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At night Every nation has its own secret service perpetrating forgeries plots and massacres From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat But what if behind all of the Eco We have a l Putins Russia its own secret service perpetrating forgeries plots and massacres From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Europe Seducida (Esclava victoriana, is Essential Juices and Smoothies in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat But what Buttermilk Graffiti if behind all of the Eco We have a l

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Il cimitero di Praga

Nineteenth century Europe from Turin to Prague to Paris abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious Conspiracies rule history Jesuits plot against Freemasons Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses In the 1980s I El talmud de Viena intestines French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses In the 1980s I

Umberto Eco ½ 7 FREE DOWNLOAD

Se conspiracies both real and imagined lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created its most infamous document? Eco takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the underbelly of world shattering events Eco at his most exciting a book immediately hailed as a masterpiece Don't consider Pathfinder Chronicles imagined lay one lone man? What Velvet Submission (Club Velvet Ice, if that evil genius created Oil Painting its most Putins Russia infamous document? Eco takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the underbelly of world shattering events Eco at his most exciting a book Seducida (Esclava victoriana, immediately hailed as a masterpiece Don't consider


10 thoughts on “Il cimitero di Praga

  1. says:

    In the 1980s I read The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum and came away from those books knowing that I had been exposed to a brilliant mind The complexity of the writing and the layers of plot turned many readers away but I found it so refreshing to have a writer that demanded from his readers and importantly had faith in his readership These are books that need to be read many times and each time the reader will develop a better understanding of the writer's intentions This brings me to The Prague Cemetery Typical of an Eco book it took me a little while to settle in and fine tune my thoughts to pay proper attention and to relax so that Eco could take me where he wanted me to go This book is set in 19th century Europe and explores the underlying conspiracies that surround a series of warsconflicts that instead of being the work of a group is the nefarious dealings of one man This man is Simone Simonini He is a murderer double agent triple agent but importantly he is the man that can provide the documentation that proves that one side of a conflict is justified in their uest for power In other words he is a master forger He finds his calling while apprenticed to a lawyer named Rebaudengo He learns the fine art of providing the missing paperwork for a baptismal record that would allow an inheritance to be obtained or the missing will of a family patriarch who may have perished unexpectedly Rebaudengo explained What I produce are not forgeries but new copies of genuine documents that have been lost or by simple oversight have never been produced and that could and should have been producedSimone becomes so good at the craft that he realizes that the only person between him and a very lucrative income is his mentor Rebaudengo The proper paperwork miraculously is produced that exposes a fraud perpetrated by Rebaudengo and he is swiftly convicted and sent to prison Simone is the type of gentleman that governments find uses for and he is greedy enough not to be worried about the conseuences of his actions He becomes a forger mercenary for hire He provides documents that fan the flames of racism and cultism that leads to genocide and in one case the temporary toppling of a foreign government He steals from his employers and from his agents working both sides of the euation to net as much money as possible for himself He is a man without a moral compass except in the case of Abbe Dalla Piccola Piccola became an inconvenience for Simone during one of his clandestine missions and Simone as he tended to do when cleaning up a problem killed him Simone becomes unknowingly to himself so out of sorts over the murder of Piccola that Piccola is actually resurrected in his own mind creating for a time a split personality Simone becomes aware of the Abbe as they begin sharing a diary and the missing time that Simone is experience is revealed in the dairy entries made by the Piccola personality The book is liberally sprinkled with sketches of the characters involved really evoking a Victorian Dickens feel to the novel I found this book much accessible than other Eco novels and actually laughed out loud a couple of times Back in 2000 I had planned to meet Umberto Eco He was touring for Baudolino and was planning to come to the West Coast Unfortunately due to health reasons he only finished his East Coast engagements and did not come to California I had spent my last lira appropriating a copy of The Name of the Rose for him to sign which now would be worth around 800 signed by the author Well I may not have an 800 copy but I am still glad that I bought Rose when I did as even unsigned The Name of the Rose is going for a couple of hundred dollars I did pick up a copy of Baudolino from an East Coast bookseller flat signed by Dr Eco Flat signed is preferred by collectors because the book was actually in the hands of the author A book plate signed by the author does not have the same value to collectors If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    “A mystic is a hysteric who has met her confessor before her doctor” ― Umberto Eco The Prague CemeterySo I dropped one star because first I was a little disappointed that none of the stars on Goodreads were upside down pentagrams or hexagrams Also second I left off one star because by about page 400 I was drained of all my anti Semitic antibodies The crazy fundamentalism fractured insanity and conspiracy rich shadows of anti Jewish attitudes in Europe during the 100 years from the mid 1800s till Hitler's Final Solution just isn't easy to stomach for me after 400 pages How am I going to ever read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich? Ugh OK so that explains my missing star relegated to the sewer Now to what I liked First Eco is kinda amazing This is my second of his novels I read Foucault's Pendulum years and years ago and love how he folds in the real with his fiction He makes Dan Brown seem like some half literate child who can only read travel guides to Europe Eco is the master of conspiracy grey history Jesuits Freemasons Carbonari Garibaldi Satan and international anarchism to boot Plus he really knows food I disagree with Theo Tate's take on Eco using Updike as a hammer when he says that Eco's orgy of citation and paraphrase is unbearable It wasn't the DETAIL that killed me but the necessary rantings of Eco's fictional dual narrators The details I uite enjoyedAnyway about 100 pages into this novel and I began to see resemblances of the book's protagonistanti hero Simone Simonini to Mark Hofman a famous Mormon forger and bomber A little creepy how close in someways these two resemble each other at least to me It all works with one of my favorite lines of the book and probably one of Eco's main themes This led me to think even then that if I wanted to sell the story of a conspiracy I didn't have to offer the buyer anything original but simply something he already knew or could find out easily in other ways People believe only what they already know and this is the beauty of the Universal Form of Conspiracy Over 25 years ago Mark Hofman figured this out when selling documents to the Mormon Church and those who pimp conspiracy theories now most certainly know too Don't sell someone something they don't know sell them what they already believe just make sure the it smells vaguely authentic Creativity isn't a must if you are a forgeror selling a conspiracy just if you are Umberto Eco Eco could teach Jason Matthews the art of how to delicately introduce gastronomes into a novel


