The Business Challenges of Globalization

October 18, 2017 Leave a comment


 

Taken from Creating New Superstars by Carol and Ennio Fatuzzo (1)

 

IMG_0065In spite of the chaotic world around us, the risks involved in playing some types of games haven’t changed. For example, playing roulette, whether it is Russian roulette or the more civilized version in Monaco, is the same as it always has been. However, in today’s fast paced environment, the “game” of business has become a much more dangerous venture. Developing a new business or expanding an existing one involves a whole new dimension of risk due to many developing “agents of change.” Globalization, including the rapidly expanding global economy and the consequences of global competition, is one of the most powerful influences.

On a positive note, globalization significantly increases potential market sizes, creating extremely attractive and visible business growth opportunities. Just think about the worldwide explosion of smartphones, or the rapid expansion of wine import and export businesses, or the huge potential for new cancer drugs. Even water is now a global opportunity, as the recent history of San Pellegrino shows. Twenty years ago it was a relatively unknown Italian mineral water. Today, it is distributed worldwide to more than 120 countries on five continents. (2) But with size comes different challenges.

Highly visible, big growth opportunities create new global competitors that were never before threats―Korean car manufacturers, Indian software developers, Chinese computer and internet-based companies, and more. The bottom line: More companies around the world are likely to be pursuing the same specific growth opportunity at the same time. Therefore, the risk of failure for any single company is high—significantly higher than in the past.

Looking at the situation another way, in the past a company had a reasonable possibility of being the only one pursuing a good new opportunity—one that was unrecognized by others. And that resulted in many single-company big successes: Kodak and silver halide film, IBM and computers, Motorola and cell phones, RCA and consumer electronics, and more. But in today’s dynamic global economy, due to the growing technical sophistication of global competitors and the faster pace of everything, there will not be many “lone pioneers.”

And there is another kind of challenge. Pursuing larger global opportunities requires greater resources than what are needed to be successful with smaller, “local” opportunities. This results in the financial risk being much higher, sometimes high enough to place an entire company in jeopardy. If a global project fails, for whatever reason, that failure is extremely costly. Kodak having to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result of its late and unsuccessful attempt to become a major global player in digital photography is a good example of today’s high cost of failure. (3)

But the risk of large financial investments isn’t the only challenge involving resources. In the past, under-resourcing a project or using resources ineffectively did not matter as much as it does today. Why? Any such “mistakes” will slow down progress; and in a faster paced and more competitive business world, this decreased speed will almost certainly create a significant competitive disadvantage. This, in turn, greatly increases the probability of a costly failure in the marketplace.

And finally, because of today’s need for speed, failure is not only is connected to making wrong or bad decisions. It frequently is the result of making good decisions too slowly. Kodak’s eventual management decision to pursue digital photography was a good one, but the delay in making that decision was a major contributor to the effort’s failure. This delay gave global competitors an insurmountable lead.

Bottom line, in a highly competitive, global business environment that is rapidly changing, a slow decision will almost always be a wrong decision; and being late to the market almost always assures failure. Just as in nature, a slow company will become prey for the faster, more aggressive one.

 


1. Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: a Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality (USA: September 2016). Available from amazon.com.

2. S. Pellegrino Company Website, accessed October 18, 2017, https://www.sanpellegrino.com/us/en/company-intl-41.

3. Rick Newman, “Four Lessons from Kodak’s Comedown,” U.S. News online, January 19, 2012, http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/01/19/4-lessons-from-kodaks-comedown; “The last Kodak moment?,” The Economist, January 13, 2012, accessed online October 18, 2017, http://www.economist.com/node/21542796.

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A War Memoir Revisited: “The Death of the Julia Division”

August 31, 2017 Leave a comment

A TRUE WAR STORY BY GIACOMO FATUZZO

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In late 2014, we published the English translation of Giacomo Fatuzzo’s war memoir, “The Death of the Julia Division, Memoirs of an Officer.” This true story is the devastating chronicle of the destruction of the 3rd Alpine Division Julia in Italy’s war against Greece in 1940. It is an emotional, first-hand, day-by-day description of the challenges, the suffering endured, and the battles fought.

