“Like a summer with a thousand julys” is a line from You Go To My Head, the famous jazz standard first performed by Billie Holiday in 1938. As many of you will remember, our novel Manituana was supposed to come out first in the UK (July) and then in the US (October). Well, it won’t go that way. In order to do things in the best possible manner, Verso Books decided to postpone the British release, so the book will be published in both countries at once. We’re sorry about that, we know you expected Manituana to be available in a few days.
Pretty soon we’ll put more spin-offs and short stories on the website, so that Anglophone readers aren’t left with no WM fiction to read until next autumn. Thanks for your patience.
BTW: we noticed an interesting thing in the Manituana page on Amazon.com. Although the book is yet to be published, someone out there already has a used copy… which you can buy for a thousand bucks. Look, we made a screenshot:
What are you waiting for? It’s a great occasion.
Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
your feasting and lounging will end.
- Amos, 6, 7
Italy’s Berlusconi hit by female escort allegations
Silvio Berlusconi faces claims that women were ‘paid to be at parties’
Showgirls ‘were paid’ to attend parties at Berlusconi villa
Those four slanders are four lies told by the premier
Niccolo Ghedini, Berlusconi’s lawyer said: “Even if what this girl says is true, which it is not, the Prime Minister, according to her reconstruction, would be the end user and therefore not punishable by law.”
The end user. Women are just things that you use.
‘It’s women that will destroy Berlusconi’s honour and credibility.’ (Gad Lerner)
Quick update. Another framing mistake by Ghedini: “The Premier has never paid women. He could have a large quantity of them for free”.
A few days ago we wrote:
There isn’t yet an English entry [on the New Italian Epic]
Well, now there is.
“New Italian Epic is a definition suggested by the Italian author Wu Ming 1 to describe a body of literary works written in Italy by various authors – including the Wu Ming Collective itself – starting in 1993, at the end of the ‘First Republic’. This body of works is described as being formed of novels – chiefly, if not exclusively, historical novels – and other literary texts, which share various stylistic characteristics, thematic constants and an underlying allegorical nature. They are a particular kind of metahistorical fiction, with peculiar features that derive from the Italian context.”
Colonel Qaddafi arrived with a provocation pinned to one lapel of his baggy military uniform: a black-and-white photograph of a Libyan resistance leader, Omar al-Mukhtar, who was hanged by the Italians in 1931.
“This hanging is like the crucifixion of Christ for Christians,” Colonel Qaddafi said at the news conference. “For us, this image is a bit like the cross that some of you wear.”
- NYT, June 10, 2009
[WM1:] Yesterday I was reading accounts of Qaddafi‘s official visit to Rome, a gaudy event if there ever was one, and I thought: “This is one of our short-stories come true! Such a post-colonial freak-show looks like coming straight out of Wumingland.”
Turns out I wasn’t the only one to have that feeling. A guy we know named Alessandro Vicenzi posted the picture above on his Tumblr and added a caption: “Qaddafi brings the New Italian Epic into the heart of the State“.
For those of you not in the know, “New Italian Epic” is (more…)
Thanks to Shaun Whiteside, who is translating the website into English, we just added new material. Much more to come.
Board game inspired by Manituana wins prize for most original concept
The Rome-based association Miles Gloriosus returns triumphant from the Convention Hellana 08
Manituana Haiku – Wu Ming interview the poet Rossano Astremo
About a rewriting of Manituana in the form of a poem, a haiku for each chapter
Yu Guerra! – True Hatred
I go home, I visit the band’s website: they give links to us. They name us. I download the song: it’s a re-evaluation of hatred…
The Fall of Sky Woman
Long before the world was created, there was an island in the sky where dwelt a heavenly race. One day a pregnant woman fell through the hole of an uprooted tree and…
Maybe knowing Robert Darnton‘s work got us more ready to pay attention to what was (and still is) going on.
Maybe tales of moral corruption, lecherous abuse of power and caligulesque behaviour can really be more powerful than any other piece of information.
Maybe even a right-wing sultanate with the strongest hold on the media system can be weakened by rumours of that kind – especially if everyone, even the Sultan’s lackeys and fans, knows or suspects that those rumours are 100% true.
“Ridicule is the best disinfectant“. After weeks of bemused discoveries and ackward attempts of cover-up, Spanish daily paper El Pais published some of the photographs whose circulation the Sultan had tried to block in Italy. In one of the pictures, a man is standing stark-naked in the patio of Burlesquoni’s Sardinian villa, talking with a sunbathing woman. The man is visibly – as the British press put it – “in a state of arousal”. Former Czech PM Mirek Topolanek admitted that that was him, but added that the photograph… had been retouched. What does that mean? That he’s the naked guy but the dick belongs to somebody else? Topolanek accused not better identified “Socialists” of being the instigators of the photomontage. This definitely landed the Italian (and European) political debate in the territory of Utter Grotesque. And what were the consequences? (more…)
Since we lost a member and the collective became a quartet, we’ve remained without an official portrait. We used to have that glamorous 5-faceless-dancers pic, but… we’re not a quintet anymore. We’re kind of making experiments, conveying uncanny images and using them as Rorschach inkblots, to understand something about ourselves at this point of our existence as a group.
Picture above: The bodies belong to Quartetto Buganè, a folk-music combo that was popular in dance clubs around Bologna during the 1960′s and 1970′s. They played filuzzi, the kind of high-speed dance music we described in our novel 54. The face belongs to جمال عبد الناص, the famous Pan-Arabist leader and non-aligned head of state. Click on the image to enlarge it.
“Social Democracy thought fit to assign to the working class the role of the redeemer of future generations, in this way cutting the sinews of its greatest strength. This training made the working class forget both its hatred and its spirit of sacrifice, for both are nourished by the image of enslaved ancestors rather than that of liberated grandchildren.”
(Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History, 1940)
In linking our From The Multitudes of Europe edict (2001), the person behind the What in the hell blog used another English translation:
this beautiful piece by Wu Ming written in 2001. This is part of the sensibility I think Walter Benjamin had in mind when he wrote in “On the Concept of History” that “assigning the working-class the role of the savior of future generations (…) severed the sinews of its greatest power. Through this schooling the class forgot its hate as much as its spirit of sacrifice. For both nourish themselves on the picture of enslaved forebears, not on the ideal of the emancipated heirs.”