  3. says:

    Il Cimitero di Praga ‭The Prague cemetery 1st American ed 2011 Umberto EcoThe Prague Cemetery is the sixth novel by Italian author Umberto Eco It was first published in October 2010; the English translation by Richard Dixon appeared a year later Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2012 it has been described as Eco's best novel since The Name of the Rose The main character is Simone Simonini a man whom Eco claims he has tried to make into the most cynical and disagreeable character in all the history of literature and is the only fictional character in the novel He was born in Turin in 1830 His mother died while he was still a child and his father was killed in 1848 fighting for a united Italy He is brought up by his grandfather an old reactionary who houses Jesuit refugees and hates the Jews — he claims that the French Revolution was planned by the Knights Templar the Bavarian Illuminati and the Jacobins but behind them all he says were the Jews تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز چهاردهم ماه می سال 2012 میلادیعنوان گورستان پراگ، اثر اومبرتو اکو؛ برگردان آرش طهماسبی؛ تهران، فرهنگ جاوید، 1390، در ‫536 ص، مصور، شابک 9786006182148؛ این کتاب از متن انگلیسی به فارسی برگردان شده، موضوع داستان‌های نویسندگان ایتالیایی سده 20 معنوان گورستان پراگ؛ اثر اومبرتو اکو؛ برگردان فریا ارجمند؛ نشر تهران، روزنه، 1392؛ در ‏‫698 ص، مصور‏‫؛اکو، در یادداشتی که برای سایت «آمازون» نوشته، درباره‌ ی این کتاب، گفته «سده ی نوزدهم پر از اتفاقات اسرارآمیز و ناگوار بود پرونده‌ ی دریفوس؛ دسیسه‌ چینی‌های متعدد سازمان‌های مخفی کشورهای اروپایی، فرقه‌ های ماسونی، توطئه‌ گران یسوعی، و دیگر ماجراهایی که‌ اگر حقایقی مستند نبودند، باورکردن‌شان دشوار می‌شد»؛ پایان نقلقهرمان «گورستان پراگ»، کاپیتان «سیمونه سیمونینی»، تبهکاری تمام‌ عیار است، از آن‌ها که ریش مصنوعی می‌گذارند، و عصا به‌ دست می‌گیرند، نفرت در وجودشان می‌جوشد، با این‌همه در پیگیری اهداف خود، بسیار زیرک‌ هستند او زندگی‌ خویش را، در نقش سردفتری، که اسناد رسمی جعل می‌کند، می‌گذراند، اما شغل دومش، خبرچینی برای سرویس‌های مخفی است؛ نخست در زادگاهش «پیه‌ مون»، و سپس در پاریس خوانشگر با او در اواخر دهه‌ ی شصت زندگی‌، روبرو می‌شود، درست وقتیکه در لحظه‌ ای بحرانی، در شرایطی که دچار فراموشی مقطعی شده، و نگران است، مبادا گرفتار «شخصیت دوپاره» شده باشد، او کار نوشتن دفتر خاطراتش را، آغاز کرده است به‌ نظر می‌رسد کشیشی یسوعی، به نام «آبه دالا پیکولا»، ساکن آپارتمان کوچکی است، که از طریق راهرویی مخفی، به محل سکونت «سیمونینی»، راه دارد؛ و وقتی او خوابیده، یادداشت‌هایی، در تفسیر دفتر خاطرات او، می‌نویسد «سیمونینی»، که در «پاریس»، با «فروید»، روان‌شناس مشهور، آشنا شده، نوشتن دفتر خاطرات را، با هدف خوددرمانی آغاز کرده است او موشش می‌کند، جزئیات بگذشته‌ های خود را، به‌ یاد بیاورد، تا از اینراه به رخدادی برسد، که او را پریشان، و دچار فراموشی مقطعی کرده است، و ظاهراً «دالا پیکولا» نقش نوعی «خودِ برتر» را، بازی می‌کند، که هر بار «سیمونینی»، از یادآوری گذشته‌ اش، اکراه دارد، او را سرزنش می‌کند این وضعیت به «اکو» اجازه می‌دهد، تا سه رشته روایت را، دنبال کند دو روایت اول‌ شخص «سیمونینی» و «دالا پیکولا»، و روایت سوم شخص «راوی»ای که نیتش خلاصه‌‌ کردن نوشته‌ های این‌ دو نفر است؛ مبادا که خوانشگر، از درازگویی آن‌ها خسته شود؛ یا سررشته‌ ی داستان را، از دست بدهد «اکو» با افزودن تعدادی از تصاویر مربوط به دوران روایت، که اغلب از کلکسیون شخصی‌ اش وام گرفته، تاثیر داستان را تقویت کرده است ؛ ا شربیانی


  4. says:

