(ANSA) – ROME, MARCH 19 – MARCO VENTURA, ‘IL FUORUSCITO’, (PIEMME, pp. 303, EURO 19.50) Marco Ventura, born in 1960, journalist, writer, TV author, former war correspondent for the ‘Giornale ‘ by Montanelli, in this book traces the life of the Jewish publisher Angelo Fortunato Formíggini, from Modena, a pivotal figure in the cultural life of the 1920s and 1930s. Formíggini was the first suicide against the racial laws and the persecutions of the fascist regime. Volcanic, ironic, unconventional and totally avant-garde personality with respect to the times; he was one of the fathers of Italian publishing: happiness, he claimed, was making beautiful books. Ventura highlights the extreme creativity of this visionary intellectual, a man of brilliant intuitions, coined the word ‘publishing’, conceived ‘talking postcards’, photos of writers with a printed motto, somehow anticipating social media and Instagram, created the ‘circulating library’ to spread reading. Formíggini was known internationally, and in contact with writers of the caliber of Benedetto Croce, James Joyce, Corrado Alvaro, Giovanni Pascoli.
Formíggini set up the ‘Casa del Laughing’, a vast collection of materials on humor and it was he who conceived the Italian Encyclopedia, whose authorship was snatched from him by Giovanni Gentile.
Formíggini killed himself by jumping from the Torre della Ghirlandina in Modena, the bell tower of the cathedral, the highest in Italy. It was November 29, 1938. A political gesture, as he himself wrote to his wife: ‘I cannot renounce what I consider my precise duty. I have to demonstrate the evil absurdity of racist measures’. He leapt from the tower shouting ‘Italy!, Italy!, Italy!’. In ‘Il fuoruscito’ we read: ‘Even if the death I have chosen is not the one I would have wanted, it is not death in silence and in the shadows. My death, on the other hand, will be noisy. It is the last tribute, the last gift, that I give to my beloved country.’ (HANDLE).