a later edition will substitute a baseball triumph for Mitterand

It is fitting that in Semarang Hitam a newspaper appears embedded in fiction, for, if we now turn to the newspaper as cultural product, we will be struck by its profound fictiveness. What is the essential literary convention of the newspaper? If we were to look at a sample front page of, say, The New York Times, we might find there stories about Soviet dissidents, famine in Mali, a gruesome murder, a coup in Iraq, the discovery of a rare fossil in Zimbabwe, and a speech by Mitterrand. Why are these events so juxtaposed? What connects them to each other? Not sheer caprice. Yet obviously most of them happen independently, without the actors being aware of each other or of what the others are up to. The arbitrariness of their inclusion and juxtaposition (a later edition will substitute a baseball triumph for Mitterand) shows that the linkage between them is imagined.

Benedict Anderson
Imagined Communities
Reflections of the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
(Revised edition)
Verso, London & New York 2006
p. 33

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