Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana

Rate this book
International bestselling and award-winning author Umberto Eco's illustrated novel The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is "an insidiously witty and provocative story" (Los Angeles Times).

Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a loss of memory — he can remember the plot of every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn't recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin.

There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and the life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the frames to capture one simple, innocent that of his first love.

A fascinating, abundant novel — wide-ranging, nostalgic, funny, full of heart — from the incomparable Eco.

469 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2004

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Umberto Eco

843 books10.6k followers
Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sense of humor and irony, and his ideas on semiotics, interpretation, and aesthetics have established his reputation as one of academia’s foremost thinkers.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,927 (16%)
4 stars
3,599 (30%)
3 stars
4,130 (34%)
2 stars
1,748 (14%)
1 star
586 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,057 reviews
Profile Image for Mohamed Shady.
626 reviews6,684 followers
May 29, 2020

الشعلة الخفية للملكة لوانا - أمبرتو إيكو
عند القراءة لإيكو عليك أن تحضّر نفسك لأمرين؛ أولهما هو الكم الهائل من التفاصيل التي يطعّم بها الرجل رواياته، وتفاصيل إيكو تختلف تمامًا عن تفاصيل أى كاتب آخر وذلك لأنها لن تمسّك على الأرجح، ولن تتقاطع معك.
الأمر الثاني هو أن هناك دائمًا لغز، وتتبع هذا اللغز هو أصعب ما ستفعله، وهو واجبك أنت كقارئ تبحث عن المتعة. والمتعة هنا هي أن تتجاوز العراقيل التي يضعها لك إيكو في الطريق، كأنما يقول بوضوح: إذا لم تملك الصبر فتوقّف هنا.

لن يسهّل لك إيكو الأمور، لن يمنحك رواية سهلة تتثاءب أثناء قراءتها، عليك أن تحفر وتنقّب حتى تجد جوهرتك، وروايته هذه لا تختلف عن سابقاتها.

يستيقظ بطلنا "يامبو" ليجد نفسه في مشفى بعد تعرضّه لحادث أودى بوعيه، ومعه أجزاءًا من ذاكرته. يلاحظ يامبو خلال الأيام التالية أن ذاكرته أصبحت تعمل بصورة غريبة؛ بعض الأحداث يتذكّرها، والبعض الآخر تاه عنه تمامًا.
يامبو هو بائع كتب عتيد وقارئ مخضرم، وفراغات الذاكرة التي نتجت عن غيبوبته يملؤها بالأدب، بالروايات التي قرأها والقصائد التي أحبها.
بعد إفاقته، ولفقدانه لذاكرته، نرى يامبو وقد تحوّل إلى طفل، عليه أن يتعلّم كل شيء من البداية، عليه أن يمر بالتجارب الأولى، مجددًا، عليه أن يبني ذاكرته المتهدّمة.
يبدأ "يامبو" رحلة طويلة إلى الماضي بحثًا عن الذكريات التي فقدها، عن القناعات التي آمن بها والأشياء التي أحبها.

هذه رواية عصرية إلى حد ما، تدور أحداثها في عالم عرفناه، على غير عادة إيكو الذي تخصص في التنقيب داخل فترات زمنية بعيدة ومجهولة.
نلاحظ أيضًا هوس إيكو الشديد بفترة الحرب العالمية الثانية، صعود الفاشية والنازية، وكراهيته الشديدة لهما، حتى أنه يخوض رحلة طويلة ليبرّئ بطله "يامبو" من عار انتمائه لهذه الآيديولوجيا المريضة.

الشكر موصول لمعاوية عبد المجيد للترجمة الممتازة، التي، أعرف يقينًا، أنها لم تكن سهلة أبدًا.
Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,000 reviews
December 21, 2022
امبرتو ايكو مبدع في اختيار أفكار وتفاصيل رواياته
رحلة طويلة في عالم الذاكرة المُعقد ما بين الحقيقة والأوهام
ذاكرة البشر والوطن, الكتب والحكايات, الخيال والحب
عودة بالزمن للماضي وخاصة فترة الفاشية الايطالية
وجولة جميلة بين الفن والأدب والموسيقى

جهد كبير للمترجم في كتابة الملاحظات وتتبُع المصادر
Profile Image for Leore Joanne Green.
48 reviews14 followers
May 8, 2007
I expected a lot from this book when I bought it, and I have to say that I was quite dissappointed.

I liked the lead character a lot, and the offset for the plot was excellent, but it seemed to me that he (Eco)didn't play around enough with all the possibilities which his character's situation allowed.
At Solara, the idea of trying to recover his history by surrounding himself with his childhood things was very appealing to me, but at some point I got sick of rummaging through old vinyl discs and stamp collections with him. I enjoyed the stories about the books, but these too grew old after a while. Though it was interesting to learn about Facist Italy from the perspective of a boy.

I liked the "twist" (since it's not really a twist), when he found the old book, had a stroke and started floating amongst his memories again.
It was very satisfying to finally understand who he is, and where he comes from. But what wasn't satisfying was the ending. The idea of all the characters from the comics and books which inhabited his life to come to him in his final moments is charming, but it also left me with a sour taste in my mouth, since the author left all the ends rather loose. I still would like to know what happened with the book he found.

Highlights - Gragnola (I think that was his name) and his long speech about why god is a facist sent me hollering.
Also, Yambo's musing about whether he's dreaming, or dreaming of dreaming, or perhaps just existing in a sort of suspended state, as just a brain floating in fluid into whom someone sends images as he wishes. Reminded me of the 'Matrix'.

So to sum it up - I wasn't too thrilled by this book, though it had its' moments.

Quote: "By war's end I had learned a great deal, not only how babies are born, but also hoe jews die".

Profile Image for April.
66 reviews2 followers
November 30, 2007
I read every 449 pages of this book... and feel like I wasted a lot of time. This book needs SO MUCH editing. The premise and some of the ideas presented had great potential for a very interesting story, however it fails in almost every way. There is no characterization, the story barely moves from page 1 to page 449, and there are many story lines which are left unfinished. 90% of the book is tedious description of dated material such as books, records, photographs, etc. which are suppose to evoke certain memories for the main character; but the writing is factually descriptive to the point there is no room for sentimentality or connection for the reader. I also had a hard time believing the main character would be intellectually limited to his ideas of how his personality was spawned by these random objects he found in his childhood home.

In part 3 (which I am sure a lot of readers don't even make it to) there is actually a section which would have made a terrific short story on it's own. Sadly, it doesn't make up for the rest of the book.

Additionally my copy of the book was poorly laid out, the corresponding photos/drawings were placed too far ahead or too far back from the writing. To place an image and have to flip back to see it once it becomes clear what it refers to makes no sense.
Profile Image for Sara.
175 reviews40 followers
August 22, 2008
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana tells of an antiquarian book dealer who has suffered a stroke and lost all memory of the people in and events of his life. At the novel's outset, the protagonist, Yambo, begins the daunting work of trying to reinsert himself into the life he has forgotten. He finds that he does not recognize his family or closest friends, but can still appraise a 17th-century work of natural history. His only sparks of memory relate to books he has read. These come back to him in snippets. Names, quotations, plotlines. Yambo laments to his wife that his memory is made of paper. In an attempt to reconnect with any memories of real people or actual events, he takes a solitary trip back to his childhood home in a rustic town called Solara. At Solara, Yambo finds more books.