Giacomo’s moving words show the agony of a man who doesn’t believe the war he is fighting is justified but fights as hard as he can; the anger of an officer who knows that his superiors are making poor decisions from a remote location but still must follow the resulting orders; the commitment of a soldier who does his best in impossible circumstances and who suffers tremendously, as do all of those involved.

In Giacomo’s own words, on a lonely Christmas Day in the middle of a battlefield:

“I have sad thoughts. Who said that war is the mother of all things and of all things the queen, which sifts out the gods from the men, the slaves from the free? Heraclitus?

Here war does not sift. It mows indiscriminately, especially among the poor devils, and it is not the mother of all things. It generates only blood, pain, tears, and despair…

War sifts and devours the best, the most generous, the bravest, the most patient. But among those spared, there are still many who are generous, brave, and patient. They will remain in their positions and still will be the first to be engulfed in the furnace.”

And there is more. The reader journeys alongside Giacomo as he raises questions of loyalty to one’s country and to his men. The book forces the reader to grapple with haunting questions such as: “Who is responsible in time of war—the nation’s leaders who declare the war or the soldiers who fight it?” And, “As I look at the carnage I begin to wonder how hatred is born.” 

As you can see, “The Death of the Julia Division” isn’t a typical book about war. It is a beautifully written, emotionally moving work of art that raises timeless issues. If you are interested, this book is available from amazon in both paperback and kindle formats at http://amzn.to/2jAi45r.

For more information about “The Death of the Julia Division” and other books written by Giacomo, Ennio, and Carol Fatuzzo, visit our website: fatuzzobooks.com.

Big Data and YOU: The Promises and the Concerns

by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

 

BACKGROUND

Web surveillanceIn our book “Creating New Superstars” (1) and in a previous blog, we focused on Big Data and Business. Now we take a brief look at the more personal side of Big Data: the reality, the promises, and the concerns.

As you must be aware, today vast quantities of data about people (including you) and their interactions with the outside world are being accumulated at unprecedented rates and stored in digital form. This rapidly increasing, already huge, storehouse of personal information is part of what is known as “Big Data.”

Where is this personal information coming from? Everything we do online, such as shopping and banking, leaves a record. But there are a growing number of other sources: social media, google, smartphones and other smart devices, electronic medical records, military and government data bases, surveillance cameras, and much more.

Collecting and storing personal Big Data digitally has become easy and is pervasive, but it is only the beginning. For this vast amount of information to be useful, there must be the ability to access the data rapidly and reliably; and there must be tools that can quickly analyze an immense amount of seemingly unrelated information, and make useful connections. And all of this is now reality. Faster and more powerful computers coupled with software advances (e.g., “artificial intelligence”) are rapidly opening doors to new analytic capabilities.

USES OF PERSONAL BIG DATA

Many large companies and organizations already have access to the growing collection of personal Big Data and are taking advantage of the advanced analytic capabilities. Common examples are targeted marketing and credit checks. And this is only the beginning. There are many less obvious ways personal Big Data is starting to impact your everyday life, including tracking your physical activities and location and even determining choices offered to you in bars and restaurants (2, 3).

Another growing use of Big Data is in sports. Not only individual players’ moves, but entire game strategies can be analyzed to improve players’ performances and/or game strategies. And then there are the fans. Analyzing fan generated Big Data is leading to techniques for generating stronger fan support and providing extra (and more profitable) event-based services. (4)

Then there is the healthcare segment. Here collection and analysis of personal Big Data is already leading to major advances such as improvements in healthcare outcomes (including saving lives), remote patient monitoring and real-time alerting, more cost-effective treatments, programs to prevents opioid abuse, accelerating cancer research, providing access to the latest treatments being tested, and much more. (5,6)

What we have described so far is only the beginning. To repeat, sources of personal Big Data are exploding (GPS tracking, wellness monitoring, surveillance of financial transactions, facial recognition, education records….) as are the capabilities for sophisticated analysis and uses for this data. And yes, the collection and use of personal Big Data has many positives. There is no question that the future benefits arising from the combination of big data and advanced analytics will be immense.

