Sunday, December 6, 2015

Numero Zero

In the progress ...... smokin' hot.

Finally finished it the next day.

For the book review, Tom Rachman has a good one at The New York Times.

The Storyline
In order to blackmail a certain powerful individuals in the inner sanctum of finance, banking and politics, a con artist decides to create a newspaper financed by a Commendatore, which, under the appearance of investigative journalism, will invent stories that allude to shady events these individuals won’t want to be made public.

The narrator, Colonna, who dropped out of college and has flitted from job to job: tutor, hack journalist, proofreader, copy editor, slush-pile reader, even ghostwriter of detective fiction for a pseudonymous author, is appointed as the chronicler of the newspaper’s creation and foreseen demise. The newspaper is to be published in twelve zero issues - 0/1, 0/2, and so on - dummy issues printed in a tiny number of exclusive copies.  The plan is that the Commendatore  will inspect these issues, before arranging for them to be seen by certain people he knows. Once these people realise the danger the pseudo-investigative articles represent for them, most likely they will offer the Commendatore an entry permit to the inner sanctum in exchange of putting a stop to such fictional publication.

If historical truth can be created, Eco suggests, it can also be conveniently erased. However, as the narrator finds out, convincing fictions can end up spilling into reality, and he himself becomes the victim of what is – perhaps – a real and bloodthirsty conspiracy.
The Contents.

The exchanges on mobile phones were funny when one editorial staff was asking the chief editor, Simei if it is alright to do a lifestyle piece about it. The date was on Friday, 24 April.

'The whole business of mobile phones can't last,' declared Simei. 'First, they cost a fortune and only a few can afford them. Second, people will soon discover it isn't so essential to telephone everyone at all times. They'll lose the enjoyment of private, face-to-face conversation, and at the end of the month they'll discover their phone bill is running out of control. It's a fashion  that's going to fizzle out in a year, two at most. Mobile phones, for now, are useful only to adulterous husbands, and perhaps plumbers. But no one else. So for our readers, most of whom don't have them, a lifestyle piece is of no interest. And those who do couldn't care less, or rather, they'd just regard us as snobs, as radical chic.'

'Not only that,' I said. 'Remember that Rockefeller, Agnelli and the president of the United States don't need mobile phones, they have teams of secretaries to look after them. So people will soon realise that only second-raters use them - those poor folk who have to keep in touch with the bank to make sure they're not overdrawn, or with the boss who's checking up on them. And so mobile phones will become a symbol of social inferiority, and no one will want them.'

 (^‿^v) The author is mocking the trend in mobile usage nowadays.

Here is one about professionalism :
'Do we really always have to talk about professionalism?' asked Maia. 'Everyone here is a professional. A master builder who puts up a wall that hasn't collapsed is certainly acting professionally, but professionalism ought to be the norm, and we should only be talking about the dodgy builder who puts up a wall that does collapse. When I call the plumber and he unblocks the sink, I'm pleased, of course, and I say well done, thanks, but I don't say he acted professionally. And you don't expect him to behave like Joe Piper in the Mickey Mouse story.  This insistence on professionalism, that it is something special, makes it sound as if people are generally lousy workers.'

In chapter III - Tuesday, 7 April, one of the character, Braggadocio, is having difficulty to decide which car to buy despite the truth that he is broke. He tells Colonna the specifications of each cars in length (hoping Colonna will chip in I guess) and to the extent that one feels like slapping him 'Can you make up your fucking mind?' Haha!


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