1860 and subsequent years told without rhetoric and without stereotypes.
Enrico Fagnano is an author and a cultural organizer, passionate about poetry and history. He dedicates heart and soul to the spread of culture in a dynamic way. Therefore he is in a constant evolution. Probably Luciano De Crescenzo would have defined him as a “uomo d’amore” (a man of love), because, as an authentic Neapolitan, he is a socially prominent person. In fact, as an author, he does not spend time writing books with the sole aim of earning money but takes the field in person to spread the beauty that belongs to the word in its various forms: from the written word to the represented one, from the word read to the inhabited word.
Fagnano communicates culture, creates culture, by sharing knowledge and promoting other authors.
During his career he has founded and edited several literary associations and magazines and was vice president of the Dante Alighieri Society of Napoli. Its activity of cultural diffusion unfolds, with great success, in readings, spectacle of poetic texts, and interventions in bookstores; in the artistic and literary circuits; and in Neapolitan theaters.
In 2000 he founded the Laboratorio Permanente di Poesia (Permanent Laboratory of Poetry), which is still active today and which he deals with in parallel with La Parola Abitata (The Inhabited Word), another cultural association of which he is president and for which he directs the editorial series named I Sedicesimi (The sixteenths). The association organizes meetings and reviews and offers the possibility to download the published books for free. There is also a YouTube channel called Laboratoriopoesiana and which presents interventions and readings by Fagnano himself and others associated with La Parola Abitata. You can find the links at the end of the article.
Alongside all this, Enrico Fagnano is also the editor of Radio Spazio Popolare. He has collaborated with well-known Neapolitan radio broadcasters and with the most important newspapers in Napoli.
He is present in several anthologies and his texts have been hosted in numerous magazines. Until now he has published mostly books of fiction and poetry. However, he never stopped cultivating his interest in the history of Napoli and Southern Italy. In fact, once he ascertained the real historical facts prior and subsequent to the unification of Italy, he felt the need to publish a book.
Yes, it’s true, many books have already been published about it. This is a theme that has been in fashion for some years. However, Fagnano’s volume stands out in its completeness; in objectivity; in the choice of sources and citations; and in the way of exposing the facts that he describes with the objective eye of the chronicler. It is a book without rancor. It was written for the sole purpose of spreading truth and awareness.
The book is titled La Storia dell’Italia Unita (The History of United Italy) and for the above reasons it is gaining so much acclaim that it obscures even the author’s most recent works.
Fagnano is always in contact with his readers, personally and through the web, many of whom, while not expecting this type of book, have begun to read it, commenting positively on social media, and thus contributing to its incredible dissemination.
La Storia dell’Italia Unita consists of 12 chapters that address the economic aspects but also the bloody and painful events related to the people, to their resistance, to their revolt, therefore to the phenomenon of “brigantaggio” (banditry). It is a book that should be adopted in schools throughout Italy to be read equally in the South and in the North because it deals with our history, and that means, with the history of Italy. It is an in-depth work that clarifies the reasons and circumstances that led to the unification of Italy. It tells how this really happened; and what happened after the birth of the new kingdom.
All issues are treated with impartiality, documenting and citing studies, statistics and statements by well-known historians, philosophers and politicians who were openly anti-Bourbon. Therefore they were anything but biased.
Fagnano collection of books, newspapers and lifelong articles was concentrated in 2020, during the pandemic, a period in which he devoted himself to drafting the text which he then published on Amazon just a year later.
The process of unification of the Italian territory was a real invasion, which saw the exploitation of the lands belonging to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies which from 1840 experienced a notable progress in industrialization, thanks to Ferdinand II and his economic policy which also attracted foreign capital. While, the Kingdom of Sardinia, which included Piedmont, already after the First War of Independence, was heavily indebted to the British banks of the “multinational“ family of the Rothshild, and needed a way to cover the budget’ gap.
There were many interests on the part of England and other “Europeisti (pro Europe) and there were various reasons and circumstances that led to the annexation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the new kingdom.