THE CONCERNS

But there is a downside. As summarized by McKinsey and Company: “Privacy issues will continue to be a major concern. Although new computer programs can readily remove names and other personal information from records being transported into large databases, stakeholders across the industry must be vigilant and watch for potential problems as more information becomes public.” (5)

But there is an even more serious concern. So far, we have focused on the use of personal Big Data by businesses and other private or public organizations. It is an entirely different situation when governments enter the arena. A number of articles have raised the concern about Big Data in the hands of government evolving into “Big Brother.” Following we repeat one example of this from our January blog “Big Data: An Exploding Agent of Change.”

Recent articles have focused on a data collection and analysis project being run by the Chinese communist party to develop what they call a “social-credit system.” (7, 8) To summarize, using Big Data technologies, the project’s objective is to develop a system to collect and categorize as “good” or “bad” all available information for each individual citizen. Ultimately, rewards for good behavior (e.g., prizes, better housing) and punishments for bad behavior (e.g., denial of permissions to travel or access to loans and services) would be handed out—all this aimed at improving the allegiance of citizens to the State.

Will China be successful? How far will other governments go towards using Big Data to become “Big Brother” watching over each citizen? Certainly, these are valid concerns. And for those who watch the Television series “A Person of Interest,” it may occur to them that the project described above is much more dangerous than the situation portrayed by the TV series. The latter only monitors each person in real time, but the Chinese scenario not only does this but also builds a history of everything each citizen has done and uses that information for its own purposes.

Yes, the growing availability and use of personal Big Data presents serious concerns. However, keep in mind that every breakthrough new technology has the potential for both good and bad. It all depends on the intentions of those who develop and apply the technology.


 

REFERENCES

1. Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo, Creating New Superstars: A Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality (USA: September 2016). Available for purchase from amazon: http://amzn.to/2hAn6dy.

2. “Big Data in Our Everyday Life,” February 10, 2017, Nordic-IT, https://nordic-it.com/big-data-everyday-life/

3. Mona Lebied, “5 Big Data Examples in Your Real Life At Bars, Restaurants, and Casinos,” Business Intelligence, May 4th 2017, http://www.datapine.com/blog/big-data-examples-in-real-life/

4. “Big Data in Sports: Going for the Gold,” inside BIGDATA, June 4, 2017, https://insidebigdata.com/2017/06/04/big-data-sports-going-gold/

5. Basel Kayyali, David Knott, and Steve Van Kuiken, “The Big-Data Revolution in US Health Care: Accelerating Value and Innovation,” McKinsey & Company, http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/the-big-data-revolution-in-us-health-care

6. Mona Lebied, “9 Examples of Big Data Analytics in Healthcare that can Save People, Business Intelligence, May 24th 2017, http://www.datapine.com/blog/big-data-examples-in-healthcare/

7. Jamie Condliffe, “China Turns Big Data into Big Brother,” MIT Technology Review, November 29, 2016, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602987/china-turns-big-data-into-big-brother/

8. “China invents the digital totalitarian state: The worrying implications of its social-credit project,” The Economist, December 17, 2016, https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21711902-worrying-implications-its-social-credit-project-china-invents-digital-totalitarian

A Poem from the Novel “Two Souls in the Sun”

 

AN OFFERING – A poem by Giacomo Fatuzzo

 

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A lonely soldier in a distant land on Christmas Eve. Following is a poem Giacomo Fatuzzo wrote during his early days in colonial Libya and put in his novel “Two Souls in the Sun.” The poem, breathtaking descriptions, and a haunting story can be found in that book. (Available for purchase from amazon at amzn.to/2sKfE6t)

 

 

AN OFFERING

My soul speaks to my fantasies.

I want to sing about Distance and Nostalgia—the distance of all the far-away things that one loves, the nostalgia for all things that memory has fixed in the heart.

I love the distance of all things, because from it is born the desire to have them near me.

I love the distance of the sun because it warms without burning my bare flesh.

I love the distance of far-away lands because they fill my heart with silence and nostalgia.

