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Foucault's Pendulum

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Three clever editors (who have spent altogether too much time reviewing crackpot manuscripts on the occult by fanatics and dilettantes) decide to have a little fun. They are inspired by an extraordinary fable they heard years before from a suspiciously natty colonel, who claimed to know of a mystic source of power greater than atomic energy.

On a lark, the editors begin randomly feeding esoteric bits of knowledge into an incredible computer capable of inventing connections between all their entries. What they believe they are creating is a long, lazy game - until the game starts taking over...

Here is an incredible journey of thought and history, memory and fantasy, a tour de force as enthralling as anything Umberto Eco—or indeed anyone—has ever devised.

623 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1988

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About the author

Umberto Eco

879 books10.4k 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.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,880 reviews
Profile Image for Will.
6 reviews53 followers
May 3, 2008
Imagine three sarcastic, over-educated editors who work at a vanity publisher. Owing to their occupation, they naturally end up reading an abundance of books about ridiculously grand conspiracy theories and occult societies - the Freemasons, the Templars, the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati (Bavarian and otherwise), and so on. So they start to play a sort of free-association game: Let's connect all these things, using the same half-mad logic as the authors of these books, into one grand design. Thus The Plan is born.

But they're too good at it. The Plan starts to get away from them. After so long immersed in the dream-logic of conspiracy theories you can form seemingly-natural (and ominous) connections between any pair of things. So when strange and ominous things do happen, when the pieces seem to start falling into place, is it just coincidence? Are the things they thought they were making up real?

Yes, as others have said, you'll get more out of this book if you know multiple languages, have a dictionary handy, have some background in the occult, etc. Considering that the author and the protagonists are all polyglot intellectuals with doctorates in literature and/or medieval history, it'll naturally help you if you are similarly educated. But I don't think that's necessary to enjoy the book overall. It is wry and intellectual but at its heart it's a detective thriller: A friend goes missing and Our Hero needs to find out why. And he finds a lot more than he bargained for.

Some notes for readers: this book follows the pattern "Our Hero, just before the Final Confrontation, takes a moment to flash back to all the circumstances leading him to this moment." So you start out right near the end. You will be confused and overwhelmed. Press on, dear reader. All the important things will be explained. Don't worry too much if you don't know everything about Kabbalah or Socialism in Italy in the 1960s - they are not vital to the story. But reading about them does add to the enjoyment.

In fact, I think that might be one of my favorite things about this book: the sheer breadth of the references and allusions - medieval history to James Joyce to the Beatles. I could probably spend a couple of months plugging everything I didn't understand from my first reading into Wikipedia and seeing what I find out.

Which I plan to do. On my second reading.
April 4, 2009
This book consists of predominantly two things: (1) Endless dialogue by mentally unbalanced paranoid conspiracy theorists; (2) Endless dialogue by scholars who study mentally unbalanced paranoid conspiracy theorists. This is not a bad book, but its not an easy read, and not really a particularly enjoyable one. My enjoyment, or lack thereof, was tempered by the fact that I was apparently trying to read one story, but the author was trying to tell a different one. Put another way, I was trying to read about plot, but the author was trying to write about person. Conceptually, this book is fascinating, but the execution was wanting; again, this may be because Eco was trying to tell a different story than I wanted to read.

Many others describe this book as "thrilling" or a "roller coaster ride" but it's not. It's supposed to be, I think, but the tension is lost in the morass of dialogue and background. In the end, rather than being a book about conspiracy theorists (which is what 90% of the text is about), it's almost more a book about self-image. It does show how conspiracy theorists can make any idea self-prophecisizing (sp?), but it could have been done in a much cleaner, approachable fashion.
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,425 reviews3,392 followers
September 12, 2021
Plots and counterplots… Conspiracies and counter conspiracies…
Cabbalists, Illuminati, Knights Templar, Rosicrucian Order… If it isn’t enough for you then create your own clandestine order with some obscure and opaque agenda… The obscurer the better.
That was when I saw the Pendulum.
The sphere, hanging from a long wire set into the ceiling of the choir, swayed back and forth with isochronal majesty.
I knew – but anyone could have sensed it in the magic of that serene breathing – that the period was governed by the square root of the length of the wire and by it, that number which, however irrational to sublunar minds, through a higher rationality binds the circumference and diameter of all possible circles. The time it took the sphere to swing from end to end was determined by an arcane conspiracy between the most timeless of measures: the singularity of the point of suspension, the duality of the plane’s dimensions, the triadic beginning of K, the secret quadratic nature of the root, and the unnumbered perfection of the circle itself.

