1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Umberto Eco

Discussion in 'Author Discussion' started by Wynter, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Wynter

    Wynter New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    So I've been wanting to read an Umberto Eco book for quite some time. I've heard quite a few people say that they adore him, but (and excuse my ignorance) I've never known quite...why. So, for all those Eco fans out there, I have a challenge for you...why do you love U.E. and which book (and why) would you recommend to begin with?
     
  2. froggerz40

    froggerz40 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    I liked "The Name of the Rose". It was really immersive, you really felt as if you were in the abbey. It was obviously very well researched. Sort of a whodunnit among the monks! A bit gory at times, but also quite a few moments of monkish humor. Very original!
     
  3. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hiyah,

    guess you love books....

    Have read the name of the rose at least a 8ish times, first at 15, last a few months ago. TBR definite yet take your time, and lock yourslef in a room if not very expert in medieval literary erudition on the devil and the Bible
    great as well: Foucault's pendulum, resits until the p.80 and you will not leave the book until the end. Same water, yet easier: Perez-Reverte's Club Dumas


    Morry :)
     
  4. Wynter

    Wynter New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks to both of you guys....hopefully I will get around to all that you have suggested...as soon as I set out to read a certain book, another one dangles itself in my face, daring me to read it first.....sigh. but thank you all the same, you both encouraged me to pursue Eco further...
     
  5. Corso

    Corso New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    What? Is that good book? ;)
     
  6. Dawn

    Dawn kickbox

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2002
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    You've been waiting for that, haven't you, Corso. :D
     
  7. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Perez-Reverte por fin?

    :) Quote

    "Wanted: Arturo Perez Reverte Fans to start an online fanclub.
    Anyone out there. Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please!
    Oh thank you. Sorry to be a bother but I am kind of obsessed."


    Hey Corso;) (Why Corso? Corto Maltese? Was thinking of that acronym for myself when I arrived on this board)

    Would have said "porfavorporfavorporfavorporfavorporfavor..."
    Might indeed be in the Club and desperate of coming back to Spain to get the books I do not have in the original edition...
    Beside, yeah, more or less have read all I can find of Perez-Reverte, from La tabla de Flandes to las aventuras del capitan Alatriste... :D
    Top of my list: Maestro de esgrima, Piel del Tambor (the best guide ever in visiting Sevilla), Club Dumas (read it back in Toledo last summer), Tabla de Flandes, Carta Esferica (to be read in Cadiz... )

    Any idea whether the last one has been translated into English yet? Last summer was short of Euros at Madrid airport when I realise it was out in hardback in Spain... :(


    Morry
     
  8. Corso

    Corso New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alatriste?

    You have read those books? They sound excellent, opinions? plot? I'd love to know more.
     
  9. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Corso,

    I have not read them as much as I would have liked, for not as easy to find.... They are a bit different from the other books, though and less serious and researched in some ways, and a far as the story draws from one book to another one and Perez-reverte makes less efforts to have it self-standing.
    Something similar in spansih are those by Vasquez-Figueroa on 18th-19th century South America. My definite best in terms of construction is El maestro de esgrima. :)

    Morry :cool:
     
  10. Darren

    Darren Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,693
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Children of Hurin
    I've only just realised that Umberto Eco wrote The Dumas Club which the film "The Ninth Gate" was based on.

    I enjoyed the film to a point. What's the book like?
     
  11. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    As Corso said earlier, and quite agree on it:
    The movie is pretty very very very very very poor compared to the subtleties of the book.

    On the movie, to me, I see it as a problem of complete and aberrant cultural incoherence: Hollywood actor Depp, and special effects - cannot think about a proper actor for the role though -, trying to mix with failed French actress who cannot act at all and makes the young girl looking like a slapper for a mysterious 'sensual' woman - good person for the role could perhaps have been Jennifer Connelly when as in Labyrinth - and Spanish script by the book.... All that does not make sense. First mistake in the movie was to move Corso to New York... :mad:

    In brief, pure failure of adaptation to me... They did not get that the book is not about Devil or Dumas but about people who get obsessed with owing books and project themselves in and through the books. Let's come back to the book, which is really great book. It made me think to Eco's Name of the Rose, I do not remember when, when reading this in Eco:
    “Books are not made to believe but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means, a precept that the commentaries of the holy books had very clearly in mind.” So sum up: in the Ninth Gate,
    Hollywood has been tricked in looking at what the book was saying and completely missed the meaning...

    Morry :D
     
  12. funes

    funes New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm a little confused; didn't Perez-Reverte write The Club Dumas , not Eco?
    Either way, I haven't read any of Perez-Reverte's books yet, but have read Eco's The Name of the Rose , Foucault's Pendulum , and The Island of the Day Before . I thoroughly enjoyed the first two, but found the last very dry and dull.
     
  13. Darren

    Darren Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,693
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Children of Hurin
    You're quite right. I'm getting confused between the two :eek: They both seem to write similar stuff.

    Darren.
     
  14. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would disagree on that. Same kind of story or same kind of erudition?