The majority of The Mysterious Flame describes these books and how, poring over them at 60, Yambo imagines what he must have taken from them as a child. This central portion of The Mysterious Flame, the meat of the novel, is filled with images from the books, magazines and comics Yambo finds, which is a wonderful boon to Eco's readers in following Yambo's mental journey. Performing this task of self-rediscovery, Yambo concocts an elaborate method of reference and cross-reference to try and reclaim memories of himself at 7, at 10, at 13. For example, as he reads a comic book from his 6th grade year, he plays music that would have been current, looks at newspapers from the period to give himself context of world events at that time, tracks down his school notebooks to retrieve what he may have thought when he read this book or that.

The more Yambo reads, however, the farther his pre-stroke memory retreats. With every book he encounters, he creates a new memory of himself as a child interpreted by himself as an old man, but without actually remembering that childhood as he lived it. Is knowing what he read as a child enough to infer who he was or who he became? Yambo's struggles to connect ink on pages to the living boy he once was accentuate the edifice of memory and the extent to which we interpret and meticulously craft even a "genuine" memory. As we follow Yambo's efforts, Eco invites us to consider the connection between what we read, what we think and who we are, between lived experience and read experience, between knowledge gleaned in the world and knowledge gleaned through the written word. It brings to my mind a pet metaphor of medieval monks, which compares reading to eating. To read is to consume a whole, digest it, and to absorb its nutrients. If you are what you eat, as they say, then to the medieval scholar you are, literally, what you read. What one reads becomes one's identity insofar as it crafts one's thoughts and helps determine one's actions. This view of identity as thought does not conform neatly with current fixations on identity as deed, but as with so much from the Middle Ages, I think we benefit from entertaining such ideas and I was tickled, if not surprised, to discover them floating around in a work by Eco, a consummate medievalist by temperament if not by trade.

I will not here reveal the final issue of Yambo's labors because whether or not he recovers his memory constitutes the point of tension upon which the plot relies for its momentum. I had intended to address my single criticism of this novel, but it seems wiser now to glance over it if not swallow it completely. It pertains to Yambo's adolescent view of women, and one woman in particular, a view I found discordant with the otherwise rather acute emotional as well as academic intelligence of the character. Would a man so obsessed with the mind really carry a lifelong torch for a boyhood crush based solely on appearance? But none of us is consistent, so perhaps this is no criticism at all, and merely an observation of what I found unlikable about Eco's protagonist. When I remember reading this book and what I took from it, this will probably be a detail I will selectively omit, crafting my memory willfully, so that I recall only my enjoyment of the book, which was considerable.
Profile Image for Lavina.
142 reviews15 followers
April 16, 2007
I was about 150 pages into the book when I started feeling the way you feel when you're looking through stacks of photo albums with someone you don't really know, who's telling you very detailed stories about people you've never met and places you've never been -- people and places to whom you have no connection.

In the end, the concept of the book (which is what drew me to it in the first place) was what made it weak. People are interesting because of their experiences, their memories of them, their stories -- Yambo, a blank slate at the beginning of the book, has none of these, and 300 pages is a long way to go to get them. By the time his character developed enough substance, I was kind of too tired to care.

Still, the book was better than just ok.* Though I couldn't relate, it was incredibly well crafted and clever (and probably not the Eco I should have started with).

*I change my mind. It really was just ok, if even that.
Profile Image for Odai Al-Saeed.
876 reviews2,495 followers
June 11, 2020
في مقدمة الرواية وعند كلمة المترجم يهيبك عبدالمجيد معاوية عندما يذكر أن العمل استغرق منه سنتين عمل أجرى خلالها ورشة من الشحذ الذهني كي يوصل للقارئ هذه التعقيدات السردية بشكلها المبسط
النص الذي أتت تركيبته متكأة على الذاكرة وأثر فقدانها على تراكمية عمرية ناهزت الستين تتجلى فيها الحكايا عندما تستشعر تلك الإكتشافات الروحية والنفسية لصاحب الذاكرة عندما تبدآ أن تُقص عليه من الآخرين حيث تمتد الى نشوة استشعارات اللحظة الأولى للأشياء بشكل دراماتيكي نستولوجي مختلط
إنها سيرة متخيلة لا تتجزأ ولا تنسلخ من سيرة (ايكو) المعقدة وترتبط ارتباطاص ذهنياً بحالات تخصه أو تخص ثقافته لذا سوف يكون النص عصياً على الهضم إذا لم تكن مؤشرات حواسك حاضرة كما يجب التركيز بدقة على الهوامش في نهاية كل فصل ،،عمل نخبوي صعب يحتج له جلد وصبر
Profile Image for Sophie.
664 reviews
June 25, 2018
Όχι τόσο εντυπωσιακό όσο το Όνομα του Ρόδου, ούτε τόσο περίπλοκο όσο φαντάζομαι πως είναι τ�� Εκκρεμές του Φουκώ, εντούτοις το συγκεκριμένο μυθιστόρημα χτυπά τον αναγνώστη πιο σκληρά κι άμεσα, σε πιο προσωπικό επίπεδο.

Τα κεντρικά μοτίβα είναι η νοσταλγία, η προσωπική ταυτότητα κι, ουσιαστικά, η μνήμη. Μέσα από την αμνησία του πρωταγωνιστή Γιάμπο ο Eco διερευνά τον τρόπο με τον οποίο ο καθένας από εμάς κατασκευάζει την ταυτότητά του μέσα από αποκόμματα, θραύσματα του παρελθόντος του, μέσα από τα βιβλία που έχει διαβάσει, τις ταινίες που έχει παρακολουθήσει, τις εμπειρίες που έχει βιώσει. Όπως εξάλλου εύστοχα το σημειώνει ο Νίκος Βεργέτης στο Χόλι μάουντεν,
[...] τι είμαστε; οι άνθρωποι που αγαπήσαμε, τα βιβλία που διαβάσαμε, οι τόποι που επισκεφτήκαμε, οι μουσικές που ακούσαμε.
Ο Eco ενδιαφέρεται, παράλληλα, και για τις ιστορίες που επιλέγει ο ήρωας να πει ή να ξεχάσει, αφού εξίσου σημαντικό με αυτό που θυμάται κανείς είναι να αντιλαμβανόμαστε τα γεγονότα κι από την αντικειμενική σκοπιά, τη μεγάλη Ιστορία στην οποία στροβιλιζόμαστε. Η εστίαση, ως εκ τούτου, μετακινείται από το μικροσκόπιο των προσωπικών αναμνήσεων του πρωταγωνιστή στις μακροσκοπικές συλλογικές αναμνήσεις, εκείνες που εμπεριέχουν τον πόλεμο, την αντίσταση, τον πόνο και τη ζωή εν γένει στη φασιστική Ιταλία.

Η ειλικρίνεια με την οποία ο συγγραφέας ανατέμνει την παιδική ηλικία του Γιάμπο είναι αξιοπρόσεκτη κι είναι ένα στοιχείο που δίνει το έναυσμα στον αναγνώστη να αναλογιστεί τις δικές του πράξεις κι εμπειρίες, να αφιερώσει χρόνο για ενδοσκόπηση στο δικό του παρελθόν, να σκεφτεί την προσωπική του ιστορία, ενώ το ��ελευταίο τρίτο του έργου είναι μια περιπέτεια, μια θεαματική ωδή στη Θεία Κωμωδία βασισμένη στην ποπ κουλτούρα. 
Με λίγα λόγια, η ανάμνηση είναι μια ανακατασκευή, ακόμα και βάσει όσων μάθαμε ή είπαμε αργότερα. Είναι φυσικό, έτσι θυμόμαστε.
Το μυθιστόρημα του Eco είναι ένα ορυχείο αξιοσημείωτων ιδεών και συναισθημάτων, με την ανάγνωσή του να δίνει ένα κράμα ευχαρίστησης και νοσταλγίας, αντίδραση παρόμοια με εκείνη που χαράχτηκε στο πρόσωπο του χαρακτήρα Dominique Bretodeau στην ταινία Amélie όταν ανοίγοντας το κουτί με τις αναμνήσεις του ξαναβρίσκει το χαμένο του χρόνο.