The labyrinth of mysticism has an entryway… But there’s no egress…
Don’t you play with the esoteric knowledge it is dangerous… First of all it is dangerous to your own sanity.
Profile Image for Ian "Marvin" Graye.
861 reviews2,189 followers
December 4, 2013

An Opening Gambol

While I first read this novel in 2009, I bought a second-hand copy in May, 2013 for $7, which I thought was a bargain price for the degree of pleasure it's given me.

Only when I was half way through did I notice a sheet of white paper slipped into the last pages.

It shows four hand-drawn circles, each of which contains the name of a city and a number.

If the numbers represent years, they cover 21 years. If you add 2 and 1, you get the number 3. If you examine the gaps between the years, you get the numbers 11, 4 and 6. If you add these numbers, you get 21, which when added together, comes to 3. If you add 1, 1, 4 and 6, you get 12, which when added, comes to 3.

If the numbers are not years and you add them together, you get 8,015. If you add these numbers, you get 14, and if you add 1 and 4, you get 5. If you add 3 and 5, you get 8, which is exactly twice the number of circles on the sheet.

Here is a photo of the sheet:


I've been back to the bookshop where I bought my copy, but the owner wasn't able to remember who she had bought the book from.

I'm not sure how many of these cities get mentioned in the novel [all but Madrid, as it turns out, unless I'm mistaken]. However, I've since discovered the following facts with the assistance of Professor Googlewiki.

Manchester is the home of the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England, from which some Rosicrucian Orders derive their charter.

Madrid is the home of Gran Logia AMORC, Jurisdicción de Lengua Española para Europa, Africa y Australasia.

The Rosicrucian Order, Christian Order of the Hermetic Gold & Rose+Cross is based in Los Angeles.

In Paris, the Temple was a medieval fortress, located in what is now the 3rd arrondissement. The Knights Templar originally constructed it as their European headquarters.

If you have any ideas about the significance of this sheet of paper, please message me or post them in the comments below, with a spoiler warning. Alternatively, please send them with a stamped, addressed envelope containing US$20 processing fee [plus any gratuity you are happy with] to my home address.

If you're the first to work out some sort of solution that convinces me of its authenticity, I'll post a photo of something that might absolutely amaze you.

P.S. Brian's hypothesis has convinced me.

How Foucault's Pendulum Works (Maybe)

1. Imagine the Earth is a perfectly spherical hollow ball (it is, you know, or is it?).

2. Imagine that a steel cable 6,371 kilometers long is attached to the bottom side of the North Pole. This is more or less the radius of the Earth.

3. Imagine that a really bloody heavy lead bob is attached to the end of the cable.

4. Let's imagine that the Earth isn't tilted off its axis.

5. Let's say we're sitting underground on a couch somewhere north of the Equator, and we drag the cable and bob over to the inside of the sphere, then we let it go, so that it starts swinging through the centre of the Earth and over to the other side.

6. Let's assume that the bob swings in the one plane, a constant relative to the space outside the sphere of the Earth, e.g., as measured relative to the stars.

6. Let's try to do this very carefully, just in case it swings back to exactly where we're sitting on the couch.

7. But it doesn't! (See steps 10 and 11.)

8. Let's assume that the bob swings so quickly that it takes an hour to swing back to the side it started (i.e., a complete cycle).

9. Let's assume that the Earth is rotating once every 24 hours (it is, you know, or is it?).

10. Every hour, the earth moves 15 degrees around its own 360 cycle (360 degrees/24 hours = 15 degrees).

11. By the time the bob returns to our side of the Earth, it touches the inside of the sphere 15 degrees away from our couch.

12. Repeat another 23 times, and the bob comes full circle and smashes our couch.

13. Fortunately it doesn't smash us as well, because by now we understand how Foucault's Pendulum works, and we got off the couch just in time.

14. If we map the path of the bob, it will look something like this (except that there would be 24 repetitions instead of eight):


15. If we mapped 24 repetitions, the map would look more like a rose. Hence, in mathematics, this type of map is referred to as a "rose" or "rhodonea curve", and each half of a repetition (from the circumference to the centre) is called a "petal".

16. Hence, in "Foucault's Pendulum", Umberto Eco takes us from "The Name of the Rose" to "The Shape of the Rose".

17. It is possible that everything I've said to you so far is false.


The Quest for Happiness

"Foucault’s Pendulum" is at once a Post-Modernist and an Existentialist novel.

Umberto Eco’s focus is not just Religion. It’s any form of ideology: Fascism, the Resistance, God, Socialism.

For Eco, these ideologies or belief systems are “Fixed Points” that determine our relationship with the cosmos.

