New Cotroneo book on conscience removal

Vitality of the past and present in 'Niente di Personale'

(by Paolo Petroni) (ANSA) - Rome, November 8 - ROBERTO COTRONEO, NIENTE DI PERSONALE (published by LA NAVE DI TESEO, pp. 378 - 19.00 euros).
    In this book by Roberto Cotroneo, half novel and half memoir, Rome in the 1980s is described as "the salt, the essence of this country. That vitality that gives you the strength to live and - this goes without saying - to risk, look far ahead, to improve oneself, to love". The author begins with his own story and that of his family to reflect on the past and present and the 30-year deterioration of a society in which "managers have taken the upper hand because intellectuals did not become the leading class" and people buy technology, "a screen, a battery, miniature processors. Well made, of course, but empty", since everything that makes them work - the contents, servers, fibers, etc - are the property of and managed by someone who we known little or nothing about. And everyone simply writes and watches without actually seeing or hearing anything anymore, thanks to what he calls "the most powerful system for removing consciences". Though the book is partially an indignant complaint, it also investigates and collects human and scientific data, remembering and reflecting, it is more an attempt to take stock of the situation while being guided by a certain melancholic nostalgia for what once was with a bit or irony mixed in. It looks at the Rome of Moravia and Fellini, the office of the Italian weekly L'Espresso, where "values and priorities" were what was important and where Cotroneo entered as a journalist in 1984.
    The story moves from one in which attempts were made to find out the reality on the ground - to denounce and change it - to a technological passivity that has almost no links to reality anymore.