight condition or at the most sweet-and-sour, never desperate or tragic ... ".
The second volume, "Belli & perversi" [Beautiful & Perverse], was published in December of 1987 and presented the stories of Andrea Mancinelli, Francesco Silbano, Romolo Bugaro, Giuseppe Borgia, Renato Menegat, Andrea Demarchi and Tonino Sennis. There was no precise theme but certainly there was more attention paid to "the literary aspects of the proposal".
The third volume, "Papergang", was published in November of 1990 and presented the stories of Silvia Ballestra, Guido Conti, Raffaella Venarucci, Giuseppe Culicchia, Alessandro Comoglio, Frediano Tavano, Ageliki Riganatou and Andrea Zanardo that gave rise "to a different volume than the preceding ones, certainly more reflexive ... ".
For each volume, Tondelli had: chosen the texts ; written the introduction to the stories ; and added comments as a reflection and a check on the real intention and evolution of the project.

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