While individual lives might be relatively chaotic, in constant motion, the belief systems are supposed to fix and secure our relationship with the universe. They create order.

The vehicles through which the novel explores these issues are the Word, the Book, the Manifesto, the Strategy, the Plan, even the Five Year Plan.

All of these things exist, because we don’t quite know what we need or want. We’re not yet happy, nor do we really know how to get happy. Each one is an apparatus which is offered to us to help in our quest for happiness.

The Credulity of the Non-Believer

Eco loosely quotes G.K. Chesterton as follows:

"When men stop believing in God, it isn’t that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything."

There is some uncertainty about the actual origin and wording of this quotation. I wondered whether it had simply been translated from English to Italian and then back to English, without checking the original. However, the more accurate version of it is:

"When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything."

Filling the Void

Religion maintains that God exists everywhere for us and that "the void does not exist". However, its opponents acknowledge that there is a void, but argue that it should not exist:

"A void had been created, and it has to be filled!"

What is to be done?

Somehow, the Book (whether or not it contains the "Holy Word") has become the vehicle with which to fill the void, create meaning, document beliefs and practices, and address the need to be happy.


Major Religions have their own Holy Book. However, side by side with them are heretical, esoteric and occult works that cater to the same need.

Many fraternities and orders have grown up around these books. [I wonder what proportion of the members are female?] Their members derive order from their order. In the case of the more military orders, the members also get their orders from their order.

To the extent that these books and beliefs have been perceived as heretical or threatening by mainstream religious institutions, a culture of secrecy has grown up around them, hence the term "secret societies".

The Mystery Dance

There is often a sense in which some level of mystery and imprecision needs to be preserved:

"The Templars' mental confusion makes them indecipherable."

Because heretical beliefs are erroneous in the eyes of the Church, Eco implies that error is almost a secondary issue within esoterica:

"An error can be the unrecognised bearer of truth. True esotericism does not fear contradiction."

What’s more important is the question and the mystery, as opposed to the answer and the certainty.

A secret remains enchanting until it has been revealed, at which point it has been emptied of enchantment.

Eco even speculates that the secret might be that there is no secret, as long as those outside the order believe those inside know something they don't know.

Secrecy is more important than the substance of the secret. Perhaps what is most valuable is the bond between the members of the order.

The secret might simply be the framework or glue that initially connects them. Once the order is in place, it can survive of its own accord.

A Post-Modernist Prank

The Post-Modern aspects of the novel derive from the narrative in which its three protagonists (Casaubon, Belbo and Diotallevi) resolve to fabricate a work of esoterica, so that a specialist publisher for which they work can capitalize on a credulous market ("the Plan").

"Foucault’s Pendulum" becomes a novel about the invention and construction of a work of non-fiction that is actually fictitious, perhaps one that even seeks to "arrive at the truth through the painstaking reconstruction of a false text.".

The work needs to have words and facts and connections.

Like the bond of a secret society, the power of words emerges from their connection:

"Any fact becomes important when it’s connected to another. The connection changes the perspective; it leads you to think that every detail of the world, every voice, every word written or spoken has more than its literal meaning, that it tells us of a Secret. The rule is simple: Suspect, only suspect. You can read subtexts even in a traffic sign that says ‘No littering.’ "

"Invent, Invent Wildly"

The protagonists discover that their creative process follows certain apparently spontaneous rules.

The foundation stone is:

"Concepts are connected by analogy. There is no way to decide at once whether an analogy is good or bad, because to some degree everything is connected to everything else."

That said, readers are more comfortable with the conventional, with what they have heard before, with facts with which they are already familiar:

"The connections must not be original. They must have been made before, and the more often the better, by others. Only then do the crossings seem true, because they are obvious."

The connections can be crazy, as long as the facts are recognised.

The protagonists are urged to:

"Invent, invent wildly, paying no attention to connections, till it becomes impossible to summarize."

"Tout se tient" in the end. If "tout se tient" in the end, the connection works. So it’s right. It's right because it works.

This concept and phrase is usually attributed to the semiotician Saussure. In language, every element connects to, supports and is supported by every other element.

You can also see Eco's theories about how we read influencing not just his own novel, but the Book, the Plan that his protagonists are authoring.

Protagonists and Spectators

The characters' level of participation and commitment to the project varies:

"[Belbo] would never be a protagonist, he decided to become, instead, an intelligent spectator."

He can’t write fiction, but he can fabricate non-fiction. He also maintains a diary in which he fictionalizes his past and present.

Ironically, despite his lack of creative self-confidence, Belbo remains a major protagonist in Eco’s novel:

"Fear forced him to be brave. Inventing, he had created the principle of reality."

