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New Eco novel. I am obscenely excited.

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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Oct 2011, 23:57:18 BST
J Walton says:
I don't usually post things on forums but, well, here it is:

Umberto Eco is - I'm not exaggerating - the greatest literary artist of our times. On top of a tonne of splendid non-fictional work (all of which, incidentally, is an absolute must-read for anyone who can read), he's published five novels to date, each of which just happen to be competing for the coveted title of My Favourite Book. Will the soon to be released translation of his sixth be up to scratch? I jolly well expect so. Watch this space. And this one -->___.

And yes, I've preordered BOTH the Hardback and the Kindle edition - but this is the first time I've done such a thing. Methinks we're venturing into an interesting time in the book world, when paper books are becoming like temples for the text; artefacts of beauty in themselves as their function becomes secondary in light of their digital e-quivalents. My Kindle is for the text. My book is for the rituals of honouring the text.

Posted on 1 Nov 2011, 20:54:31 GMT
J Walton says:
It's on the way, it's on the way; it's been dispatched, hurray, hurray!


Teehee. It's on the way! :D

Posted on 7 Nov 2011, 00:01:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Nov 2011, 00:02:49 GMT
mister joe says:
Alright James,nice to see someone getting excited about a forthcoming book.My interest in Eco has been piqued from watching The Late Review,they actually trashed the book but i like to make my own mind up.Anyways i was thinking of reading In The Name Of The Rose but it seems a rather divisive book.Some people raving others moaning.
But i like things that polarise,but i am unsure whether to purchase book.The latin thing is putting me off.I am fairly intelligent but no scholar!!My favourite writers are JG Ballard and Charles Bukowski.So is Eco worth a punt?

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Nov 2011, 20:41:58 GMT
J Walton says:
A punt? Certainly. I am no Latin scholar at all - Eco's multi-linguistic flare adds a tremendous amount, but you needn't understand everything to engage with it. You can simpy enjoy the sounds of the (occasional) bit of Latin if you don't have the time to translate them.

I once heard or read Eco himself talking about how the publishers of The Name of the Rose wanted him to simplify or even scrap the first 100 pages of the novel, which they considered superfluous and 'difficult' to read with the risk of putting off a certain readership. Eco's response, more or less, was that the reader had to get through those pages, or not read the book at all - like a spiritual exercise or pilgrimage, or - in keeping with the story - like a difficult climb up a mountain to reach a place of beauty and mystery. For me, this makes complete sense. I suspect it will for you as well, Mister Joe. In any case, I didn't find any of the book laborious, boring or superfluous. It was (and is) a beautiful piece of text, worthy of the greatest art ever created.

I think, as with Eco, J. S. Bach, Picasso and other geniuses, many people are brought up to feel unworthy of great art, including great literature; that somehow it doesn't belong to them and they have no place being with it, or scared that they may not 'understand' it, or unwilling to put the time and effort into really engaging with it because they have been fed a diet of easy-access, low-maintainance, fast-food, (hyphen-hyphen) 'easy' music, t.v. and literature. Eco himself would not dismiss low-art, or whatever you want to call it, and he challenges these boundaries in a lot of his work, but the division is there, and people get trapped in the problem of thinking they only deserve (or only need/want) one or the other.

Anyway, high five for J. G. Ballard! I've not read any Bukowski - perhaps you can introduce me.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2011, 00:18:49 GMT
mister joe says:
Thanks for reply,i got Name Of The Rose today and will most certainly read it.He seems cool this Eco,i am being tempted by his book on..is it hyper reality?Travels In...something like that.I will give those two a go.I implore everyone to read Ham On Rye by Bukowski.I loved it and it changed my views on what a book can be.And Ballard is the don.Crash is awesome.I agree with you're points about feeling a bit intimidated,but i kinda like the idea of putting in a bit of work.
David Foster Wallace is similar in that aspect.Anyway hope you enjoy you're book and i will let you know when i finish Rose.

Posted on 8 Nov 2011, 06:51:50 GMT
J Walton says:
Bon voyage! Don't rush it.

Posted on 10 Nov 2011, 21:53:46 GMT
I just received the novel yesterday and cannot put it down. As is usual with an Eco novel, I find myself completely immersed in the universe that he has created, and even more so in this book with its incredibly rich and detailed history. The main character embodies all that was dark about the 19th century (read Peter Gay's "Cultivation of Hatred"), and Eco's writing and the place he's leaving for the reader is perfection. I'm having way too much fun reading this.

Back to the book!


Posted on 11 Nov 2011, 01:03:43 GMT
mister joe says:
I am half way through Name Of The Rose and as Kristen points out i have found myself immersed in it.I am glad i did not take notice of the negative reviews.I thought i'd be struggling but am enjoying the book,it's beautifully written.I have ordered another of his books a collection of essays called Travels In Hyperreality.I think once Rose is finished i may order his new novel then read the other novels.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2011, 01:08:03 GMT
So happy to hear. He does right absolutely beautifully (for some of his most "beautiful writing, read "The Island of the Day Before"). "Travels" is a great collection, too. Enjoy the rest of Name of the Rose... its well worth the read!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2011, 13:52:44 GMT
Lee Barron says:
'Temples of the text' - I love that. But I'm sticking with paper for as long as I can.

Posted on 24 Nov 2011, 01:44:20 GMT
mister joe says:
Really enjoyed Name Of The Rose,great stuff.Going to read Travels....then i got to read a book on Nureyev i got then will read Eco's 2nd novel.Would someone please tell me title.I have noticed a lot of negative reviews of his new book popping up.
Don't know what to think as i really do not trust some reviews,i was nearly put off Name Of The Rose by some hatchet jobs.
Is Eco purposely aggravating the reader?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2011, 19:51:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Nov 2011, 19:54:42 GMT
J Walton says:
His second novel was Foucault's Pendulum; easily as brilliant and beautiful as Name of the Rose. It's often been called the intelligent person's antidote to Dan Brown; Eco goes as far as saying he 'invented' Dan Brown - that Brown is just another character seduced by conspiracy theories.

Eco's latest, The Prague Cemetery, has certainly raised quite a discussion; it's become a ThreeStar wonder on Amazon already - when all the reviews are either 5 or 1 star thus misleadingly averaging out as a mediocre-looking 3 star book.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2011, 19:52:45 GMT
J Walton says:

Posted on 24 Nov 2011, 22:50:13 GMT
mister joe says:
Thanks for details James will order 2nd novel.And think i will make up my own mind about his latest.Liked the review as well.

Posted on 11 Jan 2012, 13:19:07 GMT
Faust says:
Baudolino is also a great read! And not mentioned here

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2012, 15:29:45 GMT
J Walton says:
Well said! Baudolino is brilliant; the most amusing of Eco's novels perhaps? Beautifully written.
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Discussion in:  The Prague Cemetery forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  27 Oct 2011
Latest post:  11 Jan 2012

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The Prague Cemetery
The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (Hardcover - 3 Nov. 2011)
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