The lands kissed by the Mediterranean, as they say in Napoli, “teneno ‘o zucchero” (they’re like covered of sugar). Finding themselves in a flourishing period and being inhabited by a people, at least at the time, strong in soul and proud, they were lands difficult to manage.
This was roughly the attitude of the north towards us: “Padrone ‘e casa jesce fore!” (landlord go out from your place). Under the pretext of the fantastic patriotic history and the thought of national unity, the process of birth of the new kingdom was initiated and it was nothing more than a brutal colonization by an indebted King, fallen under the dependence of his usurious creditors, who, with their very high interest rates, still today are able to reduce the states to poverty, blackmail, and obedience, to the point of enslaving them by forcing them to give them even political management.
The unification of Italy unified all the debts of the pre-unification states merged into the new state governed by Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia Carignano, a King who did not even speak Italian and who “Piedmonteseized” the rest of the peninsula, maintaining its dynastic order, instead of nominating himself Vittorio Emanuele I as king of the new nation.
Even the legislature, the Italian Parliament which was inaugurated on 18 February 1861, was considered as the continuation of the subalpine ones and was directly the eighth. Clearly the Piedmontese government took advantage of the resources of the South to solve the problems of the country they administered.
Immediately after unification, the new kingdom contracted new debts to finance an intense program of expenditure on education, public works and in particular for the construction of roads, canals and railways, especially in northern Italy.
The game is old and well known and it is always run by the same family multinationals. Not being able to pay off a loan, the debtors ask for another one that has even higher interest rates. This way it continues indefinitely!
And so began the massive transfer of resources from south to north, which affected all sectors. The fundamental stages of this process were the sale of state-owned land, which began in 1862; the sale of ecclesiastical land, which began in 1867; the law of 1866 on “corso forzoso” which consists of a compulsory loan, without interest, imposed on citizens. (It is a debt contracted by the State with the Bank which is transferred onto the shoulders of citizens. The bank prints banknotes without requiring their conversion into gold. Meanwhile, citizens have to accept banknotes that are subject to devaluation, and lose purchasing power); the law of 1887 on customs duties and finally the use of remittances from emigrants. In addition, the dissolution of the Garibaldian army, and the army of the Two Sicilies and the introduction of northern personnel in the public facilities of the south instead of the Duosicilian one increased the number of people in the South without income. The number of civil servants and soldiers left without income and left to fend for themselves was enormous. In short, this barbaric exploitation led to the so-called “questione Meridionale” (Southern question).
A situation in many ways similar to the one that Italy currently experiences with Europe. This same evil is infecting the whole world. It follows the death of the states in favor of the sovereignty of the banks and multinationals.
Southern Italy was squeezed from Piedmont to the bone. Despite this, it managed to resist for a few decades. In fact, only towards the last years of the 1800s there was the emigration of the people from Southern Italy. Until then, as evidenced by the censuses and literature of the time, those who emigrated overseas came from northern Italy.
It is strange that many have forgotten a book that has been adopted, for years and years, as a narrative of the lower middle school in Italy. I am referring to the book Cuore ( Heart) by Edmondo De Amicis that surely many, at least up to my generation, will have read.
The ways, the reasons and all the false truths that they have been telling us for two centuries are revealed and clarified in this 198-page volume, available both in printed and electronic versions and which we are going to learn more about through an interview with the ‘author, Enrico Fagnano who will also tell us something more about his fascinating activities.