I love the distance of things that are impossible, because my will succeeds in creating them in the reality of my soul.

And I love Nostalgia.

The nostalgia for lonely roads which get lost without hope on the boundless plains. On them my soul finds a new peace.

The nostalgia for long distances that do not give respite to the desire to stop. This is what calms my nomadic heart.

The nostalgia for lands lost in the sun, sad with silence and solitude. In them is the life of my soul that renews itself.

The nostalgia for all things that I left with the desire to find them again, because in them lives hope.

My soul speaks to my fantasies.

I want to sing of Nostalgia and Silence—the nostalgia for all things far away and the silence to hear all things that speak to me in my solitude.

I love the nostalgia for a thousand places where I dragged the heavy chain of my existence.

I love the nostalgia for a smile. In it I become inebriated with memories, and my joy lives again although my happiness is far away.

I love the nostalgia of a smiling mouth that my lips have pressed and have made silent.

I love the nostalgia for dreams of things I have not experienced.

And I love Silence.

The silence of long moonlit nights when no breath disturbs the serenity of nature. In it is the spirit of poetry.

The silence of starry nights that speaks to my heart with the flowery language of dreams. In it is the spirit of truth.

The silence of solitude and of the desert that surrounds, with magical enchantment, my joy of living. In this is the spirit of nature.

The silence of my soul that feels the sadness of everything. In it is the spirit of God.

My soul speaks to my fantasies.

I want to sing of Silence and Love—the silence of all things that are silent and the love of all things that are created.

I love the silence of eyes that transmit a thought with a glance. This silence is better than a noisy word.

I love the silence of lips that caress and smile. This silence is better than all the most delicate sounds.

I love the silence of joy without words. In this silence is the happiness that makes us alive.

I love the silence of lust that burns the incense of life. In this silence is the happiness that makes us die.

And I love Love.

The love of a woman who loves and keeps silent, because in this silence love finds the strength to live.

The love of a woman who loves and gives happily, because in this happiness is all the sweetness of life.

The love of a woman who smiles and deceives, because from this lie is born the force for a rebirth into a new life.

The love of a woman who flatters but does not yield, because this love sharpens the razor of desire.

My soul speaks to my fantasies.

I want to sing of Love and Time—the love for all things created and the time that passes without ever returning.

I love the love of a woman who yields without hate and yields again without deception. This is the perfect love.

I love the love of a woman who yields without asking for anything and yields again. This is the perfect love.

I love the love of a woman who smiles and does not deceive. This is the perfect love.

I love the love of a woman who enjoys the joy she gives. This is the perfect love.

And I love Time.

The time that marks with its rhythm the hours of my lust, because this sensual pleasure does not last; and one must not scorn fleeting joys.

The time that rocks and fills the silence of my solitude, because in this empty silence exists the spirit
of justice.

The time that denies eternal life for my flesh, because in my flesh lies corruption.

The time that marks my hours of anguish and pain, because in my pain lies the spirit of purity.

My soul speaks to my fantasies.

I want to sing of Time and of Joy—the time of things that have no end and the joy that entices and lulls to sleep the living.

I love the time that by running brings me closer to eternity, because in eternity lies the life of my soul.

I love the time that erases any guilt, because in guilt lies the death of my spirit.

I love the time that counts my purest joys, because purity will turn to faith.

I love the time that absorbs all life, because in the death of the flesh one finds the life of the spirit.

And I love Joy.

The joy that I was granted thanks to my sensitive flesh, because the senses are the strings of my spirit.

The joy that I was granted to satisfy my thirst for life, because this thirst is the anguish of my being.

The joy that is given me by the kiss of a girl, by the smile of a flower, by the sweetness of a musical note.

The joys, big and the small, because happiness is made of large and small joys, large and small desires.

My soul speaks to my fantasies.