    Eco We have a limit a very discouraging humiliating limit death That's why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and therefore no end It's a way of escaping thoughts about death We like lists because we don't want to dieInterview in Der Spiegel November 11 2009 Update; thank you EcoUmberto Eco 84 Best Selling Academic Who Navigated Two Worlds DiesBy JONATHAN KANDELLFEB 19 2016in in an interview of 2011 said he had put in his Simone Simonini mouth a lot of abominous ideas anti Semitic racisma repugnant character Simone Simonini not to be taken seriouslyIf not a comic I am a grotesue writerHeavy historical novelVery European context March 1897 piazza Maubert near Parisby the Bièvrean affluent of the La Seine river Paris is not what it used to be now with this pencil sharpener called Eiffel Towerso thinks sixty seven year old Simone Simonini He wonders about his identity who am I? He defines himself by reference to others' defects He bashes rudely at other races and peoples He repels grossly the Germans their repugnant sweat smell their languagetheir addiction to beerno interesting art; even great composers are depreciated under Simoniniordinary Beethoven noisy Wagner and no harmony in Bach The Germans took seriously that glutinous monk called LutherThe French are also criticized they are lazy and mean Ils grognent toujoursItalians as well And yet Simone's father was Italian and his mother a French woman Simonini became French because he could not stand being Italian Italians are liars and vile and traitors He says like with plants crossing if you cross a French with a Hebrew you have the present Republic IIINevertheless he's got nothing against the Hebrew people; his grandfather captain Simonini taught him they are the atheist people 'par excellence' Simone Simonini recalls eighteen centuries of hate thoughBut the worst of all are the Jesuitsand the Freemasons Jesuits are Masons dressed as womenThus he considers himself to be a chaste man since he doesn't like women He loves food and drinkSimonini is a forgerer of documents and an antiues dealer Strangely he's got memory problems; even personality issues it seems he cannot distinguish himself from Abbot Dalla Piccola who happens to live in the same building There's a corridor connecting the two homes and one day Simonini finds a wig his? Abbot's? or of one and single person? And this was Chapter Two of Eco's book Chapter Three deals with acuaintances of the forgerer at the famous restaurant Magny 'Chez Magny' he meets a medical doctoran Austrian Jew called Fröid any bell rang??thirty years old studying with Charcot the hysteria phenomenon Simonini sees Fröid as a liarwho studies and uses cocaine for his own sakeand who suffers from black billisInteresting references are made to the study of hysteria the use of magnetism by some and hypnosis by others for the treatment of the psychiatric condition Again the antiues dealer digresses about the Hebrews their smellthe fector judaicaand concludes they're all communists; he's got no Hebrew friends The case of Diana is introduced two personalities in the same body; and different memories of the acts perpetrated by these two radically different personalities Chapter Four grandfather’s times Simonini recalls childhood in Turimhe managed to speak the purest Grenoble Frenchnot the Paris ‘babil’ Grandfather told him about the madness of the Revolutionand the worldwide complot of the Knights Templar against ChristianityAlso about his connections to Augustin de Barruel 1741 1820a conspiracy theorist Simone discloses his pleasure wearing the vests of priest Bergamaschihow he felt superiorand about chocolate and coffee delightsAmazing Chapter Five because it's penned by Abbot Dalla Piccola He knows about Simonini than the other way around He reveals that Simonini was an active Mason that he belonged to the Carbonaria A Simonini that in the previous chapter was so critical about Masonnery aimsLilia pedibus destrue destroy and step on the Fleur de Lis of France The Freemasons wanted to destroy both altar and throne And chapter Six? Here Simone severely decries about the Abbot you know too much about me Simonini envisions the Jesuits meeting at the Jewish cemetery in Prague; them conspiring under the moon to help Napoleon III Interestingly Bergamaschi was a counselor to the monarchThe forgerer prides himself of his first masterpiece of forgery; and later gets his first spy mission to join writer Alexandre Dumas in his ship Emma;of course Dumas had joined the liberators under Garibaldi A detail on his mission the captain cannot avoid taking with him the vests of priest Bergamaschi Simone is now in Sicily Through his eyes we see Garibaldi; the leader is not the “Apollo” as Dumas saw him He describes him as “of modest stature blondish but not blond with short legsand affected by rheumatism” he noticed when the leader had to be helped while riding horses Simonini distrusts heroesand doesn't wear the Red Shirt of the liberators but the ecclesiastic vests of priest BGaribaldi has received from the British Masonry 3 million French Francs in golden Turkish piastrasSo you think I would go on till chapter Twenty Seven? No I won't Just a few words of closure for this review1 The book has marvelous 19th century illustrations from the author’s archive that help a lot understanding the plot or the story if you will2 Due to Simone’s likings the book is truly a cookeries compendium; menus abound Protocols´ 1912 edition3 It’s really historically thick the plot ahead; Simone will visit many places; will kill Abbot Piccola;many adventures ahead even with protestant Diana But the core of the book may lie in the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion ; in fact according to several sources they are a “lie”; Eco refers 1925 Hitler’s book Mein Kampf; and the London Times of 1921; both indicating a “forgery” The Times August 17 1921 4 Finally Eco says all book characters were real persons but SimonePS About Simone's name In the book it is indicated why the main character got that name; someone in the family told Simonein memory of Saint Simonino a martyr kid of Trento kidnapped by the Jewsthat used his blood in their rites That explains a lotFrom wikiSimon of Trent German Simon Unverdorben; Italian Simonino di Trento; also known as Simeon; 1472 – March 21 1475 was a boy from the city of Trento Italy whose disappearance was blamed on the leaders of the city's Jewish community based on their confessions under torturecausing a major blood libel in Europe Dec 21st 2011 For fans of Eco he's been recently interviewed by GR; some of his words may be elucidating about this and other of his books And within two months he'll be eighty years old Nice