Existentialism, Doubt and Confidence

Belbo's realism results from courage, which in turn strengthens Casaubon’s resolve.

Casaubon learns the real source of Belbo’s lack of confidence, an event in his childhood when he had to fill in for a trumpeter in an impromptu public performance.

Casaubon concludes that there are for all of us certain decisive moments when we have to confront the essence of our character and fate. How we deal with these moments determines the happiness in the rest of our lives.

These moments don’t necessarily have anything to do with God, Fate or the supernatural. Nor do they depend on the execution of Plans. They do have to deal with self-doubt and our inner reserves, both of energy and of insight.

These discoveries force Casaubon to question his adherence to the principles of the Enlightenment (including Cartesian Doubt).

"I had always thought that doubting was a scientific duty, but now I came to distrust the very masters who had taught me to doubt...

"I devoted myself to Renaissance philosophers and I discovered that the men of secular modernity, once they had emerged from the darkness of the Middle Ages, had found nothing better to do than devote themselves to cabala and magic."

Eat a Peach

Casaubon has his own existential "trumpet moment" at the end of the novel, when he must learn to play with the cards that Fate has dealt him:

"...yet, like Belbo when he played the trumpet, when I bit into the peach, I understood the Kingdom and was one with it."

Ultimately, it’s a moment that only the individual can handle. We have to figure it out for ourselves. There is no Plan, there is no Map.

"Kill me, then, but I won’t tell you there’s no Map. If you can’t figure it out for yourself, tough shit."

"Foucault's Pendulum" takes us on this journey with consummate intelligence, traditional, esoteric and pop cultural allusiveness, literary skill and humour.


The Hollow Obelisk


Casaubon’s Last Letter to His Wife, Lia

Animula vagula blandula, Hospes comesque corporis *

It hurts me to think I might not see you again.

It was all my fault. I was seduced away from you, not by another woman, but by another Other, something I thought was beautiful, because I was helping to construct it.

"People are hungry for plans, for cosmic solutions," you said. "If you create one, they’ll descend on it like wolves. If you make one, they’ll believe it. It’s just make believe, Pow, it’s wrong."

You always knew the book was superficial, that it was a fake, that there was no truth contained between its covers. But I made them all believe it had both truth and depth. Deep down, I knew they desired what this book had to offer: mystery, secrecy, answers, certainty. Even though once they had read it, the mystery would dissipate and they would be left satisfied, but empty, with nothing left, nothing new to strive for. Neither grail nor quest.

My audience was weak, unlike you, who are strong. You don’t need answers from outside. You’ve found them within. In your own body.

"Oh, I almost forgot," you said. "I’m pregnant."

I remember looking at you just before you told me. You were caressing your belly, your breasts, even your ear lobes. I was oblivious. I couldn’t understand these moves you were making. I had always thought of you as so slim and supple. Now I picture you as buxom, rosy-cheeked and healthy – I should have realised that you were pregnant.

You were trying to solve my problem. I was single-minded about that. You spoke confidently. You radiated a serene wisdom. You were luminous. You illuminated both of us. I realise now it might have been your maternal instinct, a fledgling matriarchal authority, that there were three of us present - you, me and Guilio – and that you were speaking for all three.

I know you will take good care of Guilio. Please let him know I will always love him.

* Little soul, you charming little wanderer, my body's guest and partner - Hadrian

A Letter from Lia to Guilio on the Occasion of His Thirteenth Birthday

My dearest son, Giulio, your father wasn’t born a wise man, but he died a wise man. He didn’t plan to be wise or to die when he did, but in many ways it was the result of a Plan, even if it wasn’t only his Plan.

Your father died when he was ready. He died at peace. He died as soon as he had attained peace. He attained his peace when finally he understood his place in the world. He died when there was nothing left to learn and nothing left to understand.

By the time he died, he had learned his place in the cosmos, on this earth, on this rock that is our home.

Your father, Casaubon, was a philosophical man. In the end, the wisdom that he had finally learned gave him great certainty and comfort. You were a big part of it. You gave him certainty and comfort, he called you his philosopher’s stone, that’s how much you meant to him, but equally he hoped and knew that the wisdom he had gained would pass on to you.

This is what he learned and what he wanted me to tell you on his behalf. Having learned, he wanted to teach you.

There is no map. There is no plan. There is only life. There is only us. Your father has gone already. And one day, when I am gone, there will only be you left. But you will have your wife and your children, and each of them will be your philosophers’ stone. Life will pass through your father and me to you and then from you and your wife to your children. These are the connections between us.

