Novecento, Alessandro Baricco’s book becomes an NFT
Novecento, Alessandro Baricco’s book becomes an NFT

Novecento, Alessandro Baricco’s book becomes an NFT

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 17 Jan 2022

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Italian writer Alessandro Baricco is launching one of his most famous works, Novecento, in NFT format. 

Alessandro Baricco relaunches Novecento as an NFT

An audio version of Novecento has been recorded on the blockchain and will go on sale from next March on OpenSea. The work is entitled “Novecento. The Source Code”.

It is the first literary work by an Italian author in NFT format

Contributing to the creation of the work on the blockchain are Serena Tabacchi, who took care of the technical supervision and is curator, director and co-founder of the MoCDA Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Digitale), Bruno Pitzalis, an expert in crypto art and communication, and Massimo Franceschet, an expert in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. 

This is how the author, Alessandro Baricco, described this adventure: 

”There is something happening today, and it is happening in the quadrant formed by these four points: blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DAO. There’s something in there that’s probably going to change our lives a lot, like what happened ten years ago with apps, for example. So I said to myself: I want to get inside that quadrant and the best way to see what was in there was to do an NFT. It seemed to me that no one had done that with literature and that also appealed to me a lot, to shake up the cards a bit in my literary production world, which are still very old. With the help of some experts, I produced this NFT, which is both a new chapter in The Game and yet another chapter in my story with that of Novecento, which is probably the source code for all my work”.

Alessandro Baricco
Alessandro Baricco

The work

Novecento is a monologue that tells the story of Danny Boodmann T. D. Lemon Novecento, a pianist who spends his entire life on the Virginian ocean liner. Abandoned by his parents on the ship, he is found by one of the members of the orchestra. He falls in love with music and starts playing the piano.

He never leaves the ship, although his talent soon makes him a successful pianist. His story ends with the fate of the ship, which is destined to be blown up at the end of the Second World War and from which Novecento stubbornly does not want to get off.

The book was first published in 1994. In 1998, director Giuseppe Tornatore turned it into the film The Legend of 1900. Now it is preparing for a new life in the world of blockchain and NFTs.  

Alessandro Baricco’s innovation

NFTs are becoming the new frontier of digital art. Up until now, however, it has been images, videos and, in some cases, music that have dominated. Novecento, on the other hand, is a book that has marked the history of Italian literature. There are few cases of books being transformed into NFTs. A few books in ebook format can be seen on marketplaces, sold as non-fungible tokens, but it is safe to say that the world of NFTs for literature has yet to be explored. 

Alessandro Baricco is destined to pave the way for a new way of experiencing literature and appreciating books. 


Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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