Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Quanto a Belbo non era in ufficio. Gudrun mi aveva detto che aveva telefonato dicendo che doveva allontanarsi per motivi di famiglia. Quale famiglia? La cosa strana è che aveva portato via il computer — Abulafia, come ormai lo chiamava — con la stampante. Gudrun mi aveva detto che se l'era messo in casa per terminare un lavoro. Perché tanta fatica? Non poteva scrivere in ufficio? Belbo was away. Gudrun told me he telephoned to say he had to go somewhere for family reasons. What family? The odd thing was, he took away the word processor — Abulafia, he called it — and the printer, too. Gudrun also told me he had set it up at home in order to finish some work. Why had he gone to all that trouble? Couldn't he do it in the office?
I read this soon after the English translation came out, and allowed myself to be impressed in the wake of The Name of the Rose. I am older and more cynical now, and I must admit it did not read as well thirty years later. I was once fascinated by conspiracy theories and even at one point by the cabala, and these days I have put away (some) childish things and no longer find these things quite as interesting. Sure, Eco's target is precisely the people who do take these things seriously, but he and his characters somewhat slip over the boundary. The gratuitous fridging of one of the (slender) women characters at the end jarred when I first read it and still jars now. Though it's a bit redeemed by the laundry list moment. Still, There are certainly three books I have read recently which were a third of this length and from which I got more enjoyment. You can get it here.

This was the most popular book on my shelves that I had not already reviewed on-line. Next in that list is Bridget Jones' Diary, by Helen Fielding.
Tags: bookblog 2021, writer: umberto eco

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