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Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco

 
Rancher
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Has any one read this book?
 
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Yes.
 
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It sounds so dry and unappealing I have never been able to get near a copy.
 
Monu Tripathi
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Joe Ess wrote:Yes.



The next question, pardon me if i sound rude, is did you understand anything?

I read first few chapters and couldnt make much of it. I thought it is kind of normal to not understand such texts at first but with time and after a few pages, normalcy is restored and you start to get a picture. That, unfortunately, has not happened.

 
Monu Tripathi
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Michael Ernest wrote:It sounds so dry and unappealing I have never been able to get near a copy.



I read the first paragraph and thought it must be an interesting read-

"The time it takes for the blob to sway from one end to another is governed by an arcane conspiracy of the most timeless of all measures: the singularity of point of suspension, the duality of plane’s dimension, the triadic beginning of pie, the secret quadratic nature of the root and unnumbered perfection of circle itself."
 
Michael Ernest
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Monu Tripathi wrote:
I read the first paragraph and thought it must be an interesting read-

"The time it takes for the blob to sway from one end to another is governed by an arcane conspiracy of the most timeless of all measures: the singularity of point of suspension, the duality of plane’s dimension, the triadic beginning of pie, the secret quadratic nature of the root and unnumbered perfection of circle itself."


As openings go, that one doesn't pull me in. By the way, I am sure it is "pi" and not "pie" that the author means.

I read Name of the Rose a long time ago and have not since figured out who finds Umberto Eco appealing or why.

If you want to read a meditation on pendulums, though, I'd suggest Edgar Allan Poe. That man could run circles around Eco no matter how much opium he had in him.
 
Monu Tripathi
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By the way, I am sure it is "pi" and not "pie" that the author means.

eeeEEEEish!!! My bad(typing)!

I read Name of the Rose a long time ago and have not since figured out who finds Umberto Eco appealing or why

Just read the cover pages you would find a few names! Hee hee..
I have to say, my interest in the book is fast diminishing..he might be a great philosopher, novelist etc. but i guess i am too shallow to enjoy this text of his.


If you want to read a meditation on pendulums, though, I'd suggest Edgar Allan Poe. That man could run circles around Eco no matter how much opium he had in him.
Thanks for the advice & link.
 
Joe Ess
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Monu Tripathi wrote:

Joe Ess wrote:Yes.


The next question, pardon me if i sound rude, is did you understand anything?



I think I understood it. Eco builds his plots around the arcana of European history, so unless you have a pretty good grasp of it (like who the Knights Templar were, how and why they were wiped out and the theories and conspiracies that involve them to this day) you aren't going to make much of his works. I really enjoyed the central premise, that a couple of over-educated and under-employed guys concoct a conspiracy that is better than those the conspiracy theorists can concoct, and fall victim to their own creation. Eco himself says much of the confusion in the novel is intended to create atmosphere:

Umberto Eco wrote:I don't think that the reader of the book should know the exact meaning of everything. Suppose I am a film maker and I show you a character walking in the dark in a castle holding only a candle, and you come to ask me: 'Would you put a lamp on the scene to illuminate it?' But why? If I wanted the scene to be dark it's because that darkness has a meaning. So if I want to overwhelm you with a lot of mysterious magic spells and names it's not because I presume that you are a scholar of the Warburg Institute. I want you to feel this unbearable, suffocating accumulation of strange and exotic and magic spells. The reader has to understand I am making puns of ideas and so I use an enormous amount of material some of which even I don't know.

 
Michael Ernest
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Thanks for that explanation and quote, Joe. I had a strange flash when I first started reading Name of the Rose: a movie version in which Sean Connery played one of the monks. I think that image was my subconscious trying to tell me how bored I already was.

Eco's idea of creating darkness or confusion with dark or confusing scenes is a general aim in good literature, art, or music. But Eco's stated approach, as I understand it, lets him believe that a partial understanding of his subject can contribute to the effect. If I am confused or unsure in telling a story, surely readers will sense that uncertainty or confusion as part of their experience? Maybe, but I doubt it. In historical fiction, most readers expect authenticity of detail. I don't see how mixing some facts, some assumptions and a partial understanding is going to create "atmosphere."

I liken this approach to performers who think some marijuana might help them relax on stage. The idea seems more like an unexamined desire than a tactic. If one can write a more engaging story by understanding less of the subject, or perform better by taking drugs, why bother mastering the craft at hand?

Of course, I'm just one reader, and I simply don't get what Eco is trying to do, much less enjoy it.
 