I.P. – In the past you have mainly dealt with fiction. What prompted you to write La Storia dell’Italia Unita?-
E.F. – In addition to fiction and literature in general, I have also always dealt with the history of my city and of Southern Italy in general. For this reason, for some time I had clear ideas about what had really happened after our unification and at a certain point I felt the need to publish a book to tell the events, painful and tragic at the same time, without the usual rhetoric and without the usual clichés. time, subsequent to 1860. –
I.P. – Who is La Storia dell’Italia Unita for? –
E.F. – Perhaps it may seem that it is aimed at the Southerners, but in reality it is aimed at all Italians. If our country around 1920 became one of the most industrialized in the world, it owes it to the sacrifice of the South. Its riches have allowed the birth of large national industry, concentrated in the North, its consumption has given the possibility to northern companies to growth and, finally, it was the remittances of emigrants, which allowed these companies to consolidate, to then face the international markets without being crushed by them. Of all this I speak in particular in the last chapter, entitled Debito Morale (Moral debt). It must be clear to all Italians how great this debt towards the South is, because only then, I believe, can we hope to have justice for our land. –
I.P. – For a reader from the South, reading the truth about what happened in our lands, and also in the rest of Italy, is painful. How was it for you to tell it? –
E.F. – It wasn’t easy at all. Many times I found myself describing real horrors, but I forced myself to do it without showing my personal involvement, as if instead of a pen in my hand I had a scalpel, which I had to use to dissect the story and tell it in the most objective way possible. –
I.P. – What has not yet been said about La Storia dell’Italia Unita? –
E.F. – Perhaps it has not yet been said that my book was written to unite the Italians. In fact, only the awareness of what really happened, told however without rancor towards anyone, can start that process of mutual understanding among our peoples, which in reality has never even begun. –
I.P. – La Storia dell’Italia Unita is also available in digital version on Kindle, Amazon. What is your relationship with technology? –
E.F. – My relationship with technology (and in particular with new technology) is very fruitful and I use social media with extreme familiarity. I broadcast almost all my speeches live on Facebook and then I repeat them on my YouTube channel Il Sud dopo l’ Unità (The South after the unification) and on the hundreds of groups which I belong to. In this way I continuously reach thousands of new potential readers, who enrich me with their comments and observations. –
I.P. – According to your experience as an author, as well as a publisher, to what extent are computer science and new technologies influencing the cultural system? –
E.F. – On this point, as you know, there are very different and often conflicting opinions. However, I think that the new tools cannot condition the substance of the deepest cultural phenomena. For example, true poetry and fiction, that is, those that enrich the writer and reader, I believe that they can never be influenced by the medium used and I also believe that over time, regardless of everything else, the best poems and stories will they will always lead the way. –
I.P. – Finally, thanks to the work of historians, journalists and authors like you, today it is clear what really happened in the years of the unification of Italy. Have the Italian schools updated? Or do they still adopt the old texts that propose the usual false truths?-
E.F. – Some subsidiaries begin to tell the story objectively, or in any case less counterfeit, but these are isolated cases. Many young teachers, not flattened on conventional positions, suffer from this state of affairs and try to contrast a more objective narrative with what you call ‘the usual false truths’. It often happens to me that I am invited to compare myself with the students of some school and I must say that I always find young people prepared on the topics of our unification, as is evident from the questions they ask me and their comments. –
I.P. – During your career you have created and directed several literary magazines. Among others there was La Parola Abitata which has turned into a cultural association. What led to this transformation? –
E.F. – La Parola Abitata was born in the eighties, when the habit of buying and reading magazines was widespread in Naples. Little by little, however, poetic activity, and cultural activity in general, began to move to shared premises and spaces, such as literary cafes, bookstores, art galleries, etc. And in order to fully participate in this new movement, we at La Parola Abitata have had to give ourselves the form of association, which allows us to easily organize events and meetings. –
I.P. – What are the activities of La Parola Abitata? –
E.F. – Aside from organizing readings or book presentations, our association takes care of the permanent poetry workshop, originally aimed at young people, but which over time has become a real point of reference for cultural activities in Campania. La Parola Abitata is also a publishing house and from the website (www.laparolaabitata.it) it is possible to download our publications for free. –
I.P. – You recently wrote another book called Contra Catilinam (Against Catiline). Can you talk about it? –
E.F. – Contra Catilinam, released in August 2022, is a collection of aphorisms, verses and short stories, with which I intend to describe the man of today, a man who certainly does not shine for his coherence, nor for his self-respect. and others. The lyrics are ironic and often tear a smile, but the reader soon realizes that after all that is a very bitter smile. –