 

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THE NOVEL: “TWO SOULS IN THE SUN” – THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT

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Giacomo Fatuzzo, then a Lieutenant in the Italian Army, wrote his novel “Two Souls in the Sun” in the late 1920s while he was posted at a remote fort in the African desert in the province of Tripolitania—an Italian possession soon to become part of the Italian colony of Libya. Giacomo called his book a novel and a “colonial romance,” but it is more than those words indicate. It is a story based on some of his actual experiences in the African desert. And in it he intentionally provides a contrast to the typical Italian colonial literature and attitudes of the time.

But the world of “Two Souls in the Sun” is very different from the fast-paced, interconnected one of today; and Giacomo’s story is heavily influenced by the culture and turmoil of that distant past. Therefore, this small window into that past is offered to introduce a place and time that no longer exist.

A LOOK AT EUROPEAN COLONIALISM AND THE “SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA”

The decade of the 1890s was a period of rapid colonization of the African continent by Europeans. By 1900, in what became known as the “Scramble for Africa,” much of Africa had been colonized by the European powers of Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. Following the lead of these countries, Italy also had established a presence in Africa, colonizing first Eritrea and later what would become Italian Somaliland.

The main driving forces for this massive European acquisition of territories were commercial interests created by the demand for raw materials and new markets. However the driving force for Italian colonialism differed. It was motivated largely by the desire to enhance the glory and overall international prestige of Italy, rather than by the economic benefits that could be gained from colonies.

Whatever the actual reasons were, Europeans often justified their expansion of colonialism in Africa by claiming that they were bringing civilization to a continent which was backward, undeveloped, and barbaric. In general, Europeans of this time believed they possessed cultural and racial superiority over African societies that were primitive and natives who were childlike savages. The Africans and Africa described in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” (published in 1899) are stereotypes of natives and native societies that reinforced these European attitudes of superiority.

However it also was common for European literature of the early 1900s to romanticize colonialism in Africa. The mostly Arabic community of northern Africa was portrayed as sensual, erotic, and cruel; but also weak. And popular novels represented Africa as a place of escape from the mundane and sometimes unpleasant reality of one’s native country. These stories created the perception of Africa as a land of adventure, a territory free from societal constrictions, and a place where man could find and be his true self.

But reality differed. The European “conquerors” were still vying for control and increased territory and power. Fighting with the natives was ongoing and often deadly, resulting in growing prejudice and racism. There wasn’t much that one could consider romantic.

Italy was no different than the rest of Europe with respect to prejudice and racism stemming from colonialism. The Italians’ new colonies in Africa had forced them for the first time to confront the existence of non-Europeans and non-whites within the Italian Empire. This led to Italians thinking of themselves as superior to the colonized African natives and Arabs and essentially establishing a racial hierarchy in which they, the Italians, (and other white Europeans) were at the top. Arabs and North Africans were somewhere in the middle, and black Africans were at the bottom. These views were commonly held by Italian colonists and soldiers in Africa, as well as Italian citizens at home, and they persisted for many years.

This is the history and the culture that surrounded Giacomo as he arrived in Italian Libya in 1924. And this is the setting for his novel “Two Soul in the Sun.”


 

“Two Souls in the Sun – A Twisted Love Story” is available for purchase from amazon: amzn.to/2sKfE6t

For more information about “Two Souls in the Sun” and other books published by Fatuzzo Books, visit our Web site: fatuzzobooks.com

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Superstar Technologies for Superstar Companies

 

TECHNOLOGY LAUNCHING PADS – AN INTRODUCTION by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

Launching-padYes, our book “Creating New Superstars” is a guide for achieving extreme business growth. And yes it addresses topics such as business creativity and brilliant leadership. But it focuses on explosively developing new technologies and their power. Why? A superstar company’s exponential growth requires exponential change in the technology on which the business is based. And today, for the first time in history, the explosion of advances in Microelectronics, the Internet, and Biogenetics offer this possibility. We call these technologies “Launching Pads.”

These three technology Launching Pads, alone and/or in combination, are changing our world and creating new high growth business opportunities at unprecedented rates. Thus, in our fast-paced, technology-rich environment, it is impossible to ignore these technology-based forces that are shaping the future for business and for humanity.