  5. says:

    Eco makes abundant use of his prolific academic training to animate 19th Century history while applying delightful postmodern chicanery to blur fact and fiction as well as finesse the whole with a protagonist suffering an identity crisis which can only be resolved through recourse to the theory and application of one of the 20th Century's greatest freudstersThis is a return to the vivacity of language and ideas paraded in The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum while simultaneously demonstrating the degree of social manipulation of which individuals and institutions are capable through the exploration of postmodern and metafictional themesIt is every bit as engrossing as these previous novels but with a subtler and stealthier assault on the reader's intellect and emotions leaving a nicely open ended denouement as the reward coupled with curiosity as to the origins of one of the most widespread and lengthiest perpetrations of ethnic and religious persecution that currently existsWhile realist writers have trodden the wearying path of portrayal of 20th Century atrocity Eco has instead created in the same vein as Ducornet deals with the topic in Entering Fire a thoughtful and coherent despite the seeming discontinuity of narrative investigation of and deeply noir satirical response to enduring genocideAs much a masterpiece as any of the lauded Latin Americans


  6. says:

    Plausible Witty Satirical Challenging Educational You should see my Google search history early in the book I realized I knew a few of the major players not well and none of the others at all so I Googled every name and place I came across and discovered that this is a well researched book No wasted words no ornamentation tight prose a well crafted story on many levels More accessible than earlier books or maybe I'm getting better at researching Read this book Take out your smartphone and put it through its paces for supporting information There are connections between the characters than given by the author as the authornarrator states in the text that paraphrased touching on the faint memory of something heardread before lends plausibility to fiction and this book is a breathing example of the concept And yes there's a poke in the eye of Dan Brown or his fans anyway for the DaVinci Code almost as if Prof Eco is saying if you're going to publish a forgery this is how you do it Learn from the Master Read this book


  7. says:

