“From Krasnova to Kundera” An essay by Vince Pomal 2010-14.

Warning: The following is original, genius, potentially funny and (shortly) so obvious by *Nassim Nicholas Taleb, you might just hate it…

nassimSearched for the name Yevgenia Krasnova?         Well done.                       Many do not.


Have you ever read a book backwards? You should try it, it breaks the narrative.

From its seeds in ‘Fooled by Randomness’, to its delivery in ‘The Black Swan’ and application in ‘Anti-fragile’. Nassim Taleb weaved his knowledge into his own work with a meta-commentary, an autobiography, a black swan, silent evidence and even a random chance of $20 million.

Ready to see, what you couldn’t see before?

The meta-commentary.

The last paragraph on page 25, Chapter 2 in ‘The Black Swan’, reads:

“In a few years, a literary scholar will write an essay “From Kundera to Krasnova”, showing how her work can be found in Kundera – a precursor who mixed essay and metacommentary, (Yevgenia never read Kundera, but did see the movie version of one of his books – there was no commentary in the movie.)

A prominent scholar will show how the influence of Gregory Bateson, who injected autobiographical scenes into his scholarly research papers, is visible on every page (Yevgenia never heard of Bateson). Yevgenia book is a black swan.”

Return to Chapter 2’s opening page, (page 23). The last subtitle reads “I told you so”. The place it corresponds in the book, the last subtitle, (Kundera – a precursor who mixed essay and metacommentary.) The chapters titles is your metacommentary.

The Narrative

The fictional characters: Yevgenia Nikolayevna Krasnova (a writer), Nero Tulip (a businessman/trader), Fat Tony (a streetwise man & eater!) and **Dr. John (a scientist/engineer), are all dimensions of  the author Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Here is Nassim Taleb’s autobiography graciously woven (autobiographical scenes) throughout his work. Taleb’s personal journey and his own ‘factual’ narrative of his life (even his works, all with fictional titles!), expressed via **four ‘fictional’ characters.

The Silent Evidence.

In ‘The Black Swan’s’ Index, look for the listing of Yevgenia Krasnova, the writer, a fictional character. The next in the Index should be ***Milan Kundera (KR -> KU), a very real writer….is not. (The plot thickens!).

When you name a person, book, place, it’s listed in the Index or Bibliography. True? Though this is at the discretion of the Author (ahem).  Numbers below for just ‘The Black Swan’.  (More in Fooled by Randomness.)

a) 100 People are not listed in the Index.

b) 20 books are not referenced in the bibliography.

c) 100+ Locations, Institutions, companies and formulae are omitted.

The Ludic

What does these missing items mean?  I don’t Know. Its interesting consumption though.

If you want the list of the missing items, then start to cross reference or send an email to vpomal12 [at] Hotmail [dot] com and I’ll send you the essay with the ‘all’ the finds.

How did I find it? Let’s say “I’m lucky”, you can find out why in my own work, below. 

A gentle reminder….

Black Swans – Consist of 3 attributes…

1) They are rare events. (Don’t know many books with this in it) 

2) They have an extreme impact (4+ million readers missed it)…

3) They have retrospective predictability, though not prospective. (Here you be)

Black Swan’s generators.

1) The Narrative fallacy (And Confirmation Bias). (Who’s Fat Tony, Nero, Yevgenia and Dr.John?)

2) The Round Trip fallacy aka Silent Evidence. (How many things omitted?)

3) The Ludic fallacy & The Gaussian (What do you need to work out?).

The full essay “From Krasnova to Kundera” is in my book Surfing Serendipity – my personal account of flaneuring  randomness, globally, for 10 years. Now literature (and look what I found)…


*Its Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the no-nonsense man from the Levant with a huge sense of humor. Practionaires don’t just tawk (and write). They walk the walk.

** Dr.John Latham logged the first (physical) Black Swan in 1790. (Nice fit.) I’m still unsure whether Dr. John is Taleb, in the way it is delivered in the book. It does show Dr.Taleb’s rigor in his work and organization and is again a fictional character, within the presence of Tony.

*** Milan Kundera’s book ‘The Joke’. A book with ‘four fictional characters’  (This supports why Dr. John  is Taleb) and a Black Swan event that changes their world. Plus ‘A book with a Meta-commentary’

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About The Author…

In 2004, after a lifetime of risk taking in his personal and business life, the author decided on the biggest risk of his life. He choose to sell off, close down, or give away, all that he owned, represented or had ties with.

Left with only a bag of belongings, he booked a random flight, and with ‘No’ actual plan, walked out of the airport, and followed randomness. Those outliers, coincidences or serendiptious events that presented themselves in the great tapestry of life. He would follow them wherever they may lead. Even if it mean’t his death. A true life random walk.

It took him to 2 continents, 3 islands and 7 countries, where treasures of many descriptions were found in this beauty of randomness.

In 2008, in the mountains of Italy, the author began writing about what he had discovered. Then in 2010, with some incredible chance meetings, the book was completed, with its formula awaiting inside. 

Proof of his work was then needed. He reversed the formula back onto the book, itself. From that point, every book the formula pointed him towards would give him a valuable idea, clue or secret to make his work public to a mass audience.

The first book was Alive and Kicking, about David Bryce, a former gangster and drug addict which delivered the idea of the “Money Back Offer” with returns to HM prison library’s and a huge section on the power of subtraction with addictions. Better known as ‘Via Negativa’ a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

The second Health, Hope and Happiness By Libby Rees (Her Mother bought the book and gave some fabulous support) which would enable profits of the book, like Libby, to be donated randomly at street level. (The authors own Skin In The Game.)

The third book into the project was The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and with it the discovery of  ‘The Incerto Enigma’ and the production of the essay of “From Krasnova to Kundera”. 

Surfing Serendipty has three things in it for you. 1) Something very rare 2) Will have an extreme impact and 3) Will be Introspective after ‘your’ event.

You’ve just got to love the randomness, serendipty and coincidence.

Any Publishers or Agents go here:


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