Η κριτική βρίσκεται κι εδώ.
Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,256 reviews2,303 followers
October 30, 2019
Umberto Eco is a novelist of ideas. His The Name of the Rose, even though a thrilling mystery story, was actually a primer on medieval Christianity and monastery life. Foucault's Pendulum (which I couldn't complete) is a textbook on occultism and conspiracy theories. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is ostensibly a novel about a man searching for his lost memory - but it is actually a treatise on growing up as a bookworm in fascist Italy.

The point is - attempt this book only if you are happy with long, rambling passages full of information: because nothing much "happens" here. If you are the kind of person who wants to forego all the preliminaries and cut to the chase, this novel is not for you. But if, like me, you enjoy infodumps, you might enjoy muddling through this tome.

Signor "Yambo" Bodoni, a seller of ancient books, has had an "incident" (what exactly happened is never stated, but we may assume it was a stroke) which has left him with a strange form of amnesia. Usually, an amnesiac retains his implicit memory - which allows him to brush his teeth, swallow his food, and even drive a car. However, explicit memory, which contains the record of the actual such operations he has carried out in the past, is gone. In the case of Yambo, due to a strange quirk, he has lost only part of his explicit memory: that which is called episodic memory, related to his actual actions. The part called semantic memory, which records the results of those actions, is largely intact. What this means is that Yambo can remember the books he has read and that he has retained the knowledge he has accumulated - without actually remembering how he did it. And needless to say, he has no personal memories left.

In attempt to get his past back, Yambo travels to his ancestral home in Solara, where he spent most part of his childhood with his paternal grandfather - his parents having died quite early. There in his ancestral home, he rummages through his childhood books, magazines, notebooks and music to trace a trail of paper memory, in the hope of capturing his lost personality. In the process, he goes through a wealth of childhood memorabilia, hoarded in the attic and boarded-up chapel of the villa during the growth and collapse of the fascist empire of Benito Mussolini.

Yambo has flashes of recognition when he hears a piece of music or reads a particular line in a book. He calls it a "flame" which lights up his mental fog, giving glimpses of a lost time. In fact, he is obsessed with metaphors about fog, which keep on running through his mind. As he digs through the books, comics, and magazines he devoured as a child and listens to the music from a vanished time, he is suddenly plunged into the dark well of his buried memory - and the story moves towards its climax.


As a novel, I would call this a resounding failure. There is no characterisation at all (apart from Yambo, most are pasteboard), there is no plot development (hell, there is no plot worth the name!) and there is little temporal movement. However, if one considers this a treatise on popular culture during the days of Mussolini (as I said at the outset), it is quite an enjoyable read - especially because Eco floods the book with colourful illustrations and garish posters. We are actually part of Yambo's journey through his troubled past.

The author sees the attic as a sort of womb into which his character can enter and come out in symbolic rebirth:
If a cellar prefigures the underworld, the attic promises a certain threadbare paradise, where dead bodies appear in a pulverulent glow, a vegetal elixir that, in the absence of green, makes you feel you are in a parched tropical forest, an artificial canebreak where you are immersed in a tepid sauna.

I had thought cellars symbolised the welcome of the mother's womb, with their amniotic dampness, but this aerial womb made up for that with an almost medicinal heat. And in that luminous maze, where if you pushed aside a couple of roof tiles you would see the open sky, a composite mustiness hung in the air, the odour of silence and calm.
I have a feeling Eco here is trying to talk about the lost memory of a generation of Italians, where fascism has been safely ensconced in its attic retreat. Maybe it's time for the country to go back there and dust it out - to come to terms with it?

All in all - rather a disappointment.
Profile Image for Muauia Alabdulmagid.
17 reviews72 followers
May 29, 2020
ها قد بلغتُ حقول الذاكرة وأحياءها الشاسعة، أستحضر ما أشاء من صورٍ حين أجوبها، يبرز بعضُها في الحال، ويستغرق بعضُها وقتًا أطول، تكاد تُنتَزَع من مخازن دفينةٍ وسرّيّة... الذاكرة تحتفظ بكلّ هذه الأشياء في جوفها الرَّحراح، في ثناياها الغامضة والمبهمة. أرتِّب السماء والأرض والبحر معًا في مبنى الذاكرة الشاهق، وألتقي فيه بنفسي أيضًا... يا إلهي ما أعظم قدرات الذاكرة، تكاد تعقيداتُها العميقة والسرمديّة تولِّد إحساسًا بالرهبة، الذاكرة هي الروح، إنّها ذاتي أيضًا... أهيم في حقول الذاكرة وكهوفها، ومغاراتها التي لا تعدّ ولا تحصى، المسكونة بما لا يعدّ ولا يحصى من أنواعِ أشياءٍ لا تعدّ ولا تحصى، أجول في هذه الأماكن كلّها، أحلِّق تارةً هنا وتارةً هناك، دون أن يعترضني أيُّ حاجزٍ أو حدٍّ في أيّ جهة
Profile Image for Rick Davis.
834 reviews106 followers
August 10, 2013
This was not as engrossing as The Name of the Rose and not as complex as Foucault's Pendulum, but The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana hit me harder and at a more personal level than Eco's other books. The theme is nostalgia and personal identity. Through Yambo's amnesia, Eco explores the way in which we construct our identities through scraps from our past: what books we've read, movies we've seen, music we've heard, experiences we've had. It also shows that what we choose to forget and how we choose to tell our own stories are just as important as what we remember and the objective facts of our lives. The honesty with which Eco traces Yambo's childhood will strike every reader close to home. Yambo's experiences are his own, but they will also call to mind the childhood and adolescent experiences of any reader. I found myself spending a lot of time in my own past while reading this book and thinking about my own personal story.

The final third of the book is a tour-de-force, a secular, pop-culture Divine Comedy that is spectacular and mind-bending. I wouldn't recommend this as your first Eco book, but if you're a fan of his other works, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is not to be missed.
Profile Image for Ahmed.
910 reviews7,453 followers
May 12, 2020
الشعلة الخفية للملكة لوانا ..... أُمبرتو إيكو
ت: معاوية عبدالمجيد

القراءة لامبرتو إيكو تستحضر بالضرورة قاريء مختلف، فالعملية تكون تفاعلية بينه وبين قارئه، أقرب لشراكة، شراكة بين صانع متاهات ذكي وبين متتبع له أينما حل.