    Don't consider it a spoiler that in the afterword Eco claims that most of this book is true or as true as can be surmised from a patchwork of historical and circumstantial evidence and oral history His book is no less than an attempt to trace the origins of anti Semitism in Europe over the last two centuries His vehicle is a or less true but nonetheless implausible story behind the multiple versions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Eco's account is narrated by the one character he admits to being fictional Simonini a master forger who made a living not only creating official documents but also fabricating the facts and stories they containedEco has been a lifetime student of occultist movements and secret societies including the Knights Templar the Rosicrucians the Freemasons and various anti clerical anti Papist anti royalist anarchist and yes anti Semitic political and religious groups including their agent provocateurs He even throws Madame Blavatsky in there but unaccountably renames herThe most striking take away from this exhaustive book is a general conclusion about the nature of conspiracy At least in this web of loosely woven plots conspiracy is not a masterfully directed and highly coordinated effort It is instead a monstrous disease that has no direction other than its own propagation It has no head and no permanently governing body It goes wherever it feeds best and it serves whomever will feed and sustain it It likewise destroys not a specific enemy but any person group or ideology the persecution of which will benefit even for the short term its feedersIn short it has been convenient for various groups at various times to promote the hatred of Jews But as Eco demonstrates at times this agenda has had to do with unifying or dividing certain opponents that with persecuting or exterminating their victimsUltimately it's about political expediency and rousing the emotions of the masses to achieve some end than will benefit and usually greatly enrich the vilifiersA rather tame example in the present day but one readers are seeing nonstop just now is the convenient fiction that government is somehow unnecessary A malicious story is that people with alternative lifestyles are somehow destroying the nuclear family I'd humbly suggest that failure of wages to keep pace with expenses and especially the price of real estate had a lot to do with sending Mom into the workforce and relegating Little Johnny to latchkey loneliness indifferent daycare and the solitary amusements of digital gamingI gave this four stars instead of five because frankly much of it is as crashing bore Eco the scholar doesn't want to leave a scrap of research on the floor even if it is not particularly dramatic or relevant to the highly multifaceted and disjointed plot


  8. says:

