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Umberto Eco

kskyhappy

New Member
i guess it was the unravelling of the esoteric knowledge. It also made my visit to Paris more interesting as i visited the pendulum, very interesting building.

ksky
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
I'm a member of another book forum and the selection of the month is Eco's The Name of the Rose. I received from Amazon a few days ago and I'm already to the second section. I am very impressed with his richness of writing and with his historical knowledge that intertwines with the story. In this case, it is listing of the Popes and their various interactions with the spirituals and the franciscan movement in general. We have a thread dedicated to Foucault's Pendulum here at TBF, though I'm unaware of other Eco related threads, so be patient and add them if you know of any. Any other fans?...detractors?....apathetic?.......:cool:

Umberto Eco's hompepage


Another good resource
 

pontalba

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting that link. I have The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum in my TBR stack. After Nabokov, and Proust. :eek:
Um, maybe in about 3 years.......:eek:
 

bren

Member
I've had Baudolino out from the library for eight weeks, read three or four books in between, and am still determined to finish Baudolino at some point. It is a wry and intelligently crafted book, very funny, but also difficult for me to get into the stride of his prose. I'm sure it must be intentional that he should be made to sound kind of stereotypically italian, as in say, films, so perhaps the translation is part of it? Much as it took 1-2 books for me to find the way to read Dickens and appreciate the stories, I'm hoping it is the same with Eco. Don't know, but when I finally finish Baudolino, I have The Name of the Rose waiting in the wings. I'm determined to read more than just Baudolino. I feel like I'm learning from him in more ways than one.:cool:
 

Tiffany

New Member
Let me know what you think when you're done w/ The Name of the Rose... I read it last summer and really enjoyed most of it, but thought it could have been done in fewer pages. I found myself getting bored in the middle and it was quite a push to get through what felt dull to get back to the fun stuff.
Also, I have a copy of Foucault's Pendulum...should I read it? I didn't like the Foucault I was assigned in my theory class--will that have a bearing on my enjoyment of this book?
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
I'm a huge fan of Eco's. I loved all five of his novels and have been meaning to read some of his non-fiction works as well (apparently, the only sure-fire way to get thrown out of one of his lectures at the university is to quote his novels).

What I like about his books - and what I suspect turn many readers away - is the way they're explicitly designed to be actively read, to work on several levels. He'll use a traditional novel structure - the detective story, the spy novel - to basically lecture on other subjects, whether it be the history of the church or that of measuring time etc. At the same time he manages to make it up-to-date as well ("Name Of The Rose", if I'm not mistaken, was as much influenced by the 70's wave of political dogmatism and terrorism as it was by the medieval church debates). Basically, the more you put into his books, the more you get out of them.

Plus, he can be dead funny.

Tiffany: I'm guessing you're referring to Michel Foucault? "Foucault's Pendulum" takes its name from the physicist Léon Foucault, so they have nothing to do with each other as far as I know. You should definitely read FP in my opinion, it's a great book. Basically "The Da Vinci Code" only, you know, good.

One more thing that I can't quite not say on that subject; about a year ago I went to a lecture of his in which he got the question if he considers Dan Brown his literary son, considering the similarities between FP and TDVC. He looked very uncomfortable, went on to say that whereas he satirized conspiracy theorists Brown believes them - "and in that way, he is not my son but perhaps my bastard". :D

EDIT: Oh, and here's a thread about his latest book, "The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana": http://forums.thebookforum.com/showthread.php?t=6792
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
bren said:
I have The Name of the Rose waiting in the wings. I'm determined to read more than just Baudolino. I feel like I'm learning from him in more ways than one.:cool:

I'm currently half way through that one and I'm absolutely loving it!. Others have complained about how Eco throws in history and seemingly unrelated musings by the characters into the book, but to me, it adds to it as you understand the events and thoughts that were around at the time of the story. I've had to do some brushing up on my knowledge of the early Popes, as well as the *spiritualist* movement within the religious orders, both prominent and less so.
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
Just finished up The Name of the Rose. All I can say is-wow!. I totally didn't see the end as
it wa Jorge who was the murderer!.
I always intend to sit down with a yellow legal pad to jot down the names and to try to figure out the crime myself, but I get too caught up in the reading to be that methodical. The book is also a great read in regards to church history, the Popes, spiritualist movements within the religious orders of the time, not to mention the monkish humor. The latter is just a riot as it is "time appropriate" and you could see that Eco truly did his homework as to how they would've spoken at that time.

On other forums, I've heard that he digresses and just muses on and on about non-related things, but to me, that's what gives the book it's good qualities. As stated above, not only do you get a murder mystery, but a good rendition of theological issues and debates that were around at the time.
 

Dogmatix

New Member
I too really have enjoyed Ecco. Unfortunately most my "Ecco" reading was about 10-13 years ago in my early 20's. Reading this thread makes me think how much more I could extract from his books if I reread them with a more seasoned and patient eye.

Someone mentioned earlier how immersive his books can be and I agree. When I read "Rose" and "Foucault" I pretty much locked myself up in a room until I finished them. Like so many of you I had some trouble with "Island", although I read it twice, but again I feel my youth had a bit to do with it. Nevertheless they are important parts of my book collection and will be going back on my TBR list this fall when it's nice and chilly out and I can read an entire day away in my study.
 

SFG75

Well-Known Member
Other than being a smart reader's Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I'm not all that certain what else there is to say about him. He does provide some monkish humor(pun intended) in The Name of the Rose, but underlying messages and that kind of things are not present, or at least in bountiful supply as oposed to Dostoyevsky or Nabokov. There seems to be such an emptiness of Rose in that regard. I'm quite frankly, a bit disappointed.
 

Knocks

New Member
I have just finished reading the novel Conversation with Spinoza, written in the manner of Umberto Eco. Do you know of any other novel written as a pastische to Eco's works?
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
SFG75 said:
Other than being a smart reader's Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I'm not all that certain what else there is to say about him. He does provide some monkish humor(pun intended) in The Name of the Rose, but underlying messages and that kind of things are not present, or at least in bountiful supply as oposed to Dostoyevsky or Nabokov. There seems to be such an emptiness of Rose in that regard. I'm quite frankly, a bit disappointed.
Huh. You sure you didn't just watch the movie? :rolleyes: J/k. I certainly didn't find it empty at all...

EDIT: just realized I responded to a fairly old post. Sorry.
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
Umberto Eco, A Passo di Gambero.

Utterly brilliant collection of essays. It's funny how Eco - and don't get me wrong, he's one of my favourite novelists - is one of those writers who is probably MORE "accessible" when he writes post-modern essays on Italian politics or human understanding of technology than when he wedges the same subjects into a plot.

Reading Eco after reading Dawkins is a bit like listening to Coltrane after the Sex Pistols. Everything's more complicated, but that complexity is exactly what he's looking for. No easy answers, yet it all seems so natural when he explores his topics - whether it be international terrorism or Harry Potter.

The main job of any intellectual, he says (and repeats) is to have a critical eye. To not accept anything a priori, to keep looking at the facts. Plus, he's dead funny. His review of The Passion of the Christ had me laughing out loud in a restaurant earlier today.

Really hope this gets translated into English. Hell, even the bits that should only be of interest to Italians are a great read.

5/5
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
Too late to edit: The English title of A Passo di Gambero will be Turning Back the Clock. Out in November.
 
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