لا اقول ان هذه الرواية افضل كتابات إيكو، ولكني اقول انها اكثرها اختلافا، في كل رواية له تدخل حقبة زمنية ما(غالبا هي القرون الوسطى)، وينتقل بك بين أديرة وكنائس ومعارك وسفن وأكلات تلك الحقبة، ولكن هنا إيكو يستحضر الدماغ البشري نفسه في ثنايا روايته، كيف نتذكر أحلامنا وقراءاتنا؟ وكيف نشعر للمرة الأولى بالرغبة والعطش والجوع؟ وكيف نبني دماغنا البشري من جديد؟

هي عدة روايات داخل رواية واحدة(كعادة إيكو ) كل قراءة لها بطبقة معينة، كأنها بصلة تقوم بتقشيرها، فيها يشرح لك كيف تأكل، وكيف تحلم، وكيف تقول الحقيقة، وكيف تنكرها، والاهم في كل ذلك هو كيف تتذكر التاريخ؟ كيف تكون أحداث التاريخ قابعة في مخيلتك تهرب منها، وعندما تتذكر تاريخك الشخصي تبني معه تاريخ أمة بكاملها وحقبة مجهولة/معروفة للناس، فتضع انت تفاصيلك التي طالما هربت منها دون دراية كاملة منك بذلك.

تبدأ الرواية بداية للوهلة الاولى هادئة، تقليدية، وبعد اول كم صفحة بيبدأ إيكو في إحالاته وبتبدأ كقارىء تنتظر المفاجآت، وفي كل صفحة بتلاقي نفسك بتغرق معه، وبيخليك تفكر في عشرات الكتب والروايات والاحداث، وبيبدأ هو في رحلته واللي غالبا بتكون لها علاقة وطيدة بالتاريخ، ولكن إيكو في التاريخ ليس كغيره، بينسج شبكته ومتاهته، وانت بتمشي وراه خطوة بخطوة، مافيش جملة مكتوبة من فراغ، ومافيش حدث الا وانت عارف ان وراه الكثير والكثير، وفي النهاية بتلاقي ان دي رواية مش زي أي رواية، وانها محتاجة منك قراءات متعددة ومختلفة.

إيكو مؤرخ عظيم، وروائي متمكن، بيخلط الحب والحرب بألوان موزونة، ألوان تنتج لك في النهاية لوحة فريدة، وهنا بيرجع بنا من خلال المشاعر وتكوينها الأولي عند الانسان، بيرجع بنا لفترات الفاشية وادوار البشر فيها، سواء داعمين او مناضلين لها، كل دا من خلال مئات الصفحات الأخرى من قصص مصورة وكتب مختلفة عبر التاريخ، بروح طفل بيكتشف معاني الأشياء.

هي رواية عظيمة ومختلفة، فيها كل ما نحب في الأدب، وكل ما نحب في الكتب، مقدمة بترجمة جميلة موزونة، وطبعة لم تبخل علينا في الفهم الجيد لها.
Profile Image for Guy.
354 reviews49 followers
February 9, 2012
The beauty and richness of Eco's language is as good as it gets in this book. Every sentence was a work of verbal art. The language sang, to me. I was awed by its power. Truly a great novel.

This man, a failure since birth, not only reads, he also writes. I could write, too, could add my own monsters to those that scuttle with their ragged claws across the silent sea floors. That man ruins his eyes over pages on which he sets down his obsessions in muddy ink from inkwells whose bottoms are thick with sludge, like Turkish coffee. He ruined them as a boy, reading by candlelight; he ruined them in the penumbra of libraries, his eyelids reddening. He writes with the help of strong lenses, dogged by fears of going blind. If not blind, then paralytic – his nerves are shot, he has pains and numbness in one leg, his fingers twitching involuntarily, his head shakes badly. He writes with his thick glasses nearly touching the page.

Profile Image for Brodolomi.
223 reviews105 followers
April 6, 2020
362. stranice samozaljubljenog Eka o popularnoj kulturi njegovog detinjstva zamaskirane u zaplet o čoveku, koji je izgubio pamćenje, te se vraća u rodno mesto ne bi li Fleš Gordon, Rita Hejvort i Meca Anđelko vaskrsnuli njegov identitet. Ne marim.

Ali ne samo što nisam mario nego, kada uporedim ovako predstavljeno detinjstvo sa svim onim detinjstvima iz papirnatog sveta zbog kojih i dalje krvarim: sa onim dečakom koji je otkio Bućka, sa devojčicom što je u buretu naučila „da voli ono što se ne vidi, ono što se nema i ono što mora da prođe”, ili pak sa onim dečakom koji se prevrće noćima zbog pocepane knjige a kada je vrati u biblioteku prvi put u životu čuje tišinu univerzuma ili onim šklolarcem što se zastideo majke ili onim klincem što je od majke naučio da se „ovde brzo smrkava” ili sa još trista drugih čudesnih detinjstava, onda ne mogu a da ne pitam Eka: Gosn Eče, zar nemate srce? Zar nemate nešto srčanije da ispričate nego koje ste stripove čitali i koju ste muziku slušali?
Profile Image for Eliasdgian.
413 reviews117 followers
June 30, 2022
Ένα εγκεφαλικό επεισόδιο θα γίνει η αιτία που ο εξηντάρης παλαιοβιβλιοπώλης Τζιανμπατίστα Μποντόνι (ή χαϊδευτικά Γιάμπο) θα απολέσει την αυτοβιογραφική μνήμη του και τα γεγονότα της ζωής του θα τυλίξει μια ομίχλη πυκνή και αδιαπέραστη. Κι αν υπάρχει τρόπος να μάθει ποιος είναι στ' αλήθεια και πώς έφτασε ίσαμε εδώ, συγκεντρώνοντας και ταξινομώντας τα όποια θραύσματα του παρελθόντος του, αυτός δεν είναι άλλος από ένα "ταξίδι" στον χρόνο• μια καταβύθιση στα χρόνια της νιότης του, ώστε, μέσω της ώσμωσης με τα πράγματα και τα αντικείμενα εκείνης της εποχής, που κατά καλή του τύχη παρέμειναν φυλαγμένα στη σοφίτα του πατρικού του σπιτιού στην εξοχή, να αναδυθεί από τις ομίχλες του παρελθόντος του ζωντανός, ισχυρός, έμπλεος αναμνήσεων.

Σε περισσότερες από διακόσιες σελίδες ο Umberto E(x)C(aelis)O(blatus), συνδράμοντας τον ήρωά του να επανασυνδεθεί με τα βιώματά του, αποθησαυρίζει μοναδικά τα αναγνώσματα (κόμικς, περιοδικά, εκπαιδευτικά βιβλία), των εφήβων κυρίως, της (φασιστικής) Ιταλίας (συνοδεύοντας τα κείμενα με εξαιρετικό φωτογραφικό υλικό), αποδελτιώνει τις αγαπημένες του(ς) μουσικές και, εν τέλει, στηλιτεύει το αλλοπρόσαλλο πολιτικά παρελθόν της πατρίδας του.

Εξαιρετικό βιβλίο, η (άριστη) μετάφραση του οποίου πρέπει ν' αποτέλεσε έναν ακόμη μικρό άθλο για την (έτσι κι αλλιώς εξοικειωμένη με το σύνολο του έργου του Έκο) Έφη Καλλιφατίδη, και μια γενικώς υπέροχη έκδοση που δεν θα μπορούσε να αξιολογηθεί με λιγότερα από τέσσερα+ αστέρια ή, έστω, με ισόποσες μυστηριώδεις φλογίτσες, από εκείνες που συνήθιζε να φυλάει η βασίλισσα Λοάνα, εξασφαλίζοντας (εις εαυτή και μόνο) την πολυπόθητη μακροζωία και αθανασία.
Profile Image for Nehirin~.
100 reviews30 followers
May 8, 2018
Bir gün gelecek: Biliyorum,
Bu ateşli kan ansızın duracak.
Kalemim tiz bir ses çıkaracak,
Ve işte o zaman ben öleceğim.