    I like to try to pretend I’m not a literature snob I like to try to pretend that all I care about in a book is a good story that genres are meaningless and that authors who are experimental or who go to great lengths to show off their vast intellects are generally trouble than they are worth I like peeling back the layers of hype and praise piled upon popular books and to get at the soft nougat of story at the centre and judge it based on the uality of that aloneExcept all that pretending not to be pretentious falls apart the moment I have to talk about Umberto EcoI can’t uite call him my favourite author because that is an absolute I don’t feel comfortable using How does one necessarily compare and rank two authors whose style and range are completely different? No Eco is not my all time favourite but he is unuestionably a writer of the highest calibre a literary juggernaut with all the pretentious baggage such a label implies Whenever I read something by Umberto Eco I am always struck by how incredibly smart he is His books are practically saturated with knowledge and intellect in such a way that I am immediately confronted with how little I know—and I love that feeling More importantly Eco doesn’t make me feel stupid as a result of this ignorance Instead his books display an evident love for knowledge a joy for life and literature—a feeling so close to what I feel when I read that it’s probably not a surprise I would feel so at home with these booksFor my fourth annual Eco read I chose The Prague Cemetery purely because it was published in English this year I feel a little connected by reading a book that is so recent and it definitely affected how I interpreted the story The Prague Cemetery seems almost from the beginning like it is accessible than some of Eco’s other novels It certainly isn’t as lengthy or as dense as The Name of the Rose or Foucault’s Pendulum Yet there is a dark and very difficult aspect to The Prague Cemetery that almost made me hesitate with itThis book is venomous It opens with a misogynistic racist anti Semitic rant by the main character Captain Simonini Simonini an expatriate Italian living in France as a forger and sometime espionage expert begins recounting his childhood in Italy in the form of a diary We learn the genesis of his hatred for Jews his first involvement in forgery and espionage and eventually how he came to end up in Paris France This autobiographical narrative is as fascinating as it is repugnant Simonini’s anti Semitism latches onto everything he touches spreading into his every endeavour like a virulent and pernicious weed I found several passages difficult to read because Eco does not cut corners and does not hold back he creates a main character who is in no uncertain times unlikable and unsympathetic And I still somehow found myself hoping he wouldn’t get killed He is really bad at the espionage thingThen we come to chapter 5 in which the narration gets taken up by Abbé Dalla Piccola And here’s where it gets interesting Who is Piccola? Is he an alter ego of Simonini’s? Or is he a person in his own right? Simonini keeps waking with gaps in his memories and reading these notes from Piccola whose apartment is connected to his by a long dank corridor filled with makeup and costumes Yet as Simonini recalls his life story there are mentions of a Piccola external to him And so the identities of Simonini and Piccola and their relationship is ambiguous at least at first Ultimately Eco resolves it with uncharacteristic clarity Until then however Piccola along with the Narrator complete the novel’s triumvirate of unreliable narrative voices Together these two manage to balance out the vitriolic Simonini and make the narrative interestingThe Prague Cemetery is intimately connected to European history particularly that of Italy Germany and France in the late nineteenth century Those of us whose educations are sorely lacking in this area will feel somewhat lost which is why Wikipedia is such a valuable resource Reading about the unification of Italy and France under Napoleon III gave me a glimpse into why Eco might be so fascinated by conspiracy theory Sensationalist rhetoric of authors like Dan Brown aside conspiracy underpins much of European history never far away as one reads about the intricate intrigue that brought down kings and ueens priests and pontiffs And Eco places Simonini right in the middle of it first embedding him with the Carbonari and Garibaldi’s red shorts then transplanting him to France on the eve of the Franco Prussian warSimonini’s experience as a forger means that his superiors expected him to produce evidence that would support the agenda of the month Communists socialists or monarchists—it didn’t matter you name them and Simonini would fabricate something to implicate them He goes as far as actually