What your father learned is no secret, yet few get to know it in their lives. Too many people look without success for secrets, for profundity, for inspiration. Life is only as complicated as you make it. Happiness is an open secret, it’s within you, it’s in your soul, and all you have to do is open it.

I know how happy you have become, how happy you are. I am so proud of you, and I know your father would be too. We are grateful to you, our son, for the happiness you have given us and those who surround you.


Beth Orton - "Sweetest Decline"


"She weaves secrets in her hair
The whispers are not hers to share.
She's deep as a well.
She's deep as a well.

What's the use in regrets
They're just things we haven't done yet
What are regrets?
They're just lessons we haven't learned yet."

Beth Orton & M. Ward - "Buckets of Rain" (Bob Dylan cover)


John Cale - "I Keep A Close Watch"


This video is an hilarious juxtaposition of lyrics and imagery, just like the novel.

dEUS - "Nothing Really Ends"


"The plan it wasn't much of a plan
I just started walking
I had enough of this old town
And nothing else to do
It was one of those nights
You wonder how nobody died
We started talking
You didn't come here to have fun
You said: "well I just came for you""

dEUS - "Nothing Really Ends" [Live]



I transferred my reading notes and updates to My Writings here:

Profile Image for Steven  Godin.
2,380 reviews2,256 followers
April 15, 2023

When it comes to novels the size of bricks I have to admit to being a bit of a lightweight, only reading a handful of books over 600 pages long, and always enter with some trepidation. Eco's Foucault's Pendulum is not quite brick big, but then it doesn't look like it's been on a diet either.
In terms of sheer scope and passionate ambition this really is something, and it felt like a history lesson and a novel combined, so kudos there.

This is a complex piece of writing that does require hard work from the reader, in basic terms what starts out as a literary joke for three Milan based book editors soon sees them enter a world of deadly peril. The narrator, Casaubon, an expert on the medieval Knights Templars, and two editors working in a branch of a vanity press publishing house in Milan, are told about a purported coded message revealing a secret plan set in motion by the Knights Templars centuries ago when the society was forced underground. As a lark, the three decide to invent a history of the occult tying a variety of phenomena to the mysterious machinations of the Order. Feeding their inspirations into a computer, they become obsessed with their story, dreaming up links between the Templars and just about every occult manifestation throughout history, even Mickey Mouse gets a mention.
But things start to turn very real for them, and are targeted by an unknown enemy. Just how much do they really know?

To say this is a densely packed novel would be an understatement, way more than half of it's content is Eco having fun as a history Professor cramming in physics, philosophy, historical survey,
mathematical puzzles, religious and cultural mythology, rituals, Rosicrucians, Jesuits, Freemasons, Druids, on so on.....Hitler and his cronies come into the plot as well with a quite outrageous reason for slaughtering the Jews.
I would best describe Foucault's Pendulum as a metaphysical meditation, but also part detective story, it doesn't always work, there are moments of brilliance within, just not enough of the time, the narrative eventually becomes bogged with so much accumulated data and supposition that had me going into meltdown.

So intriguing, highly ambitious, and so much fun to read, you can easily see Eco's passion for history is paramount throughout. Only slight knock is that after 641 engrossing pages the finale wasn't what I was hoping for. But look, I still loved so much about it, and it made Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code - in regards to conspiracy and history - look even worse than it already is.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,864 reviews523 followers
May 11, 2023
Let's be clear: Eco is a titan. This opus embarks the reader in a story with multiple bends; one is carried away by the incredible erudition of the author and by the apparent mastery of his art. Rare are the books that raise the level of the reader. Eco does it every time. A Landmark!
Foucault's Pendulum is a book that exceeds me. It contains references, involved authors, outdated ideologies, and strange rites. Yet, every time I read it, I get out of it. It is a reminder of the Dan Browns of this world, the publications of the Bogdanov brothers, and the sociology thesis of Elisabeth Tessier. This work is both the ultimate conspiracy and an ode to these little boys who were we and amused themselves by putting secrets on our boredom to give us importance.
Profile Image for Traveller.
228 reviews716 followers
September 28, 2016

Descartes said: Cogito, ergo sum.
Eco says: I seek meaning, therefore I am human.

It's very hard to succinctly describe exactly what this novel is. From looking at the plot description, you may be forgiven for assuming that it is a book like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, or Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. There is an overlap in the fact that all three books deal with conspiracies that revolve around the mystical and mythical order of the Knight's Templar,
as well as the mystical and mythical quest for the Holy Grail,
and mystical aspects revolving around the Torah, the Bible, and various cults that have existed around all of the aforementioned cultural phenomena. However, that is more or less where the similarity ends. The Baigent book presents itself as non-fiction; as a serious thesis presenting an alternate history of Christ, Christianity and phenomena such as that of the myth of the Holy Grail and the true origin of the Knight's Templar. Holy Blood, Holy Grail was first published in 1982, and its authors apparently built most of their theory on the testimony of Pierre Plantard for the argument in their book.