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Hello all,

I read it and I think I understood (most) of it... Personally I find the 'files' within abulafina mostly boring, so I skipped most of them - but the rest was ok for me. If you think that Fouccault's Pendulum was to complex and boring, just take a look at Baudolino by Umberto Eco - it is written in a even foggier way than Fouccault's Pendulum (and I did not make it through that one). But the Name of the Rose is still the best book by Eco (at least to my mind!).

I want to stress a point already mentioned before: to understand the book you need a bit of knowledge of European history and secret societies (Templer, Rosae Cruciae etc.) - that whole area is as foggy as the book... I think it is rather difficult to 'get' the book if you have never been to the Louvre in Paris / France or have stood in an old european cathedral feeling very, very small (hey - Europe is really worth a visit!).

If you like this kind of books but with a bit more 'drive' you might want to try Angels and Deamons by Dan Brown. If you liked that on, you might even want to read The Da Vinci Code .

...but trust me: never ever cast your eyes on Digital Fortress - as long as you do not want to have a hearty laugh at exploding Pentium cores due to cooling failure etc... :-))

Cheers, Axel

(And I will now call it a day - its 10:30 pm over here....)
 
Monu Tripathi
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I agree with Eco(somewhat) here, for I believe keeping the plot fuzzier by decorating it with loads of information, captivates readers interest- you simply keep wondering all the time.That said, I also think this "feeling" should subside as you near the completion of the story. There should be a "sense of completeness"(achieved perhaps through some kind of explanation). When I am done reading, the parts I didn't understand shouldn't outweigh those I did. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth!

I understood the central premise- the story of threesome and their conspiracy but never the conspiracy itself, which occupies most of the pages in the book. I certainly am not the kind of audience this book is targeted at.


if you like this kind of books but with a bit more 'drive' you might want to try Angels and Deamons by Dan Brown. If you liked that on, you might even want to read The Da Vinci Code .

...but trust me: never ever cast your eyes on Digital Fortress - as long as you do not want to have a hearty laugh at exploding Pentium cores due to cooling failure etc... :-))



Thanks Axel for the advise and the 'invitation" to visit Europe

I have read all Dan Brown books; awaiting "Solomon's Key"..

 
Monu Tripathi
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Michael Ernest wrote:
I liken this approach to performers who think some marijuana might help them relax on stage. The idea seems more like an unexamined desire than a tactic. If one can write a more engaging story by understanding less of the subject, or perform better by taking drugs, why bother mastering the craft at hand?



Nice anology

I concur michael, earnestly!
 
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ME: I read Name of the Rose a long time ago and have not since figured out who finds Umberto Eco appealing or why.

Why, me.

As openings go, that one doesn't pull me in. \

cur⋅mudg⋅eon 
/kərˈmʌdʒən/ [ker-muhj-uhn]
noun a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person

 
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I was never tempted to read Eco, but that first paragraph would surely have made me put down the book. I did like the movie The Name Of The Rose, though.

I thought the Dan Brown books were just page-turners. They're good entertainment if you read them in the same time frame that the action takes place in (within 24 hours or so); if you take longer your brain will likely catch up, and revolt against some of what it processing.
 
Axel Wittich
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Hi Ulf,

Ulf Dittmer wrote: if you take longer your brain will likely catch up, and revolt against some of what it processing.



...congratulations - you just helped my monitor to a spray of morning coffee...

Cheers, Axel
 
Monu Tripathi
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Ulf Dittmer wrote:I was never tempted to read Eco, but that first paragraph would surely have made me put down the book. I did like the movie The Name Of The Rose, though.



I think the words used build a nice climax, a sort of progression while they describe the formula (for time period).
How do you select a book when you dont have any recommendations or favorites?


 
Michael Ernest
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Martha Simmons wrote:ME: I read Name of the Rose a long time ago and have not since figured out who finds Umberto Eco appealing or why.

Why, me.
As openings go, that one doesn't pull me in.

cur⋅mudg⋅eon 
/kərˈmʌdʒən/ [ker-muhj-uhn]
noun a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person


Ah, there's the autonomic contrarian voice! I mean that in the nicest way.

Here's a computer-generated aged projection of me as I get older.
 
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Michael Ernest wrote:
Here's a computer-generated aged projection of me as I get older.



I did not grant permission for you to publish the right half of that image (in which I appear.)
 
Monu Tripathi
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Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:

Michael Ernest wrote:
Here's a computer-generated aged projection of me as I get older.



I did not grant permission for you to publish the right half of that image (in which I appear.)



Not sure if you want people other than MS to see you picture; i clicked on the hyperlink just to see how "Michael Ernest Friedman Hill" looks like!
Are your faces(ME and EFH) blank? Because, the links directs me to a blank page!

P.S: (Chill; you're right its a browser problem)
 
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