Intellectuals sign appeals and are fixed on TV: nothing but mourn their death

Intellectuals sign appeals and are fixed on TV: nothing but mourn their death

Lived as a mission or a burden, worn with great ease, used as a contemptuous epithet, the word "intellectual" always comes back to torment us with its dilemmas. Intellectuals are gone, intellectuals are everywhere (and then the cliché, "I admire you for your intellectual honesty", an irritating cliché of neo-emotional Italian). On Repubblica an increasingly competitive phrasing from the Turin Show, wrestling titles: "Nicola Lagioia at the Robinson arena", "crowd at the Lingotto", "defend this beautiful gymnasium of democracy". The intellectual is therefore alive. We are all a bit of intellectuals by now, says Javier Cercas, guest of the event, because "if you intervene in the public debate on social networks, you are already operating like an intellectual" (therefore no longer Eco's "legions of imbeciles", but social networks such as " shock absorber”, a remedy for the overproduction of intellectuals who, at least in the meantime, write, explain, denounce, get indignant in there). The audience of intellectuals has never been so vast and they always come back to the fore. Here are "the intellectuals who think they live in the trenches persecuted like in Pyongyang", says Alfredo Antoniozzi, deputy group leader of the Brothers of Italy in the Chamber, after the Roccella affair. Here are the new intellectuals of the right, united in the pact of via Nazionale, Hotel Quirinale, to put the pieces of the "Italian imaginary" back together and "unhinge the casemates of the left". Very serious, plastered, almost all males in blazers, not really young (apart from Francesco Giubilei, little Mozart of publishing who however looks fifty even if he is from '92). Here is the pantheon, always the same: from Prezzolini to Pingitore, Croce or Gramsci jolly, and the new entry "Osho", like a Diego Bianchi "from the right", for a "goliardic interlude". Here are the intellectuals who sign the appeal to "lend a hand to Schlein". The usual crowd of "writers, teachers, representatives of civil society and left-wing trade unions" for a total of one hundred and sixty-eight intellectuals who now "feel the need for a great force of the democratic, progressive, feminist, ecological left who fights for social justice and climatic” (the “climatic justice” must also be the one evoked by Occhetto, with the floods sent by a furious God because we ignore the young activists). Autarkic and funereal scenarios, rigid separations between "fine arts" and economy or technology, and then signatures, appeals, assembly slogans. Stuff to make us regret the Leopoldas of yesteryear, where at least an iPad and Steve Jobs' garage stood out. Always threatened, always postponed, the extinction of intellectuals is a factory that produces books and debates in a continuous stream (with their own "bible", as the screenwriters of the TV series say: a reference to the Dreyfus affair and "la trahison des clercs” at the opening, a long ride up to Pasolini, then the final funeral oration, the lament for the disappearance of the intellectual, overwhelmed and stunned by the internet, by globalization, by a ruthless attention economy with the long times of “ reflection"). How will we do, my lady, without the intellectuals who have by now been sunk, unheard of, crushed in the clutches of the society of entertainment? And will those who sell or those who don't sell be more intellectual? The current or the outdated? Better the intellectual-influencer who throws himself into the fray, or rather the regular guest in the talks, à la Cacciari, à la Montanari, or better yet the recluse, self-exiled in a mad and desperate studio who perhaps leaves a work posthumously ? They are worries that return and always remain "open".

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