Gianrico Carofiglio
Della gentilezza e del coraggio (Of Kindness and Courage)
Feltrinelli, an essay, September 2020, 128 pages

N°1 bestseller

“I am fraternally grateful to Carofiglio for facing a war that I am deserting.” Michele Serra, la Repubblica

“At the end, you might feel like calling an old friend you had a fight with, not to forgive them or because you’re suddenly good, but to win once and for all, finally aware of your weapons: philosophy, law and the yielding elegance of reason.” Nadia Terranova, la Repubblica

“The practice of kindness does not mean escaping conflict. On the contrary, it means accepting it, giving it rules, making it a tool of possible progress and not an event of destruction.”

Legend has it that a Japanese physician once observed that, unlike the other trees in his garden, the branches of the weeping willow did not snap under the weight of the snow. Instead of remaining rigid, they simply yielded to their burden, letting the snow slide off their branches. Their strength lay not in opposing the force of the snow but in embracing it and consequently defusing it. He applied this principle to martial arts and ju-jitsu was born.

It is this same philosophy of yielding, effortlessness and grace that writer Gianrico Carofiglio brings together in the word kindness, presenting it as an alternative response to counter-attack in the field of modern politics. As a way of disempowering your opponent and thereby defusing an aggressive situation. Kindness becomes a powerful weapon that creates instead of destroying. 

A powerful ally of kindness is courage: the courage to ask questions that engender more questions, the courage to accept a state of uncertainty which keeps your mind open and flexible, rather than cast-iron certainty which shuts off any hope of progress and possibilities. The courage to demand transparency and accountability in politics. In other words, the courage to be a mindful, responsible citizen and not a subject. Last, but not least, the courage of humour and self-deprecation.

Della gentilezza e del coraggio is a compendium of principles and methods for the practice of politics and civic responsibility, to encourage a society of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. Written with Gianrico Carofiglio’s trademark incisiveness and lexical precision, it is a book that subverts assumptions and challenges limitations. A book that never claims to provide the answers but, instead, champions the art of questioning. A must-have mini-manual for the thinking citizen – and politician.

Read a few chapters translated in English by Katherine Gregor (PDF)

Gianrico Carofiglio

Gianrico Carofiglio was born in Bari and has worked for many years as a prosecutor specializing in organized crime. He was appointed advisor of the anti-Mafia committee in the Italian Parliament in 2007 and served as a senator from 2008 to 2013. He is the author of the novels featuring the character of the defense lawyer Guido Guerrieri: Testimone inconsapevole (Involuntary Witness, 2002), Ad occhi chiusi (A Walk in the Dark, 2003, Best International Noir of the year 2007 in Germany), Ragionevoli dubbi (Reasonable Doubts, 2006), Le perfezioni provvisorie (Temporary Perfections, 2010, Premio Selezione Campiello), La regola dell’equilibrio (A Fine Line, 2014), La misura del tempo (The Measure of Time, 2019, Premio Strega 2020 finalist). Officer of the Carabinieri Pietro Fenoglio is the protagonist of another series of novels: Una mutevole verità (A Shifting Truth, 2014, Premio Scerbanenco), L’estate fredda (The Cold Summer, 2016), La versione di Fenoglio (Fenoglio’s Version, 2019).
Among his fiction works: Il passato è una terra straniera (The Past is a Foreign Land, 2004, Premio Bancarella 2005), adapted into an internationally awarded film, Né qui né altrove (Neither Here Nor Elsewhere. A Night in Bari, 2009), Non esiste saggezza (There is No Wisdom, 2010, 2020), Il silenzio dell’onda (The Silence of the Wave, 2011, finalist for Premio Strega 2012), Il bordo vertiginoso delle cose (The Vertiginous Edge of Things, 2013), La casa nel bosco (The House in the Woods, 2014), written with his brother Francesco, Passeggeri notturni (Night Passengers, 2016), Le tre del mattino (Three O’Clock in the Morning, 2017) and La disciplina di Penelope (Penelope’s Discipline, 2021). Among his non-fiction books: La manomissione delle parole (Manumitting Words, 2010), Con parole precise (With exact words, 2015), Con i piedi nel fango (Feet in the Mud, 2018) and Della gentilezza e del coraggio (On Kindness and Courage, 2020). Many titles are also audiobooks, read by the author. In 2020 was released L’avvocato Guerrieri, Gianrico Carofiglio’s first audio-series. He has a podcast with his daughter Giorgia, called Coffee for Two. Gianrico Carofiglio’s multi-award winner and best selling books are translated into 27 languages worldwide.

Download here Gianrico Carofiglio rights catalogue.

 

Guido Guerrieri novels

Pietro Fenoglio novels

Novels

Short stories collections

Essays

“I am fraternally grateful to Carofiglio for facing a war that I am deserting.” Michele Serra, la Repubblica

“At the end, you might feel like calling an old friend you had a fight with, not to forgive them or because you’re suddenly good, but to win once and for all, finally aware of your weapons: philosophy, law and the yielding elegance of reason.” Nadia Terranova, la Repubblica

Foreign rights sold in
France: Les Arènes

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