MICROELECTRONICS

Consider Microelectronics. Is Microelectronics-based technology (integrated circuits) THE basic Launching Pad? It has given birth to or at least enabled our other two Launching Pads, so at the very least it is a basic building block for them. Think about it. The Internet wouldn’t have the enormous impact on the world it does today without the rapid increases in speed and data handling enabled by advances in Microelectronics. And Biogenetics would not be making its radical breakthroughs without the advanced computers and digital equipment based on Microelectronics that it uses as tools.

However you look at it, Microelectronics has created an ongoing revolution. It is pervasive and changing the world as we know it due to rapid advances in the technology. But the advances in Microelectronics are not just rapid. They are being made at exponentially increasing rates as the doubling of microprocessor capabilities roughly every two years for the past several decades show. The resulting rapidly shrinking size of integrated circuits and the increased number of these tiny devices fitting on smaller and smaller chips has resulted in dramatic increases in computer processing speeds, data storage capacities, and more—much more. These radical improvements in digital electronics have irreversibly changed nearly every segment of the global economy.

However, keep in mind that nothing is forever. If we had to make a prediction, we would pick the younger and more embryonic Biogenetics Launching Pad to be the successor to Microelectronics in the not-too-distant future.

BIOGENETICS

What is Biogenetics? Today, the process commonly used in Medical Biotechnology is genetic engineering. Genetic engineering refers to scientific procedures that allow the direct manipulation of genetic material to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population. Hence the name Biogenetics. Today’s blockbuster drugs and the superstar businesses that have commercialized them are the basis of this newest technology Launching Pad.

But this is just the beginning. Breakthrough advances in Biogenetics are being made at an ever-increasing pace. Four of these emerging and rapidly developing areas—cloning of genes and organisms, stem cell research, and the genome editing technologies of TALENs and CRISPR—appear to us to be the most promising. Clearly, although still in its infancy, Biogenetics is a technologically rich area with perhaps an even greater potential than Microelectronics.

NANOMEDICINE

But what about new Launching Pads? As an example, we turn to a rapidly advancing area of science and engineering—the field of Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is a very broad area of research involving dimensions less than 100 nanometers, but much of its promise is in the future. However, we believe that Nanomedicine, the rapidly advancing Life Science-based segment of Nanotechnology, has the potential to be a new Launching Pad on its own in the near term.

Simply stated, Nanomedicine is the application of Nanotechnology to medicine. It involves the monitoring, repair, construction and control of human biological systems at the molecular level, using engineered nanodevices and nanostructures. It ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials to nanoscale biosensors and even to possible applications of programmable nanomachines and nanorobots—devices that would allow medical doctors to execute procedures in the human body at the cellular and molecular levels.

Nanobiosensors for measuring glucose, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. Injectable, wireless nanobots that carry out medical tasks, gather diagnostics and even deliver drugs into the bloodstream. Self-assembled, DNA based nanodevices for molecular scale diagnostics and smart drug delivery. Quantum wires for real-time sensing of biomarker proteins for cancer. Nanorobots for repairing damaged tissue, unblocking arteries, and replacing damaged organs. And the list goes on and on. Nanomedicine technology possibilities are endless and world-changing.

NEW SCIENCE FOR NEW LAUNCHING PADS

And what about technology Launching Pads in the longer term? There are many possibilities, including current areas of research such as Complexity Science, Subatomic Particles, the Makeup of the Universe, and the Search for Life beyond Earth. However, the path from a scientific discovery to a Launching Pad is long. So, the only certainty is that there will be new technology Launching Pads, and they will change the world.

A CAUTION

We are rapidly approaching a technology treasure room with many doors. Beyond each door, there is the potential for both great good and great harm. Only two things are certain. Which doors we open and when will determine the future of humankind and life as we know it. And once a door is opened, it can never be closed. Everything will change forever.

Should we open these doors? Will we?  The answer to the last question is simple: Yes, because humans always have and always will.