Now bear with me on this: One of the theses I'd like to pose in my review, is that Eco's novel, Foucault's Pendulum, (which was first published in 1988), is to some extent reactionary to this whole pallaver, which caused a big stink toward the end of the twentieth century, especially since many readers had taken the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail pretty seriously:

" The Prieuré de Sion, translated from French as Priory of Sion, is a name given to multiple groups, both real and fictitious. The most controversial is a fringe fraternal organisation, founded and dissolved in France in 1956 (abiding by the 1901 French Law of Associations) by Pierre Plantard.

In the 1960s, Plantard created a fictitious history for that organization, describing it as a secret society founded by Godfrey of Bouillon on Mount Zion in the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099, conflating it with a genuine historical monastic order, the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Zion. In Plantard's version, the priory was devoted to installing a secret bloodline of the Merovingian dynasty on the thrones of France and the rest of Europe. This myth was expanded upon and popularised by the 1982 pseudohistorical book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and later claimed to be factual in the preface of the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code.

After becoming a cause célèbre from the late 1960s to the 1980s, the mythical Priory of Sion was exposed as a ludibrium created by Plantard as a framework for his claim of being the Great Monarch prophesied by Nostradamus. Evidence presented in support of its historical existence and activities before 1956 was discovered to have been forged and then planted in various locations around France by Plantard and his accomplices. Nevertheless, many conspiracy theorists still persist in believing that the Priory of Sion is an age-old cabal that conceals a subversive secret.

The Priory of Sion myth has been exhaustively debunked by journalists and scholars as one of the great hoaxes of the 20th century. Some skeptics have expressed concern that the proliferation and popularity of books, websites and films inspired by this hoax have contributed to the problem of conspiracy theories, pseudohistory and other confusions becoming more mainstream. Others are troubled by the romantic reactionary ideology unwittingly promoted in these works. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priory_o... )

In the novel under review, Eco has written an elaborate critique of hoaxes such as that of Plantard and of others like him who have made an appearance through the course of history. (Plantard seems to make an appearance in the novel as well, ). Eco's novel exposes the perfidious at worst and delusive at best nature of conspiracy beliefs and scams such as these, and while doing so, he shows the history of many theories and myths that have existed around secret societies and occult schools of thought through the centuries. Eco displays a delicious sense of humor, poking fun with many of the ideas and personages. (For instance, Eco even manages to work in, in a very humorous way, the controversy around the 'real identity' of Shakespeare and similar controversies that don't usually have anything to do with the Knights Templar or secret societies as such.)

However, the novel is more than just that. It also extensively delves into the fields of semiotics (the examination of meaning and how it is interpreted ) and epistemology, and even ontology.

This brings me to make a confession: silly little me, not knowing my history of science well enough, had, until I researched Foucault's pendulum, (-the actual scientific discovery/mechanism, not the novel), not realized that Léon Foucault is not the same person at all as Michel Foucault , the poststructuralist sociologist/ philosopher/psychologist, the latter whom I would immediately associate with Eco, via the link of being associated with linguistics and semiotics, since both published work in these areas in more or less the sixties to the eighties, so I'd be much more likely to associate Michel Foucault with Eco rather than I would associate Leon Foucault, a physicist living in the nineteenth century, with Eco.

Perhaps I can be excused for having fallen foul of the psychological phenomenon of tending to want 'closure'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closure_...

This psychological phenomenon can be illustrated more clearly by a similar phenomenon that we find with our brain's cognitive function in regard to perception; and most strikingly so when it comes to visual perception. (See emergence and reification here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_... )
Reification: In the image, a triangle is perceived in picture A, though no triangle is there. In pictures B and D the eye recognizes disparate shapes as "belonging" to a single shape, in C a complete three-dimensional shape is seen, where in actuality no such thing is drawn.

A bit further down on the linked page, we see that :"The fundamental principle of gestalt perception is the law of prägnanz , (pithiness), which says that we tend to order our experience in a manner that is regular, orderly, symmetric, and simple. [And meaningful]. "

In fact, my error with the "wrong" Foucault, perfectly illustrates the law of closure which states that individuals perceive objects such as shapes, letters, pictures, etc., as being whole when they are not complete. Even if you literally 'don't have the full picture' your mind will fill it in for you, because doing this tends to make our daily functioning more fluid and efficient, except on the off-chance that our brain filled the picture in WRONG.

