Gian Arturo Ferrari: “The beauty of publishing is the constant risk. The bad thing is that culture is enslaved”

For a long time at the top of the book industry, he is the author of 'Confidential history of Italian publishing', which he talks about in an interview in the new Oggi. Where he tells the protagonists of a sector full of twists and turns

 gian-arturo-ferrari-launch-today-46 Gian Arturo Ferrari, author of 'Confidential history of Italian publishing'

In an interview in the new issue of Oggi, on newsstands from Thursday 10 November, Gian Arturo Ferrari, for a long time at the top of the 'book industry' and today the author of Confidential history of Italian publishing (Marsilio) tells the true protagonists of his novel (saving very few).

Totti and Noemi buy the kitchen for their new home Totti and Noemi buy the kitchen for their new home

The cover of the new issue of Today on newsstands


I TYRANNI – «A characteristic common to Rizzoli, Mondadori, Bompiani, Calasso? They are tyrants: they need a community of believers, followers, executors, they have to be trusted and they cannot. Even those who, like Giulio Einaudi, ideologized the community, were then the ones to decide, always on the edge of the knife, between serving culture and obeying the economic laws, suspended between God and Mammon. Of their pains, the publishers can not speak. And he explains: «In other countries, publishing has more stable foundations. With us, the casino arises because culture is too close to politics. Elsewhere it is an independent industry, with us it is enslaved: when the system dances, it is forced to dance».

THE AGNELLI METHOD – «Exercising power in an ancient, contemptuous version. When I was director of Libri Rizzoli, Giorgio Fattori, the managing director of the Rizzoli-Corriere della Sera group, arrived on Thursdays. Faced with some proposals, he stalled. It was clear that he would then meet with Agnelli, who remained in the shadows. The following Thursday Fattori arrived with the sentence: 'He doesn't like it'».

AND ABOUT BERLUSCONI – Of which he says «Pressing requests came not from him but from other heavy names, politicians and others. I was able to contain them and he never influenced me», Ferrari tells a tasty anecdote: «We had published a critical essay by Marco Borsa against Italian capitalism: he didn't talk about Berlusconi. I thought he would be happy but he got angry because Cesare Romiti, one of Marco Borsa's targets, accused him of having published it on purpose. Faced with his prohibition to reprint it, I proceeded anyway, only without writing 'second', 'third'... edition inside'. Then he reveals his riskiest choice («Publishing i Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie when no one else was doing it'), the most wrong negotiation ('Losing Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton») and the conditioning of the Strega Prize.

The full interview is on the new Today on newsstands