Umberto Eco... Saygıyla selamlıyorum.
Profile Image for Melissa Mann.
17 reviews2 followers
February 20, 2016
I rounded up 3.5 stars...

As a translator, I am confident in stating the problem with translation is translation. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is meant to be read in its original and by those who truly appreciate pop culture and memories thereof. The words are well translated into English; the ideas are adapted properly to English; the strain lies in this: Latin-based language speakers culturally use five sentences where an English-speaker would use one. Normally, this is not a problem; we readers can easily transport ourselves to the culture in which the book is written and find comfort in all five sentences. In this case, however, transporting requires an enormous amount of historical knowledge of WWII Italy that challenges even the most resourceful of outsiders (in this case, outsiders being non-Italians as well as those not well versed in earlier pop culture). I spent much time looking up references in this book, which took away so much from the flow. I also found so much of what I looked up to be rather obscure in nature, making it hard to identify with the main character’s specific memories.

The great redeeming quality of the book is the descriptive process of reordering memory. The premise of the book (a man who loses all memory save for those of the books he has read) lends to a great philosophical debate (both for the character and, naturally and perfectly, for the reader). This is classic Umberto Eco – great philosophical debate tied up in a suspenseful storyline. Indeed the best part of the book involves the gorge (what a great physical representation of its philosophical counterpart) and the book’s ending – the culmination of philosophical dilemma in a great gush of arguments and ideas. I won’t say more (book spoilers stink), but I do still recommend this book for those who are drawn to Eco, are aware of the reference and cultural pitfalls this particular book may present, are curious about WWII-era Italy and, above all, contemplate the gorges and abysses of our own rocky memory.
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books348 followers
November 7, 2021
170814: 'Tell me what you like, I will tell you who you are'- culture Geek credo... this is a fascinating start with recovering life in Fascist Italy, to romantic end in French plays like 'Cyrano de Bergerac', frustrating, work that certainly shows its heritage in culture, in era, in the interests of Umberto Eco, that being popular culture like Mickey Mouse to details of the booksellers trade. only reason it is not a five is that much reference is to culture of the places, of wartime, that I do not know...

The Name of the Rose
Foucault's Pendulum
The Island of the Day Before
The Prague Cemetery
Profile Image for Kate.
776 reviews120 followers
July 28, 2007
This book really disappointed in the end, after giving a fairly fascinating glimpse of the culture of an Italian childhood under Fascism. I was enjoying the plot and then suddenly it ends in this inexplicable way, as if Eco suddenly got horribly sick of writing the thing. I'm keeping it for the gorgeous color reproductions.
Profile Image for Biron Paşa.
144 reviews200 followers
April 26, 2020
“If there is something that we call soul, that’s memory - it makes up your identity.”

Kraliçe Loana’nın Gizemli Alevi, Eco’nun kendinin ve kendi neslinin kayıp zamanının izine düşüşünün öyküsü. Eco gibi biri, kendi kayıp zamanın peşine düştüğünde de, bulduğu şey doğal olarak kâğıttan bir hafızadır. Bu yüzden de Eco’nun çocukluğunun okuma serüveninin peşine düşüyoruz onunla. Öte yandan da, romanın diğer ana izleği olan hafıza, unutmak ve hatırlamak sorunsallarını okuyoruz. Bir insanın nasıl meydana geldiğini, sanatın ve anne ile babanın ve kişinin içinde yaşadığı dünyanın onu ne kadar etkilediğini, bir insanın nasıl kendisi olduğunu, bunların birbirleriyle olan tuhaf ilişkisini okuyarak arıyoruz.

Faşist İtalya’da, baskı ve sansür her yerdeyken, şehirler karartma altındayken ve üstlerinden bombardıman uçakları geçerken, hafızasını yitiren Yambo (Eco ve onun neslini temsil eden karakterimiz) bir yandan aşırı milliyetçiliğe maruz kalarak, öte yandan Amerikan ürünü çizgi romanlar aleminde ‘şizofren’ bir dünyada nasıl yaşadığını araştırıyor. O da bir faşist miymiş, yoksa faşist döneme gizlice de olsa kafa tutabilenlerden miymi? Sonra okuyoruz ki, bolca okuduğu Amerikan ürünü çizgi romanlar sansür yüzünden İtalyanlaştırılsa da, karakter ve mekân isimleri İtalyanca olsa da, bu çizgi romanların özü hâlâ Amerikan. Yambo da, o Amerikan kahramanlarından etkilenerek faşistlerle mücadele ediyor, hatta çocuk yaşında faşistlerin elinden birilerinin kurtulmasını sağlıyor. Bana kalırsa Kraliçe Loana’nın Gizemli Alevi karamsar bir roman değil, çünkü sansürün her yere girmeye çalıştığı faşist İtalya’da bile insanın kendisine ait bir dünya yaratabileceğini, bireyselliğini inşa edebileceğini görüyoruz.

Eco’nun karakterinin takma ismi olan Yambo, bir çizgi romandan; esas adı Bodoni ise, bir 18. yüzyıl tipografından geliyor. Karakterin ve muhtemelen Eco’nun içinde yaşadığı dünyanın iki farklı boyutunu gösteriyor bu bize, onu bir bedende mümkün hâline getiren yaşamı da romanda bolca görüyoruz.

Dediğim gibi, romanın önemli bir kısmında Eco’nun neslinin okuduğu çizgi romanları, romanları, izledikleri filmleri ve dinledikleri müzikleri görüyoruz. 90’lar Türkiyesinde çocuk olmuş benim gibi biri için çoğu bir şey ifade etmiyor, çok çok azını da annemden duymuşluğum var. Eco da bunun farkında olmalı ki, diğer dillere çevrildiğinde şaşırdığını söylemiş diğer ülkelerdeki yayıncılara bu kitabı çevirmezlerse alınmayacağını belirtmiş. Buna rağmen basılmış ve hatta sevilmiş, benim için de bu yolculuğu okuması keyifliydi, bilhassa da Eco’nun romana eklediği resimlerle ilginç bir hâle geliyor, bu durağan anlatıyı daha dinamik hâle getirmek, bambaşka dünyalarda büyümüş (ve büyüyecek) okurlar için daha gerçek kılmak için yapılmış bir şey olduğunu düşünüyorum, böyle düşününce daha da mantıklı. Resimlerin önemli bir kısmı da Eco tarafından oluşturulmuş. Kitabı yalnızca ciltli sattıkları için Doğan Yayınları’na önce kızsam da, uzun zaman sonra bir nesne olarak kitaba duygusal hisler besledim, elimde tutmaktan, sayfaları dönüp dönüp karıştırmaktan hoşlandım.

‘‘Yabancı okurlar başka bir ülkenin hikâyesini keşfetti,’’ diyor Eco; Macondo’yu da hiçbir zaman göremeyeceğimizi, ama Marquez Yüzyıllık Yalnızlığı yazdığında, bizim Macondo’dan bir şeyler öğrendiğimizi hatırlatıyor.

Kraliçe Loana’nın Gizemli Alevi’nin diğer bir ilginç yönü ise, edebiyat tarihinde yüzlerce, binlerce benzeri olan bir arayış ve araştırma romanı olmasına rağmen, bunu diğer romanlardaki gibi yapmaması. Yazarlar bu konuyu çok severler, çünkü roman yazmak başlı başına böyle bir şeydir, ama yazarlar da kendilerine biraz olsun mesafe koyabilmek için, bu arayışı başka bir boyuta taşır ve ‘arayış içindeki karakteri’ genelde Mevlana’nın Şems’i aradığı gibi ‘‘...ev ev, kapı kapı, köşeden köşeye, sokak sokak,’’ ararken görürüz. Eco’nun karakteri Yambo ise, tıpkı Eco’nun bu romanı oluşturmaya karar verdiğinde kendi geçmişini araştırmak için yaptığı gibi, kendini sayfalara gömüyor, yüzlerce kitabın arasına dalıyor.