Most often though, the filling in it does, is quite adequate; since it bases its assumptions on previous experience. Our minds file all of our experience in a sort of subliminal database which is often the source for a 'sixth sense' feeling about something.

I also fell foul of the law of similarity, which states that elements within an assortment of objects are perceptually grouped together if they are similar to each other. In my mind, Michel Foucault and Umberto Eco often get grouped together in regard to structuralist/poststructuralist theory, so I automatically grouped them together. But, as regard to the Foucault referred to in the novels' title, I was WRONG!

Why am I embroidering on my little mistake for so long, you may ask? Well, because it so eloquently describes exactly the kind of thing Eco is talking about in this book. Psychologically speaking, humans simply don't like things that don't make sense.

We tend to group things together based on various associations, through likeness, symbolism, or a variety of other associations.

We also need to see the 'sense' of things, we need to know the 'why' of things, which is why, perhaps, it was necessary for so many religions to put the emphasis on belief as opposed to knowledge, on faith as opposed to proof, and why Jesus exhorts his followers to become as the little children [who believe blindly and innocently]. The relevant religion then becomes the 'reason' for everything unexplained in life: "Your child died because God willed it so; He wanted your child to be with the angels, where he/she belongs better than on earth." or, "War and pestilence and sorrow and tsunamis and tornados and earthquakes happen because of original sin; because humans have, through their sins, caused that the world, God's perfect creation, has become an imperfect place, and we have brought all of these sorrows upon ourselves, just by dint of our being.

Also, if something does not make sense to us, we'll fill in the missing bits out of what seems most reasonable to us, rather than to leave things unexplained. For instance, seeing strange flying things in the night, would 200 years ago most probably have been explained as having seen ghosts, whereas many modern people would prefer to believe that they saw UFO's.

But in addition, humans are intensely social creatures, and we can conceptualise social phenomena as constructs which can regulate our behaviour in emotional ways; for instance, we have a need to belong, we have a capacity to feel guilt, and we believe in cause and result. Many humans also have a desire for spiritual meaning - a need to believe that life has a "higher purpose".

These and other characteristics cause us to often seek solace and 'meaning' with cults and religions.

Eco dissects the results of these tendencies, he shows us how myths are created, often through humans' need for closure-so if there is something missing in our 'picture' of something, we tend to make up the missing bits to best fit in with our currently held needs and beliefs.

Eco eloquently demonstrates this when the central group of characters in the novel, three editors at a publishing firm, work out an elaborate esoteric explanation for some of the missing text on a partly destroyed piece of paper that they have been told holds a great secret concerning the Knight's Templar; only to be shown up by the narrator's wife, who deftly demonstrates that the partly obliterated text actually represents a shopkeeper's goods delivery list, and nothing close to the two or three different interpretations that had been made by people who had assumed that it holds a tantalizing secret.

Fun of a similar manner ensues in various places in the novel, for instance when one of the editors aptly applies the shape and the meaning of the Mystical Kabbalah to the body and inner workings of a motor vehicle.

Eco shows us how easily connections are formed in the human mind, and how easily such a chain of associations can lead through the most unlikely chain of associations, right back to the origin again, if necessary.

Drawn in by the "game" of applying mystical symbolism to "everything", our three editors devise a story which they call "The Plan" . The Plan works very much like a regular game of "Word Association" :

"In our game we crossed not words but concepts, events, so the rules were different. Basically there were three rules.

Rule One: Concepts are connected by analogy. There is no way to decide at once whether an analogy is good or bad, because to some degree everything is connected to everything else. For example, potato crosses with apple, because both are vegetable and round in shape. From apple to snake, by Biblical association. From snake to doughnut, by formal likeness. From doughnut to life preserver, and from life preserver to bathing suit, then bathing to sea, sea to ship, ship to shit, shit to toilet paper, toilet to cologne, cologne to alcohol, alcohol to drugs, drugs to syringe, syringe to hole, hole to ground, ground to potato.

Rule Two says that if tout se tient [the connections prove valid] in the end, the connecting works. From potato to potato, tout se tient [therefore it holds true]. So it's right.

Rule Three: The connections must not be original. They must have been made before, and the more often the better, by others. Only then do the crossings seem true, because they are obvious.

Throughout the book, Eco basically shows us that one can justify any theory, any line of thought if there is a psychological or practical need to make the argument 'work', and that any theory, if you formulate it according to certain 'rules', can become accepted by a large group of people.