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For more detailed and easy-to-understand information on the technologies highlighted above and their impacts, see “Creating New Superstars” by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo, available from amazon: http://amzn.to/2hAn6dy

The Novel: “Two Souls in the Sun” – A Personal Perspective

 

MY FATHER’S NOVEL – A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE, by Ennio Fatuzzo

An incredible story. An Italian book, “buried” in the North-African sands of time and war for decades, that I have been able to bring back to life for English speaking readers. It is my father’s novel – a saga of sweeping landscapes, an exotic young girl, and a tormented mind – and it is beautiful literature.

LOST AND FOUND

“Two Souls in the Sun” (Due anime nel sole}, written by my father (Giacomo Due Anime coverFatuzzo), was published in 1929, in Italian, in Italy’s colony of Libya. And then it was forgotten. The publisher ceased to exist long ago, my father is dead, and I only had vague memories of the book’s existence. But my daughter, Laura Fatuzzo, found a copy, covered with dust, buried among old documents belonging to my mother. Laura read it and was captivated by the emotional saga and her grandfather’s exquisite descriptions. She challenged me read it, Two_Souls_in_the_Sun_Cover_for_Kindleand I was equally fascinated. The feelings, the torment, the mixture of dreams, dark desires, and reality – compelling and unlike the father I thought I knew, So, I translated my father’s timeless story of a lonely soldier into English; and with the editing assistance of my wife Carol, we published it, making it accessible to today’s serious readers. “Two Souls in the Sun” is now available in English in paperback and Kindle formats from amazon.com.

MY FATHER

GF 4 2.5x3.5 finalMy father, born in Sicily in 1900, was an Italian career army officer. From what I can reconstruct, as a young officer he spent almost 10 years (from the early-to-mid 1920s to the early 1930s) on assignment in the wild African desert of Italy’s colony of Libya. He was in command of a group of local troops who were responsible for guarding the borders of the Italian territory. He could scarcely communicate with his men, and most of the time he had no colleagues with whom to talk. His only personal interactions were his occasional visits to young Arab girls in a nearby brothel. Alone in a GF 1 Mar 1924 book finalforeign land, isolated by language and culture from those around him, he wrote a story in which he posed daunting questions for himself and his readers: How well do we really know ourselves? Is almost anyone capable of murder? Is madness always looming? My father’s work explores these questions as well as the effects of prolonged silence and solitude on the human soul, including the ultimate toll isolation can take on the human mind. Clearly, in his novel, he was expressing many of his own thoughts and feelings.

A NOVEL OR A MEMOIR OR SOMETHING IN BETWEEN

GF 6 Africa 3.4x2.5 final“Two Souls in the Sun” is the story of a lonely, young, Italian army officer who wanders through the vast dessert that was the Libya of almost 100 years ago – as my father did. It unveils unfamiliar and desolate landscapes of breathtaking beauty and power, and it describes the strange yet enticing people and customs that the young officer encounters. Day by day, the book reveals a mind that wanders farther and farther from what it has known and begins to generate chaotic GF 7 Africa Base A 3.4x2.2 finalthoughts that are a mixture of dreams, dark desires, and reality. A second, more brutal “self” emerges – someone wild, angry, and very different from the lonely Italian officer. As his second “self” becomes stronger, the young officer becomes obsessed with one specific prostitute. But is she real? His mind mixes his hallucinations with his memories; and interwoven with all of this is his enchantment with the wildness and power of the desert itself. It is unclear where reality becomes delusion as the saga winds through the vast desert of Northern Africa and the young officer descends into madness.

Ultimately the reader faces a fundamental question: Who are the two sGF 19 3.4x5.4 finalouls in the sun – the officer and his prostitute or the two selves of the officer? And my thoughts always return to other questions: Is this just a story or is it partly a chronicle of my father’s actual experiences? What really happened, and what was imagined? Is this totally a novel or is it partially or even mostly a memoir? There is no way to know the answers to these questions, even for me, the author’s own son. Therefore, it is up to the reader to decide. What is clear is that my father, as a young officer, turned his lonely time in a foreign desert into a fascinating exploration of the psychology of human nature and the effects of solitude. His novel is truly a literary journey into the depths of one’s soul.

For more information about “Two Souls in the Sun” and all of the other books published by Fatuzzo Books, visit the Web site fatuzzobooks.com.
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