Romanın ikinci yarısından sonra şahit olduğumuz daha hikâyeci bölüm ise, romanı benim için özel hâle getiren kısım oldu. Eco’nun sabırla oluşturduğu şiirsel ve büyülü ve pek entelektüel dünyasından kopmak her seferinde çok zor geliyor.

Eco bunun bir otobiyografik roman olmadığını, evet, romanın büyük kısmını kapsayan detaylar kendi çocukluğundan aldığını, ama daha çok kendi neslinin hikâyesi olduğunu, Yambo’nun kendisinin yaşamadığı bazı şeyleri yaşadığını söylüyor. Romanda da görebileceğiniz gibi, Kraliçe Loana’nın Gizemli Alevi ismi bir çizgi romandan alınma; Eco bu çizgi romanın adını ilk gördüğünde çok etkilendiğini, romanı yazmaya karar verdiği, hatta romanın adını belirlediği zamanda ise çizgi romanın içeriğini hiç hatırlamadığını vurguluyor.

Bu kitap, belki de anlam olarak Eco romanları içerisinde okuyucuyu en az yoranı, büyük oranda bir çocukluk deneyimine dayandığı için sanırım (tabii yine insana dair çok temel şeyleri sorgulatıyor), yine de birilerine tavsiye derken okuması kolay der miyim, sanırım diyemem. Eco’ya karşı özel bir ilginiz varsa benim gibi, sıkılmadan okursunuz ama.

Son olarak şunu da ekleyeyim, bu roman Masumiyet Müzesi ile çok yakın bir ruha sahip. Kafalarının hep benzer şekilde çalıştığını düşündüğüm iki yazarın, Eco’nun bu romanında da böyle bir izini görmek hoşuma gitti açıkçası. Eco müze yapmamış, ama kitabını Hatıraların Masumiyeti’nde olduğu gibi resimlerle süslemiş. Bunu biraz yaşlılığa bağlıyorum, Eco bu romanı yazdığında 70’ini devirmişti. Hayatın gelip gittiğini hüzünle hatırlamak ve ölüm karşısında çaresiz kalmak, sanırım hiçbirimizin aşamadığı bir şey. Bir yazarın kendi hikâyesini, içinde yaşadığı dünyayı anlatması (Orhan Pamuk’un balkonundan çektiği fotoğrafları hatırlayalım), ölümün gelişini engellemiyor belki, ama ölümün umutsuzluğunu bir nebze olsun azaltıyor.
Profile Image for Noce.
205 reviews285 followers
June 4, 2014
L'Eco dei ricordi

Quando lessi questo libro una decina di anni fa, mi affidai a una visione panoramica dell’insieme. E mi piacque. Riletto adesso, e aggrappandomi a una visione panoramica dell’insieme, mi piace.

Dare lo stesso giudizio a un libro, a distanza di dieci anni, è quasi sconfortante per un lettore medio forte, convinto di evolversi continuamente in una maturità letteraria che va di pari passo con le sue letture. Se non fosse, che in questo caso, riesco a percepire quei dettagli per cui mi aggrappo a una prospettiva globale del romanzo.

È infatti uno di quei casi, in cui tocca stilare una media dei pro e dei contro. Partiamo dal fatto che Eco è uno che di letteratura ne sa. E non gioca certo a fare il modesto. Da questo punto di vista, leggere questo libro è come aprire la Treccani alla lettera X. Uno pensa, quante parole vuoi che ci siano a parte xilofono, poi ti accorgi che ci sono 20 pagine di parole icseggianti e non sono tutti nomi propri di paesi /persone orientali, e impallidisci indovinando cosa ci può essere dietro il resto dell’alfabeto. Fate conto sia un kebab farcito di citazioni colte ad uso e consumo di chi vuol prenderne spunto. Riflettere su quante cose ci siano ancora da leggere e imparare, distrae ampiamente dall’Umby smargiasso che vanta cose che voi umani ecc ecc…

In secondo luogo, e su questo sarò breve, Eco ha uno spiccato senso della grammatica italiana. Pulitissimo e con un uso della punteggiatura, che rispecchia l’originario senso delle pause, del respiro e dell’espressione che sta dietro la ratio di voler trasporre su carta un qualsiasi discorso orale. Una cosa che per un sedicenne di oggi, ha lo stesso sapore dell’aramaico.

In terzo luogo, è un libro autobiografico. Che prende spunto da un escamotage abbastanza banale. Un signore di mezza età che perde la memoria, e scavando nei suoi luoghi d’infanzia, ritrova se stesso (e la memoria se del caso). Quanti libri autobiografici ci siamo pappati, di quante infanzie tra orti soleggiati e casolari abbandonati abbiamo letto? Un numero indefinito. Il tutto sta a propinartelo in modo piacevole. E anche questo Eco lo sa fare. Solo che qua c’è il primo errore. Ha scritto il libro per un target di lettori coetanei. Albumizzare il libro con illustrazioni d’epoca è stato un colpo di genio, solo che la profusione è inversamente proporzionale alla vivacità e all’età del lettore. Mio padre ci sguazzerebbe che è una bellezza, tra incipit di canzoncine ante guerra e illustrazioni vintage di vecchie scatole di caffè. Uno che è nato come me a fine anni 70, all’inizio è curioso, poi si diverte scoprendo che riesce a carpire un quarto (non di più) delle citazioni canterine, dopo incomincia ad annoiarsi e infine assume la faccia di circostanza di un paracarro.

Il mio modesto parere, è che Eco questa cosa l’abbia capita perfettamente, e per accalappiarsi un consenso unanime, dal microscopico dei suoi ricordi personali sia voluto passare al macroscopico dei ricordi collettivi, tirando fuori la guerra , la resistenza, il nemico che ci ascolta, cose che per amor di conoscenza continuiamo a leggere sempre, questa volta tutti, non solo gli over 70, con una certa morbosa soddisfazione. Ora, però, sfortunatamente, due anni prima del 2004, data in cui venne edito questo libro, era uscito Il paese dei Mezarat di Dario Fo, che sempre sfortunatamente io lessi poco prima di questo, e al netto delle illustrazioni che nel libro di Fo non ci sono, al netto dei luoghi d’infanzia che sono ovviamente diversi ma uguali nel modo di percepirli, al netto dei nomi dei protagonisti degli aneddoti sulla resistenza, al netto dell’autobiografia di un autore di successo, sembra di rileggere la solita pappa. E con questo non voglio dire che Eco abbia copiato da Fo, ci mancherebbe, ma che una storia come la loro, è abbastanza comune, a parte il successo professionale raggiunto, all’80 per cento degli italiani loro coetanei, e quindi mi acchiappa, in quanto a trama (e il discorso vale sia per Eco, che per Fo) quanto i racconti di mia nonna. Begli aneddoti, ma li posso sentire anche da qualcuno di famiglia.

