Bet Giorgio Manganelli

One hundred years after his birth, two volumes recall the writer of “Centuria” and “Lettetarura come menzogna”, the one who “with his” unverifiable “propositions and” meaningless “statements, invented inexhaustible universes”

Although a “narrativity without narration” was a possibility that attracted him, precipitated by that Sternian idea of ​​literature that with its airy purity crossed all European literature reaching him, Giorgio Manganelli never seemed to want to limit himself to “telling without having anything to tell “. And if with the last book of him, Commendation of the tyrant, he has achieved the purpose of writing something by saying nothing, not even with it Manganelli seems to have obtained a reply to the question that asks how can, and at what price, an author try to grasp what is not said. Moreover, it is a question asked only to make the absence of an answer more explicit, since the way in which an author lets his unspoken he appear without formulating it inevitably defines the rank of everything he says. In this sense it can be argued – Giorgio Agamben recently noted, a philosopher to whom Manganelli pays attention on several occasions, coming with joy of love reciprocated – that “in every book there is a center to move away from which – to leave it unspoken and indelibato, even if it bears witness to it in some way – it has been written ”.

Manganelli explains the meaning of this aposiopesis, reticence, surrounding it with an ideally infinite harvest of words, constituting a rhetorical system that presents itself as a way that associates nouns and adjectives, so that the former can blossom “in the marshy jungle of expression”, to in turn traversed by “certain graceful irrational leaps, not reducible to statistics, wonderfully vital and disturbing”. A mysterious, emblematic epiphany of words, clustered in heterogeneous meanings would then constitute the plot of literature, as a universal artifice that “possesses and governs nothingness” to the extent that it is possessed by it.

As Michele Mari notes in one of the contributions collected in the latest issue of Riga 44. Giorgio Manganelli, (ed. By A. Cortellessa and M. Belpoliti, Quodlibet, Macerata 2022, pp. 514, euro 26) dedicated to Manganelli, if one of the strongest aesthetic principles is the correspondence between the thing and the form.If we accept the manganellian conviction according to which it is illogical to suppose that the universe exists, since the nothingness is much more reasonable, it would be necessary to recognize as realistic that literature that aims to inventorying the void touched by words, which would therefore assume the value of a “relic”, offering themselves to be read as a “present sign of a dead thing”. Here is an explanation – suggests, proposing a comparison with Landolfi, Mariarosa Bricchi, also on “Riga” – Manganelli’s attitude to have a certain trade with obsolete words, chosen not out of homage to sterile purism, but because they are capable of evoking what lies hidden and lifeless “in the womb of language”, where “an interview with ghosts” takes place, which are not to be understood as allusive terror visions, but as a lack. Indeed, “absence is the nucleus of phantasmic life”.

For this reason, anyone who intends to commemorate Manganelli today, one hundred years after his birth, rather than merely speculating the pages of novels, poems, anthological collections or the great harvest of unpublished works, should take care of his memory for comment (and commentum in Latin means “Fiction” and “invention”). This is what Andrea Cortellessa proposes to do in “Philology fantastic. Hypothesize, Manganelli ”, just published by Argolibri. After the twenty-six small manganellian monographs collected in “The book is elsewhere” (Sossella, 2020), Cortellessa (to whom, with Marco Belpoliti, we also owe the care of the Manga-files of “Riga”: of the one already mentioned and of the appeared in 2006 for Marcos y Marcos) returns to reflect on Manganelli with the resources that come to him even more than from following “marginal itineraries” and “smooth textual tunnels”, from permeating the acribia of the philologist with the sagacity of the deducer, in order to restore the image of the author of “Hilarotragoedia” under the sign of the “summary and symbolic description of a series of moves”: of a conjecture, of a speculation that exposes the work of Manganelli (and his own figure) to an infinite interrogation, an asymptotic tension towards the effectiveness of all possible hypotheses. This happens in the first place by virtue of a hermeneutic mimicry, if not of authentic imitatio, which adheres to the text, leaving it “almost naked for the purpose of deceiving”, in the awareness that “his language was almost ours”, but that now it can no longer be. In fact – observes Cortellessa -, not belonging, for Manganelli, the true / false alternative to literature, this could only sink into itself, so as to lay the foundations for finally getting out of it – if only it could.

Literature as conceived by Manganelli, with its “unverifiable” propositions and “meaningless” statements, invents inexhaustible universes from which it would be possible to move away only to pass into others, so that the constant, lacerating compulsion to repeat would remove any hope of truce, and not even death could pacify, resolve, conclude; indeed, “perhaps death is the ruling verb without which all propositions lose their meaning”: the non-ineffable of literature, its being, in the strict and original sense of the term, “fable”, consigns it to a language of the simulacrum that stages a saying that affirms everything simultaneously and endlessly simulates the opposite of what it says.

What Manganelli writes about every commemoration that saw him as a protagonist follows this same logic, and his consequent proposal to celebrate, on the contrary, his own “wager”. This rite, in that fifth of my life that was and still is Piazza Cardinal Ferrari, where, as we learn from the affectionate biography written by his daughter Lietta, “Giorgio Manganelli. Waiting for hell to start working “(La Nave di Teseo), the writer lived in his Milanese childhood, I often officiated at it too, wondering what was the” still existing “house in which Manganelli had lived, and at which should perhaps be assigned the same statute that he hypothesized belonged to the Usher House of Poe: that of a fantasy that welcomes and solidifies in itself parody and terror without creating dissonance, and which therefore lends itself to being the object of a liturgy, or d’un mysterion.

Bet Giorgio Manganelli