constructing conspiracies of his own in order to expose them to his superiors Simonini is delightfully devious—much too devious in fact for his own good He invariably incurs the displeasure of his superiors which is why he found himself in France in the first placeUltimately Simonini becomes obsessed with marketing a manuscript This manuscript finally becomes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion a real fraudulent document Set in the eponymous and eerie cemetery in Prague the manuscript purports to disclose the plans of Jewish leaders for world domination This is Simonini’s masterpiece a story woven from ideas culled from fiction and non fiction throughout the past century created in such a way as to appear legitimate enough for those who might have a use for anti Semitic propaganda And though he knows it is his own fabrication Simonini is utterly convinced of the document’s veracity in spirit He does not doubt that a Zionist conspiracy for world domination exists and is in motion and so he feels justified in manufacturing evidence that exposes this “truth” Eco brilliantly takes us into the mind of a conspiracy theorist and an anti Semite exposing the psychology of such a personThe document that becomes The Protocols is but one example of the larger set of conspiracies that bloom in the shadows of European politics Through Simonini we see how various groups from intelligence offices to the Jesuits make use of conspiracy theories and propaganda to suit their own ends—essentially Eco weaves conspiracies about conspiracies And the most successful participants in these political games are those who do not have or at least do not indulge their personal enmities toward different groups Simonini’s passionate hatred of Jews is a liability because it warps his every action and provides a motivation that could sometimes be political inconvenient Even as his Russian contacts discuss using the Jews as scapegoats because they happen to be around Simonini’s French handler initially tells him that they aren’t interested in pursuing anti Semitic propaganda “for now” There's a cold blooded calculated ruthless side to all this hate speech that often seems to get lost at least in my opinion when viewed through the lens of the world after the Second World War For some of these people hating Jews wasn’t personal; it was just part of the job and only when expedientAlthough it ends about thirty years prior to the rise of the Nazis The Prague Cemetery foreshadows the rising wave of anti Semitism in Europe World War II is rather like a singularity in that sometimes it is difficult to look at the history leading up to it and not be influenced by what came after We concentrated so much on anti Semitism during and after World War II that we never really discussed how it was already a regular feature in Europe by the time Hitler came on the scene So I appreciate being reminded of this fact and seeing a depiction of anti Semitic attitudes prior to the Holocaust The Prague Cemetery offers an interesting historical perspective in addition to all its fascinating fixations with conspiracy and religionFinally we have the mystery surrounding Simonini himself Who is he and how is he related to the Abbé Dalla Piccola? The Prague Cemetery reminded me of The Island of the Day Before Both feature a character who might be imaginary; in both the narrative is the reconstruction by an unnamed Narrator of papers written by the main character And there are echoes of Eco’s other works as well his recurring themes running strongly throughout this book For all that is recognizably Eco however The Prague Cemetery remains fresh and original Eco’s books are difficult There’s no uestion about that I mean he’s a semiotician so he is fascinated by symbols and meaning and that’s obvious from the way his works experiment with the nature of storytelling and of fiction itself In his postscript to The Name of the Rose he talks about how the first hundred pages were designed to “construct the reader” he needed for the rest of the novel—and yeah that’s a little condescending So I can see why people would be unwilling to invest the mental effort needed to digest Eco’s books and I don’t blame them But you don’t know what you might be missing until you try So at the risk of destroying my illusions that I am anything other than a literature snob I have to extol Umberto Eco as a writer Because for me the feeling I get reading an Eco book is as close to the feeling I imagine I should have reading any book I don’t know if that makes any sense there’s just something about the way Eco writes that makes me hyper aware of the act of reading yet does not detract from my enjoyment of the text itself Eco’s books embody the pleasure that should be implicit in the act of reading and I can think of no higher praise to give a writer