    Morry :cool:
     
  15. Darren

    Darren Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,693
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Children of Hurin
    They're both new authors I found at the same time. I was getting each confused with the other when browsing their books. Never mind, just ignore me :D
     
  16. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, perhaps surely not... Would get it a good expansion on the discussion

    Thing is, I kinnda agree on the point of stories being similar ... - you get the point here indeed - yet I cannot help thinking that Eco has that cold erudition that means little in human non-intellectual terms, and act as little to attract readers emotionally to the characters...


    Best as always,
    Morry :cool:
     
  17. Dawn

    Dawn kickbox

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2002
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    Morry, could you clarify this? Examples? You've lost me, but that's nothing new. I'm frequently lost.:rolleyes:
     
  18. funes

    funes New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    1
    Though it's been a while since I read Eco, I can sort of see what Morry is saying. I think, though, that it is less a problem with Eco's style than a symptom of a style of writing. I seem to remember that thinking, for instance, that Foucault's Pendulum was as much a sort of self-referential satire (or maybe inside joke). If you think the characters are crazy for getting sucked in to that vast web of Rosicrucian, Knights-Templar, Masonic conspiracy madness, then what does it say about the print-obsessed bibliomanes out there who (you know) are going to try to track down all those quotes and epigrams, etc. It is Borges writ large.
    The point being, though, that it becomes a book which is as much about the experience of reading (and therefore the reader) as it is about the characters. In that kind of atmosphere, things like characterization is going to suffer.
     
  19. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hiyah,

    "Though it's been a while since I read Eco, I can sort of see what Morry is saying. I think, though, that it is less a problem with Eco's style than a symptom of a style of writing. I seem to remember that thinking, for instance, that Foucault's Pendulum was as much a sort of self-referential satire (or maybe inside joke). If you think the characters are crazy for getting sucked in to that vast web of Rosicrucian, Knights-Templar, Masonic conspiracy madness, then what does it say about the print-obsessed bibliomanes out."


    Indeed, pretty much my point. Makes me think again of the movie made out of The Name of The Rose, where basically all the characters seemed to be 'in love' with reading and touching books in a sensual way, and in which the story seemed pretty much geared by these concerns. By contrast the book is more about intellectual love with books in a purely monastic 'spiritual' tradition (see St Benoit's rules for monachism). Splendid sections are when Adso collapses in the chapel in the emotional overflow triggered by marvelling at the porch and its sculptures and, as well, when he collapses again in the library looking at books denouncing sexual perversion. These are sections about intellectual sensualism conflicting with or provoking physical sensual emotions. There is also a fantastic section when the trial takes place, with all the denunciation of the name of the Devil. Yet, although all the troubles of calling the Inquisition around are about how this 'spiritual' approach gets lost because of obsession by some monks to materialise it, the book ends up doing things in a very 'cold' way. To be brief, in the book, is Adso having sex or religious experience? Eco does not really write in a way that suggests that there is any relation between these kind of experience. The Devil naming scene is an exception though, surprisingly. ;)
    Foucault's Pendulum is of the same kind, example the episode in the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers where a more or less disincarnate character remains fascinated by the movement of the pendulum... for 60 pages - hard introduction for the reader: you must love science and equations or literary style exercise to go through it. Took me 3 attempts at different times of my life between 15 and 18 to get through it. This makes me think now also to Yourcenar's "Hadrien's Memoirs," although I would say that latter book is much more poor in the emotional way as Eco has ever been in is coldest way ever. It was a 'tough' reading when I did it, and I think it would still be now. MOstly, probably because there might another kind of difference acting as well. I do not have any clear reminsicences of section of the book. 'Bland' book to me - with apologies to those who nominated her at the French Academy.


    Yet, perhaps not on this:
    "The point being, though, that it becomes a book which is as much about the experience of reading (and therefore the reader) as it is about the characters. In that kind of atmosphere, things like characterization is going to suffer."

    There is a fantastic book that makes this a bit less inevitable than it seems: The Perfume, by Patrick Suskind - See the opening section: you will never think about Paris in the same way after reading it, and yet it is a fantastic piece of historical erudition on the Middle Ages.:):)
    To come back to Perez Reverte here, see the encounters of Corso and the Baroness in the Library in Paris, with the Ceniza brothers in Toledo and with Vargas in Sintra during the choice of the book to be sacrificed. There are great mixtures of characterisation and erudition not as easy as seems for the readers.:):)




    Morry;)
     
  20. Marie

    Marie kickbox

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love Umberto Eco, but he takes himself very seriously. In the Postscript to The name of the Rose, he claims to design is books for the ideal reader. That is why he begins his books by long learned introductions designed to lose the non ideal reader along the way (however I find his elitism kind of funny...).
    Perez-Reverte doesn't take himself that seriously, I think.
    Also the quality of Eco's novels diminishes. "The Island of the Day before" was interesting though after The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, it was a letdown. I couldn't finish Baudolino. The first chapter was great but the rest was really boring...
     

Share This Page