La cosa buona, in conclusione, rimane che però, non siamo fortunatamente tutti uguali. E per chi sa poco del patrimonio storico italiano, della letteratura classica, per chi non ha nonni, e non ha mai fatto collezioni di francobolli, questo libro rappresenta comunque una miniera di spunti notevoli, e leggendolo, ci si potrebbe scoprire a fare la stessa faccia di Bretodeau in Amelie, quando apre la scatola dei ricordi e ritrova il suo tempo perduto. Che come visione panoramica dell’insieme ha in definitiva, qualcosa di affascinante.
Profile Image for Kurt Reichenbaugh.
Author 6 books65 followers
April 18, 2020
I'm really lukewarm on this novel. I bought it when it first came out in paperback here in the U.S. and then put it up on the shelf next to The Brotherhood of the Rose and let it sit there like a bottle of wine until last week. I admired all of the colorful illustrations in it, but the synopsis of the story itself didn't really grab me. Anyway, long weekends of staying inside prompted me to pull it down from the shelf and uncork it. Much of it is pretty good, from the point of view of a middle-aged guy myself. The big difference being that I myself did not spend my formative years under a fascist dictatorship. But I could relate to the pursuit of one's past through the books of one's childhood. For most guys my age in the U.S. that could be The Hardy Boys, Doc Savage, GI Joe, Wacky Packages, Batman, boy scouts, school primers and capitalist propaganda. For our protagonist, it wasn't much different. Comic books, heroes like Flash Gordon, records, radio, anthems and fascist propaganda. But then much of the novel is like looking at someone else's scrapbooks. You see what was meaningful to them, yet you're still distant from really knowing them. Maybe that's the point. Then there is the all consuming, unconsummated first great love in our past. The one you admired from nearby, the one who made your reel with vertigo if you got too close to her (or him) in school. We chase after her in all the subsequent relationships of our lives. She's always there, faceless in the fog of adolescent memory. This book is about her as well. But I don't imagine anyone besides me wants to know about that girl. So, you read this book, admire the pictures, and think about your first crush and then move on. Still, I did kind of like it.
Profile Image for Yani.
416 reviews179 followers
December 18, 2013
Tengo opiniones encontradas con respecto a este libro. Por un lado, me encantó. Por el otro, me produjo incomodidad. Había leído una entrevista en donde Eco afirma que esta es su novela menos erudita, pero a medida que iba pasando las páginas, lo único que veía era una admirable complejidad (que siempre se agradece, como suelo decir). Por ende, dejé de creerle.

La misteriosa llama de la reina Loana tiene como protagonista a Yambo, un hombre que pierde la memoria pero conserva un conocimiento enciclopédico, fundamentalmente literario, y necesita encontrarla de alguna forma. Para lograrlo, vuelve a la casa de su infancia, en donde se almacenan (o se guardan desordenadamente, si se quiere) libros, afiches y comics, entre otras curiosidades. Yambo, quien además es librero, debe lidiar con los recuerdos que posee y los que empieza a reconstruir.

Lo que me gustó de este libro es la perspectiva de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. No está relacionada sólo con hechos, sino con el movimiento cultural de la época. Me resultó interesantísima la parte que se relaciona con el adoctrinamiento fascista en las escuelas, porque Yambo se encarga de contarlo con la inocencia de un niño que no comprende del todo por qué hay que decir y pensar como te obligan, y no como uno quiere. Por otras parte, las imágenes que interrumpen el libro ocupan un lugar importante, porque acompañan la narración (está en primera persona) y el lector tiene que decidir cómo manejarse con ellas. Sentí que volví a estar frente a La vida de Henry Brulard , de Stendhal, en donde salteaba los gráficos para mirarlos más tarde o, a veces, seguía las indicaciones de la voz narradora en el mismo momento de la lectura.

Pero la incomodidad no tiene relación con eso. Yambo piensa mediante citas de libros, hasta responde con ellas, y a veces uno se tropieza con un final o un detalle que arruina todo para el lector que todavía no pudo leer esa obra. No todas las citas son explícitas o tienen referencias, así que terminé con la sensación de no haber podido entrar completamente en la novela. Google es una buena herramienta, pero no es lo mismo quedarse pegado a internet durante quinientas páginas que leer como corresponde (o como yo considero que corresponde). El final fue difuso, muy similar al hilo de pensamiento del protagonista.

En síntesis, La misteriosa llama de la reina Loana es un libro que capta la atención de inmediato, pero no siempre puede sostenerla. El conocimiento de Yambo (¿o debería decir Eco?) es muy amplio y parece hablarle a un lector con la misma capacidad que él. Sin embargo, se puede disfrutar de todas maneras, aunque no recomendaría este libro a personas que odien profundamente que les cuenten los finales de los clásicos.
Profile Image for Irena.
398 reviews85 followers
February 5, 2017
Krajnje problematična knjiga za ocijeniti. Iako je vidljivo da je pisana od dobrog pisca, sama knjiga je pokušaj nečega što je posve loše izvedeno.
Slike su posve bezveze, iako svi reviews tipa Guardian, New York Times, kao i bookish blogova ističu baš njih kao ono najzanimljivije.

Žao mi je i to što pisac u pola jako zanimljive priče, koja me angažirala, počeo da prepričava šta je čitao (ili šta sad čita) kao klinac i provodi nas kroz svoje djetinjstvo putem literature sa kojom je odrastao. ŠTO SAMO PO SEBI NIJE LOŠA IDEJA, UOPĆE! MEĐUTIM...
Da je možda birao manje literature koju će upotrijebiti, a uranjao u nju dublje, stvar bi bila drugačija. Ovako, dobivam frantično skakanje sa djela na djelo, sa citata na citat i vrlo teško dešifriram odakle je, šta je htio reći...a na kraju ni ne zanima me.
Likovi su veoma loše obrađeni s obzirom na to da opsjeda nad njima; te tri žene koje su mu tako bitne u životu su uglavnom opisane kao vilinski lijepe i to je to.

Kad Eco počne pisati o svom djedu i sebi kao dječaku, priča postaje TAKO zanimljiva, i djedov lik nam iznosi Ecova promišljanja o toliko stvari da sam naprosto poželjela da se prisjeća svega kroz priče sebe i djeda.

Želim da mi se ova knjiga sviđa, ali baš ne funkcioniramo :(
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Fiona.
844 reviews448 followers
July 31, 2017
The premise of this book is that Yambo, a rare book dealer, has had some sort of illness that has caused amnesia. He doesn't recognise his wife and children but he can remember the capital of Madagascar, the dates of famous battles and endless quotations from literature. He is obsessed with quotations about fog and compares his mental state to thinking through a fog. So far so good. Up to a point, I found his situation quite interesting.

As part of his recovery process, Yambo goes to the family estate, Solara. It is then that Eco becomes thoroughly self indulgent and subjects his readers to a couple of hundred pages of recollections on old Italian cartoons, comics, boys' adventure stories and a children's encyclopaedia, all in minute and tedious detail. The many illustrations offer some relief but not much.

Eventually, Yambo starts to remember events that he was involved in as a child during WWII, before descending further into a madness of obsession with old fantasy characters from comics and magazines. My patience ran out and I skimmed through to the end. Life is just too short for some books and this is one of them.
Profile Image for Al waleed Kerdie.
478 reviews230 followers
February 9, 2021
عمل متكامل ختم به أومبرتو إيكو حياته.
سيرة ذاتيط لرجل فقد ذاكرته وأراد أن يستعيدها مستحضرا طفولته.
غرام إيكو بالقوائم مستحضرا بشدة في هذا الع��ل الفني.
إن الرواية تحفة فنية بحق, وترجمة محترمة جدا ومرهقة أيضا من معاوية عبد المجيد
Profile Image for Steven Z..
598 reviews122 followers
July 20, 2018
For the longest time I have wanted to tackle one of Umberto Eco’s novels. I knew they were unique so I have digested his fifth work, THE MYSTERIOUS FLAME OF QUEEN LOANA. To say the least the book was different from anything I have ever read. Eco introduces the main character a Giambattista Bodoni, with Yambo as a nickname suffering from memory loss due to a heart attack. He lives in Milan and is fifty-nine years of age and he is crushed by the fact that he can remember things from the distant past, but nothing more recent. He does not even know his name and it takes his wife Paola, who is a psychologist, and his physician, Dr. Gratarolo to introduce him to his identity and certain pathways of his life. For Yambo familiarizing himself or relearning almost everything was similar to being Adam or Eve.

