by Allan Cameron - £10.95 Vagabond Voices (2017)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781908251824 | ISBN 10: 1908251824
With a Scottish professor of politics as his guide, a London-based Italian journalist traverses Scotland seeking a “big story” on the independence referendum. What he gets instead are small stories from myriad points of view: a Ukrainian nationalist, a Russian religious guru, an eccentric Estonian, an Algerian and a dying man, amongst many others.
After a chaotic romance with a Scottish campaigner, the journalist, aptly named Cinico de Oblivii, leaves his post in London and moves to Greece where, reflecting on his time in Scotland, he writes a memoir (this book). Through his anecdotes we encounter the full spectrum of ideas on Scottish independence, including the ones Cinico’s editor didn’t want to publish.
Beyond exploring Scotland’s political scene and its place in Europe, Cinico’s stories examine how Europeans interpret each other and, more generally, how people interrelate within a social context. Like Voltaire’s Candide, Cinico starts with the dominant mindset of his era, which is incapable of bringing him either understanding or contentment, but ends up with an awareness that, though insufficient for the elusive happiness we all seek, is sufficient enough for a perfectly acceptable human existence.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2017)
In booklists: Scottish Independence, Writers by Surname - C, Fiction - Scottish Writers (and novels set in Scotland), Political Fiction, In categories: Ireland, Scotland & Wales, Fiction, Politics & Philosophy,