Memory of Antonio Pennacchi. The unforgettable writer

“I want to confess”. He understood that it was to make him happy, that I no longer believed in it as I once did but confessed to me the same: “It can’t hurt you” and I told him everything from A to Z, without hiding or leaving out any detail, no fold , no cowardice: I also told him what I had never told me ”. The author of this sentence is the writer Antonio Pennacchi, who will be born in Latina on January 26, 1950. City where the earthly story will end inAugust of 2021. His life was enriched by a literary production, characterized by relevant biographical notes. An inexhaustible public “confession”, furrowed by streams of second thoughts.

Antonio Pennacchi and his Latina

The Pennacchi family was from a father of Umbrian origin, from a mother of Venetian origin. The parents had been part of that internal national migratory flow, solicited and organized by the Fascist Regime, for the implementation of the Agro Pontino reclamation. From this, on the restored land, it was possible to found new cities, the most important of which, Latina, was the one where the writer was born. Antonio Pennacchi, in his youth, chose political commitment as a driving force for an overall understanding of the world. Trying to identify good and bad with that tool. Where he nestled the good and where the evil. His whole life was studded with militant choices, markedly contradictory and incompatible with each other. Thus trying to outline these two aspects by defining them fully. Research that in his youth led him to make drastic choices.

Youth militancy

In the early 1960s, in the city where the original name of Littoria still lingered, Pennacchi enrolled in the MSI. A decision that led to repercussions and disagreements in the family of some importance. A fact that came to be determined in that his brothers were all deployed and militants on the left. Furthermore, he was chosen by the party leaders as a National Volunteer activist. Party organization, whose members were ready to make it possible, even in the most incandescent contexts, to exercise the right to speak to the exponents of the Movement. Years in which the political confrontation was particularly close, between the opposing formations. Often, they reached peaks with almost daily encroachments in deplorable episodes of violence.

Antonio Pennacchi out of any orthodoxy

The future writer immediately showed an exuberant character, not attributable to schemes belonging to any orthodoxy whatsoever. His out-of-the-box stances cost him his expulsion in 1968 from the MSI for organizing a demonstration against the Vietnam war. “… I was very sorry, I was convinced that I had been wronged, I considered myself more fascist than before”. This is how he commented on that episode. With these credentials, he began a political nomadism, during which he landed on the most unexpected shores. He approached the Marxist and Leninist groups, later joining the PSI he Later, he chose to join the CGIL union, an organization from which he underwent another expulsion order. Contingencies in which that “… I no longer believed in it as it once did” emerged.

The restlessness of character

Twirls that tried to settle and pacify the anxieties of those who with apparent ruthlessness put them into action. The public confession of this lack of satisfaction, in being able to identify with certainty once and for all the source of the injustices, lay precisely in his conflicting political choices. As if in his soul, that reconquest of the marshy lands to the civil life, had not had a solid and firm correspondence, at the level of conceptual orientations in his soul. He then poured into his writing his yearning for research to appease the never tame temperamental restlessness.

Antonio Pennacchi, the landing in writing

Arriving at this creative shore, he showed such conviction and determination, in achieving the record figure of fifty-five rejections from publishing houses before being able to publish his first novel “Mammoth”. Which he finally managed to achieve with Donzelli in 1994. Book that tells of a working-class epic, a class in the process of transformation and extinction like the Mammoths. Experiences lived in first person by the author. For years, in fact, Pennacchi worked as a worker. Commitment to which he fulfilled, working night shifts. Time of performance of the work from which he drew ideas, suggestions, suggestions for his writing. At the center of it we will find two constant pillars, the love for those unhealthy and muddy places, recovered to places of possible existence, where he was born and lived, and the political passion that never left him. In this last aspect he managed to convey personalities, notoriously distinct and distant.

“The fascist communist”, literary and cinematographic success

I still remember when I had the opportunity to attend the presentation of his “The fascist communist”, with the participation of Donna Assunta Almirante and Massimo D’Alema. Novel with a markedly autobiographical flavor, which by the director Daniele Lucchetti, had a cinematographic adaptation with interpreters Riccardo Scamarcio and Elio Germano entitled “My brother is an only child“. The operation was crowned with unquestionable significant success. So much so that he received a special award at the Cannes Film Festival. Despite these results, Pennacchi’s “fumantina” soul was able to unfold once again. Arguing, perhaps with some reason, that in the second part of the film the literary track had been completely turned upside down. The former worker at Alcatel Cavi from Latina also drew from the historical memory of the testimonies offered to him by his colleagues with whom he spent the long and demanding night shifts.

The Strega prize with “Canale Mussolini”

A’Opera, conducted with tenacity, from the valuable resonances of mending and weaving of the life and culture of those areas and its inhabitants. With these reasons, thanks to testimonies and documentary references, the author will publish the essay in 2008 “Bundle and hammer”. Full success smiled on him in 2010 with “Canale Mussolini”. Book, with which among the many awards he obtained the Strega Award. Research and analysis work on the cities founded by Benito Mussolini. We can say that Pennacchi was the singer of the incredible transformation of the Agro Pontino. He wandering around, for all his life with passion and attention, on the events of that once marshy area, managing to pick the most luxuriant flowers.

Memory of Antonio Pennacchi. The unforgettable writer – Secolo d’Italia left us a year ago