  9. says:

    I had a month to read this book for the Nairobi 1st Thurs book club To say I was disappointed is a gross understatement I don't even know where to begin The incessant ramblings the disconnected continuationThis was the result of a word happy academic who had a little too much time on his hands Umberto should have been introduced to phrasing not the Archer kind The man has a grudge against short sentences I'm all for a long winded explanation of a situation but with this one; The verbal diarrhea can be used a hallucinogenic After trying countless times to read this every time I looked up from my reader all I saw were floating black letters in my vision The first sentence of the book was so long in fact it still gives me nightmares Look at itA passerby on that gray morning in March 1897 crossing at his own risk and peril place Maubert or the Maub as it was known in criminal circles formerly a center of university life in the Middle Ages when students flocked there from the Faculty of Arts in Vicus Stramineus or rue du Fouarre and later a place of execution for apostles of free thought such as Étienne Dolet would have found himself in one of the few spots in Paris spared from Baron Haussmann's devastations amid a tangle of malodorous alleys sliced in two by the course of the Bièvre which still emerged here flowing out from the bowels of the metropolis where it had long been confined before emptying feverish gasping and verminous into the nearby SeineWas this guy for real? That is one sentence ONE The very first welcome It's like a mat with an entire bear on it instead of just a fine coat of fur And I was supposed to endure 141506 words of this?????


  10. says:

    Gather up every conceivable prejudice and a discriminating thought against most of the significant nations or groups in 19 century Europe Spice it well with history add some culinary recipes stir well and cook slowly on medium heat for about five hundred pages adding gradually a number of conspiracy theories to your taste If you follow this recipe the result might be an indigestible soup with a bitter aftertaste Or if you happen to possess Umberto Eco's skill and knowledge it might turn into a fascinating masterpiece that when the initial shock after a catalogue of despicables wears off will capture you and hold you hostage for a long time after you turn the last page The protagonist Simone Simonini is a forger of whom we initially know nothing else but that he is of jewishitalianfrench descendants and that he is of a really unpleasant character He is not that secretly patronizing small time hypocrite type that might turn evil if circumstances allow but an openly hostile manipulative and devious man who graces everyone with the same degree of hate or dislike and is happily playing one against the other to his own advantage And it is him who sets the tone for this story And the story is hard to call nice it is in fact really really not nice It is dark and purposely unpleasant It is a manual in how to manipulate cheat lie use others create a complott or manufacture evidence But it also is at times refreshingly truthful although the truth may then be used for nasty purposesThe writing is complex filled with details that perhaps since I listened to an audio and my attention may have wandered occasionally might have gone beside me but on the other hand not focusing on details only increased the overall impression; the flow of the story it’s taste and the murky atmosphere in which the events take place So now that I finished I am positively fascinated and since to my deepest dismay there is no after the last page I went straight to another book by Umberto Eco but of that another time