Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oh To Be Worthy of Umberto...

Another reason I've been a bad blogger lately?

Umberto Eco. Author of The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum and other dense but satisfying works over the years. This time, courtesy of the inimitable BB, I have been slogging my way through "The Island of the Day Before."

Oh Dear God. Y'all. It's been my second job getting through this book. Why? I'll put it this way: I'm on page 265 and it is still not clear what in sam hill is going on. I was thinking lo around Page 100, as I have thought while reading other Eco books, that perhaps I am not bright enough to be entrusted with Umberto's ouevre. It's not the verbiage. I, more than your average person, love books with words like, "venenific unguents" "antipodal meridian" or "peregrinations." It's not the vocabulary. It's that I'm more than half way through the book and I'm wondering if anyone knows enough Italian, Latin and medieval history in advance to competently navigate this tome.

The New York Times reviewer gushed the following: "Every age gets the classics it deserves. I hope we deserve 'The Island of the Day Before'."

Hmm. Guess not...

3 comments:

Vigilante said...

Hat's off!

Me thinks it take a brave blogger indeed to speculate on what classic our age may deserve....

Raine said...

Harry Potter. I weep and laugh at the prospect.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading it right now!!! and I absolutely love it! . I'm also halfway through the book, and I'm not sure why you dislike this one so much. If any book was hard to get through it was def foucoult's pendulum. By contrast, the island of the day before is like a children's book.