Gianrico Carofiglio
La nuova manomissione delle parole (Manumitting Words - New Edition)
An essay, Feltrinelli, November 2021, 160 pages

Words, in their public and private use, are often disfigured, sometimes maliciously, sometimes unconsciously.
An irreplaceable political book that points out the wounds of our language, but also indicates the possible ways of its liberation.

Rosa Luxemburg used to say that calling a spade a spade is a revolutionary gesture. In times like ours, when democracy is faltering and the public sphere must contain the labyrinthine channels of social media, the use of words can produce drastic transformations of reality. Through language, the power of manipulation and mystification is exercised. Therefore words must once again adhere to things.
Manipulation, of course, means damage. But in Roman law it meant the liberation of slaves. This book measures itself against that ambivalence: of our language indicates the deformations, but also the possibility of words regaining their authentic meaning. This is the necessary condition for a public discourse that is open and inclusive.
La manomissione delle parole appeared in its first edition eleven years ago. It was another era and, at the same time, it was the beginning of this era. The language was that of Berlusconi’s rise, which became the premise for new manipulation. Therefore, the text has been historicized and updated with the new twists in language produced by the populist advance.
There are six pillars of the civil lexicon that this anarchic and courageous guide rediscovers: shame, justice, rebellion, beauty, choice, people. Starting with these key words, Gianrico Carofiglio constructs a profound and revealing itinerary through the meanders of language and its public use. In a free and rigorous journey through literature, ethics and politics, from Aristotle to Bob Marley, we discover the tools to give words back their original meaning and power. Saving words from tampering today means being free citizens.



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), La disciplina di Penelope (Penelope’s Discipline, 2021) and Rancore (Resentment, 2022). 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), Della gentilezza e del coraggio (On Kindness and Courage, 2020), La nuova manomissione delle parole (2021) and L’ora del caffè (Coffe Time, 2022). 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

Penelope Spada novels


Short stories collections


· · · · · ·

Per una migliore esperienza di navigazione il nostro sito fa uso di cookies. Cliccando su “Accetta”, scorrendo la pagina o continuando la navigazione accetti la nostra cookies policy maggiori informazioni

Questo sito utilizza i cookie per fornire la migliore esperienza di navigazione possibile. Continuando a utilizzare questo sito senza modificare le impostazioni dei cookie o cliccando su "Accetta" permetti il loro utilizzo.