Formiggini, Angelo Fortunato

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FORMIGGINI, ANGELO FORTUNATO (1878–1938), Italian publisher, editor, and writer. He was born in Modena, where his family had been court jewelers for generations and maintained their private synagogue. He was a publisher first in Modena (1908–11) and then in Genoa (1911–15) and Bologna; in 1916 he moved to Rome, where he won prominence for his innovations in publishing and the quality of his books.

Among his noteworthy publications the most important are Classici del ridere, a series of 106 volumes published from 1913 to 1938, including the best works of humorists from all countries (i.e., Giovanni Boccaccio, François Rabelais, Voltaire, Honoré de Balzac, Jonathan Swift, William Thackeray, Shalom Aleichem), and Profili, a series of 129 numbers, published from 1909 to 1937, which included brief essays on contemporary authors. Besides editing Chi è, dizionario degli Italiani d'oggi, the Italian Who's Who (first edition 1929–30), a dictionary of contemporary Italians, Formiggini served as managing editor of L'Italia che scrive, a monthly review of Italian literary and artistic activities, bibliography, and intellectual debate. In 1923 he published in the Classici del Ridere his La ficozza filosofica sul Fascismo e la Marcia sulla Leonardo, an ironic study of contemporary society and a defense of himself against the intellectual luminary Giovanni Gentile.

Between 1919 and 1921 he founded the Italian Institute for Cultural Propaganda Abroad and in 1929 he planned and organized the World Congress of Libraries and Bibliography. When the antisemitic laws of 1938 were promulgated, he committed suicide by jumping off the tower of Ghirlandina in Modena as an act of extreme protest and rebellion. His spiritual testament Parole in libertà was published posthumously (1945).

add. bibliography:

L. Balsamo and R. Cremante, A.F. Formiggini un editore del Novecento (1981).

[Irving Rosenthal /

Federica Francesconi (2nd ed.)]