Ricci's "Operation Columbus"
Ricci, 45, is now striking out on perhaps his boldest venture yet. He plans to market an English language edition of his elegant monthly art magazine, FMR , in the United States. Once again the skeptice are murmuring that the successful Ricci has headed for a big fall. And once again Ricci intends to prove them wrong.
Ricci is so confident that he has christened his quest "Operation Columbus" and has set his sights on discovering an American readership of 300,000. That goal may not be too far-fetched. The Italian edition of FMR - the initials, of course, stand for Franco Maria Ricci-is only 18 months old. But it is already the second largest art magazine in the world, with a circulation of 65,000 and a profit margin of US $ 500,000. The American edition will be patterned after th e Italian version, with each 160-page issue carrying only 40 pages of ads and no more than five articles. But the contents will often differ. The English-langua ge edition will include more American works, Ricci says, to help Americans get over "an inferiority complex about their art." He also hopes that the magazine will become a vehicle for a two -way cultural exchange - what he likes to think of as a marriage of brains, culture and taste from both sides of the Atlantic.
To realize this vision, Ricci is mounting one of the most lavish, enterpris ing - and expensive - promotional campaigns in magazine - publishing history. Between November and January, eight jumbo jets will fly 8 million copies of a sample 16-page edition of FMR across the Atlantic. From a warehouse in Michigan, 6.5 million copies will be mailed to American subscribers of various cultural, art and business magazines. Some of the remaining copies will circulate as a spe cial Sunday supplement in the New York Times. The cost of launching Operation Co lumbus is a staggering US $ 5 million, but Ricci is hoping that 60% of the price tag will be financed by Italian corporations. "To land in America Columbus had to use Spanish sponsors," reads one sentence in his promotional pamphlet. "We would like Italians."
Like Columbus, Ricci cannot know what his reception will be on foreign shor es. In Italy he gambled - and won - on a simple concept: it is more important to show art than to write about it. Hence, one issue of FMR might feature 32 fu ll-colour pages of 17th-century tapestries, followed by 14 pages of outrageous e yeglasses. He is gambling that the concept is exportable. "I don't expect that more than 30% of my reader... will actually read FMR," he says. "The magazine is such a visual delight that they don't have to." Still, he is lining up an impr es sive stable of writers and professors for the American edition , including Noam Chomsky, Anthony Burgess, Eric Jong and Norman Mailer. In addition, he seems to be pursuing his won eclectic vision without giving a moment's thought to such e s tablished competitors as Connosisseur and Horizon. "The Americans can do almost everything better than we can," says Rieci, "But we(the Italians)have a 2,000 year edge on them in art."
16. Ricci intends his American edition of FMR to carry more American art works in order to___.A. boost A. mericans'confidence in their art
B. follow the pattern set by his Italian edition
C. help Italians understand American art better
D. expand the readership of his magazine
17. Ricci is compared to Columbus in the passage mainly because___.
A. they both benefited from Italian sponsors
B. they were explorers in their own ways
C. they obtained overseas sponsorship
D. they got a warm reception in America
18. We get the impression that the American edition of FMR will probably ___.
A. carry many academic articles of high standard
B. follow the style of some famous existing magazines
C. be mad by one third of American magazine readers
D. pursue a distinctive editorial style of its own
【詳細解答】短文第二段倒數第二句說"The English-language edition will include more American works, Ricci says, to help Americans get over 'an inferiority complex about their art'."由此可知，登載更多美國藝術品是為了幫助美國人樹立自信心，因為他們對其沒有太長歷史的文化藝術而感到自卑。故選項A為正確答案。
【詳細解答】短文倒數第二段說"In addition, he seems to be pursuing his won eclectic vision without giving a moment's thought to such established competitors as Connosisseur and Horizon."即該雜志的編輯方式不同于其他藝術雜志，故選項D“追求自己獨特的藝術風格”為正確答案。