A permanent cultural festival

DinnerJuly 7, 2022 – 08:30

from Maurizio de Giovanni

It’s hard to find something that can not be shared in the beautiful article by Aldo Schiavone, on these columns on July 2 last year. The professor takes as his point of departure the need to appropriately commemorate Raffaele La Capria, the great writer who died recently, and from the 70th anniversary of Benedetto Croce’s death in 2023, to launch the enlightened idea of ​​a Neapolitan year of culture. A real festival that celebrates the greatness of art and more generally the thought that has been produced over the years and at least for a century now, within this strange and polyphonic circle. An intuition, Schiavones, truly remarkable; because actual remembrance, a fundamental element of the formation of cultural identity, is unfortunately not a hallmark of Naples and the Neapolitans. We tend to superficially underestimate those who in any other city would be celebrated with great pride; and we easily forget, especially if the artistic, philosophical, or scientific brilliance goes back to a few decades ago. La Capria, it must be remembered, was the longest-lived of an extraordinary generation of writers: Ermanno and Domenico Rea, Pomilio, Compagnone, Prisco, De Crescenzo.

All born in the decade between 1917 and 1928; and with them Rosi, Patroni Griffi, Riccardo Pazzaglia and who knows how many others are now escaping my memory. Of course, it can be argued that Naples has always had great artists going back to the very previous generation of Viviani, Scarpetta, De Filippo, Ferdinando Russo and Scarfoglio and Serao, and Bovio and Costa and Di Capua. But it would be a further consolation to the belief that it is not possible to ignore such a large number of famous men and women, known internationally. And if, as Schiavone suggests, we expand the history and the sciences of thought, the number is really too large for a note like this. So? The idea of ​​the professor should definitely be taken up and relaunched, perhaps as a permanent festival. And who should be responsible for organizing this event, which would have the not insignificant effect of attracting cultural and qualitative tourism from all parts of the country, very far from the invasion of grasshoppers, confused with a beneficial stream of visitors, who, on the other hand, leave little change in the city in the face of the progressive deterioration of the historic center?


As is well known, the municipal administration has, in line with the regional government, chosen not to attribute the delegation to culture. it has been said, in the light of the complaints raised by various parties, that this is in no way an underestimation of the sector and that the mayor actually cares so much about the subject that he wants to govern directly through dedicated structures, the development of this sector, defined as strategic. Knowing Gaetano Manfredi personally, his human and professional depth and the absolute ideological honesty he possesses, we are sure that this is truly his position and that a man who has ruled the fate of the most important cultural institution in the city, the University. Frederik II, to then even become Minister of Research, can not fail to have clearly understood that culture is the main road for the city’s development. And yet, in order to define a strategic sector, it seems clear that a strategy is needed.

Awareness of cultural memory through the celebration of the great brains that this city has produced in the fields of art, music, literature and science, testimony to the acceptance of Professor Schiavone’s idea, would be a strategic first step. But it would be useful if the opportunity were taken to communicate, publish and clarify what the medium- and long-term strategy is for resuming the series of a growth that is evident in the narrative of the city, so constantly primary and so monopolistic on the national stage, which is even dull (gentle euphemism, compared to what Mr Branciaroli recently said). In short, starting from the recognition of the great past, to comfort and protect a present that finally sees women and men of culture stay in the city, without having to leave to perform their work at best. A remarkable turnaround, which I believe must be maintained. And it can be very productive.

July 7, 2022 | half past eight

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