Gianrico Carofiglio, La manomissione delle parole
Gianrico Carofiglio
La manomissione delle parole (Manumitting Words)
Rizzoli 2010, 192 pages

Manumitting Words is an extraordinary literary essay about the power of language and its manipulation for tyrannical purposes. The essay aims to “rescue” five fundamental words from the civil lexicon: shame, justice, rebellion, beauty, and choice.

Words are for communication, for telling stories. But they also have the power to effect very real transformations. If we use them carelessly, unwittingly, or if we manipulate them with devious intent, they lose their meaning. When this happens, words need to be examined and rehabilitated—restored to their original veracity. In this exceptional book, Carofiglio’s analysis—literary, political, and ethical all at once—is illustrated by surprising and intriguing combinations: from Aristotle to Hannah Arendt, Cicero to George Orwell, Dante to Bob Dylan, ancient idioms to the vernacular of contemporary media. “The first revolutionary move is to call things by their real names” said Rosa Luxemburg a century ago. Today, as Carofiglio shows us, rethinking language with this goal in mind requires imagining an entirely new way of life.

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 and non 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), La manomissione delle parole (Manumitting Words, 2010), 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, Con parole precise (With exact words, 2015), Passeggeri notturni (Night Passengers, 2016), Le tre del mattino (Three O’Clock in the Morning, 2017), and the pamphlet Con i piedi nel fango (Feet in the Mud, 2018). Many titles are also audiobooks, read by the author. In 2020 was released L’avvocato Guerrieri, Gianrico Carofiglio’s first audio-series. Gianrico Carofiglio’s multi-award winner and best selling books are translated into 27 languages worldwide.

“A work of lexical renovation.”
la Repubblica

Foreign publishers of Gianrico Carofiglio’s works
Albania: Fjala
Argentina: El Ateneo
Australia and New Zealand: Text Publishing
Austria: Folio Verlag
Bosnia: Buybook
Brazil: Editora Jaboticaba
Czech Republic: Host
Denmark: HR Ferdinand
Ethiopia: Soomaalyia
Finland: Kustannus Moreeni
France: Payot e Rivages, Seuil, Slatkine
Germany: Goldmann, Folio Verlag, Scoventa
Greece: Alexandria, Modern Times
Israel: Achuzat Bayit Books
Japan: Bungei ShunJu
Kenya: Soomaalyia
Lithuania: Homo liber
Mexico: Urano
The Netherlands: Prometheus
Poland: W.A.B. Foksal
Portugal: Porto Editora
Romania: Leda
Russia: Inostranka
Somalia: Soomaalyia
Spain (Castilian): Urano, La Esfera de los Libros
Spain (Catalan): Edicions 62
Sweden: Schibsted, Forum
Switzerland (French): Slatkine
Tanzania: Soomaalyia
Turkey: Neden Kitap
Uganda: Soomaalyia
UK: Bitter Lemon Press, Old Street Publishing
US: Thomas Dunne, Rizzoli International
Vietnam: Nhã Nam

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