Eco offers numerous ruminations on memory; its depth, how difficult it is at times to retrieve its contents, and how hard it is to move forward without the knowledge that is buried within. For Yambo his memory is nothing but frustration. The brain is an amazing instrument as he can remember four stanzas of Dante’s poetry, but can’t remember if he ever had an affair with Sibilla who is his assistant at his antiquarian bookstore. Yambo’s heart attack has erased all memory of his own life while leaving every scrap of every book, comic strip, song, movie that he has ever experienced intact. The most interesting part of the novel is the first part as he confronts his medical issue and tries to recapture his memory. Eco incorporates sarcasm, and humor to relieve some Yambo’s tension, but his stress is evident. The solution that is reached is that Yambo should visit his grandfather’s retreat at Solaro where he spent much of his childhood. Since his grandfather was also a bookseller it is hoped that what is stored in the main house will stimulate Yambo and restore his memory.

In examining the attic of his childhood Yambo feels like he is an intruder in a forbidden kingdom. He travels from one section of the attic to another, and one crate or bookshelf to another trying to locate clues of his previous life. In doing so we witness a man rummaging through the attic and study in a Piedmontese country house in search of his past. Yambo reads for the first time, or rereads countless books from his past, many of which he recognizes along with listening to numerous records. He comes across Sherlock Holmes, Flash Gordon, Jules Verne, among many titles by Italian authors. Eco provides numerous illustrations to highlight Yambo’s findings. Included are tins, cigarette cases, toys, calendars, dolls, soldiers, record cases, stamps, and of course numerous book jackets from his grandfather’s library. For Yambo the mystery of Solara was that at every turn he would approach a revelation, and it would come to stop on the edge of a cliff, the invisible chasm that kept him in a fog.

The book itself is not really a novel, but more of a revisiting of Eco’s past reading life. The book’s illustrations are interesting, but not really necessary, perhaps they were thrown in to embellish the story. The strong suit are a series of what appear to be essays on such diverse topics as Mussolini’s influence on children’s literature, his schoolboy notebooks depicting the exploits of Il Duce, Black Shirts, and colonial triumphs, then listening to a radio as the war turns to songs of bravery and coming defeat at Anzio, the landing at Sicily, bombing of Milan, all of life’s reality as the family had left the city to wait out the war in Solara. Yambo would learn a great deal about his grandfather’s past in Solara as he searched for his own. Particularly important were the reasons his grandfather turned from journalism to buying an old book shop.

The most important episode of Yambo’s adolescence turned out to be a teenage crush on a girl named Lila Saba. She would become an obsession for Yambo even after her family moved to Brazil. He would grill his friend Gianni who knew her also as he continued his quest to remember her face well into adulthood, to the point when he learned her real name was not Lila, but Sibillia.

In summation, Eco has presented a popular history of the 1930s and 1940s through his meandering approach to recapturing his childhood. In doing so Yambo provides a narrative of World War II and its effect on Italy through the eyes of a boy. For Yambo he becomes caught between listening to the messages of national glory and daydreaming about the fog in thinking about London and Sherlock Holmes. In the end he would realize that he had rediscovered things that he and countless others had read, and aside from stories about his grandfather he had not relived his childhood, but he had relived the life of a generation.

Eco’s effort does not flow evenly. One page is a narrative about family and life. Another deals with the war. The next might deal with the temptations that religion does not permit. Moving on you are following Yambo’s reading history, then his opinion of film, stamps, and what not. Then on to developing his sexuality and his obsession with Lila. At times fascinating, at time engrossing, but also at times fantasy that can lose the reader’s attention. Eco’s humor, sarcasm, and didactic knowledge reflect a fascinating author, but be prepared to concentrate fully because if you do not, you will get lost.
Profile Image for Jean Tessier.
148 reviews22 followers
October 2, 2011
My other favorite author. Usually not an easy read, but you end up less stupid for it.

The main character lost his memory and relives his childhood by examining the litterature he was reading as a child in fascist Italy: comic books, translated novels, fascist propaganda. It is a very good look at a fascinating world. Later, when the main character regains his memory, he takes stock of his life and looks at how his life was shaped by patterns and events in his youth and teenage years.

I was a little puzzled by the ending. I will need to reflect upon it a little while longer. I think it ties to his appreciation of Cyrano de Bergerac earlier in the book. I guess that makes it the most desireable ending one could have hoped for.

This book brought back memories. Just as the main character is revisiting his past, rediscovering his childhood based on what he read at the time, I was also going through my childhood, the books I was readings, and how they affected me. Thank you, Mr. Eco, for this stroll down memory lane.
Profile Image for Ellen.
256 reviews33 followers
November 15, 2011
An extremely imaginative work, Umberto Eco's "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana" takes the reader through the history of Italy from the pre-WW II era through the early 2000s, following a man's desperate effort to remember his life after suffering an "incident" - a brain event in which he's lost the part of his memory that contains his personal experiences, the details of his life, his childhood, and especially his emotions as they relate to his life. When he awakens from a coma Yambo cannot remember even his own name, doesn't recognize his wife and daughters, and feels as though he's lost in the universe. As the novel progresses Yambo returns to his childhood home and rifles through boxes and bookcases belonging to his grandfather, a great collector of books, newspapers, and magazines; as he discovers his childhood books and especially his comic books and the music of the times Yambo begins to get a sense of himself.

In particular I really enjoyed following Yambo through the coming to power of Mussolini and his Fascists, their alliance with Germany, and their eventual defeat. Yambo at last remembers his one heroic act during the war, an even that disturbs him and brings emotions back into his memory. The book is illustrated brilliantly, with prints from books and other paperwork taken from the comic books, record album covers, and other media Yambo is re-reading. In the latter half of the book Yambo regains some of his memories; the last memory he must regain is that of his first crush, on a schoolmate named Lila. And then - what?

We have the feeling that something is going to happen to Yambo toward the end of the book, and we are not wrong. But what exactly happened? Death? Or perhaps the entire story is nothing but an hallucination after all? You'll have to read through the book to determine what you think about what's happened.

Altogether, this is an unusual novel, one that will keep you reading. Not boring at all!! I would give the book five stars, but for one problem, which is more my fault than Eco's: Untranslated French, German, and Italian is sprinkled throughout, and I, being able to read those languages only minimally, became a bit frustrated. But all in all, I would definitely recommend this book, particularly to the male reader who is interested in history. Women will enjoy the book as well, but as it is a story presented from a man's viewpoint about his childhood experiences - lots of war, a boy's sexual awakening, and such - I think men might enjoy this book more than say, a young woman might. I don't mean to sound sexist here, but as a woman I felt that I might have been able to cut through to another layer of experience had I been a man. Anyone interested in Italian history and culture will also enjoy this wonderful novel!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,057 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.