Hubris: One of the themes of the novel is that our three protagonists become the victims of their own hubris. As one of the three editors, Diotallevi, points out, that after their 'game' had drawn them in, it started consuming them with its addictive power and it started spilling over into reality in alarming ways, like a Frankenstein's monster run wild: " You're the prisoner of what you created. But your story in the outside world is still unfolding."

Eco points out that when we create a story, whether meant to be fictional or not, that story takes on a life of its own, and it has consequences. ...but even more so than when the story is presented as fiction, is when the story is presented as truth. When we meddle with how history is presented, we create consequences. Certainly, history is written by the victors and is therefore almost always a subjective account of events, so we must be very very careful when presenting versions of events. Versions of events are often skewed for personal gain, but, as Diotallevi points out, when we do it as a game, just for fun, that is particularly unforgivable, because whatever version of events that we'd put out there, it still has consequences.

Interestingly, each person in the novel experiences the consequences of their deception in a different way. All of them experience guilt in various ways, ...but let me stop there lest I put out too many spoilers.

The best part of the novel for me, was the poignant character sketch of Jacopo Belbo, the introvert who struggles to engage, who can never put himself in the midst of things, who is always on the periphery, except for one two glorious moments in his life, when Eco brilliantly makes him become the center of the universe.

IS ECO A PART OF WHAT HE SCORNS? Ironically, to some extent yes. In the novel, Eco himself is prone to showing off and legerdemain, almost as much as his characters who become a part of the conspiracies they have scorned.

BOTTOM LINE: Five stars for the astonishing range and depth of Eco's erudition, for his mischievous and clever sense of humor and his amazing accomplishment of drawing so many threads together in a remarkable tapestry of history, epistemology, semiotics and characterization; but minus a half star for the many superfluous bits of knowledge that are repeatedly offered, in what seems to be more showing-off sessions than being really functional with regard to the novel's plot or theses.
Profile Image for Jaidee.
583 reviews1,116 followers
August 25, 2019
3 "the last of the pentalogy of puzzlement and perseverance" stars !!!

A very difficult book to both rate and review. As I read this book I reflected on four other books that have been considered great by so many of my friends and in particular, my darling partner.

These five books to me were seeds and shadows of greatness but I felt were so heavily flawed that they became only fair to average good reads for me.

These books are:
1. 1Q84 (2.5 stars)
2.Cloud Atlas (3 stars)
3. A Fine Balance (3 stars)
4. The Goldfinch (3 stars)
5. Foucault's Pendulum (3 stars)

They were all extremely long books that perplexed me and I had to push push push to get through.
I have no regrets reading any of them but I doubt I will return to any of them as they frustrated me to no end and I was not left with a feeling of awe or wonder or sense that I had read anything close to a masterpiece but rather more like half finished paintings or half formed statues , tepid tea, cold pizza.

These books often had me question myself on my level of intelligence, my sense of esthetics or if I was truly a worthwhile reader as these books were raved about by many people I admire and a few I even love.

In the end, however, I am entitled to feel ambivalent about what I read, like what I like and see these books as struggles that helped me grow as a reader and further define my tastes in literature.

This book in particular, challenged me throughout as at most I understood a third of the context. I admired the fine line between truth and delusion and references to history, religion, science and magic. I could have spent much longer on this novel and could have done much research to deepen my understanding but would throughout the book consciously choose not to.

I will leave you with a quote from the book that sums up the main gist of the book to my very limited understanding of what this novel is about:

"There are no bigger secrets because the moment a secret is revealed, it seems little. There is only an empty secret. A secret that keeps slipping through your fingers. The secret of the orchid is that it signifies and affects the testicles. But the testicles signify a sign of the zodiac, which in turn signifies an angelic hierarchy, which then signifies a musical scale, and the scale signifies a relationship amont the humors. And so on...."

And so my reading adventures will continue.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,976 followers
September 28, 2020
The best and the worst thing I can say about this novel is that it's a difficult read.

Sure, the author is Italian, but that doesn't automatically make it difficult, only a novel that I've read out of its normal language.

No, the novel isn't even difficult in the traditional sense, where the sentence structure is hard to follow and there might be four hundred commas per dozen pages. The writing is quite nice.

No, the novel is difficult because it requires the reader to read and understand a whole substructure of literature that can be loosely classified as occult, or at least marginally so, otherwise a grand majority of the in-jokes and satire would be lost on the reader.

Mr. Eco is fantastically well-informed and has done an amazing job at his research, and despite the fact that the novel IS tongue-in-cheek, it's hard not to get the impression that our author is a seeker of knowledge. This will also be true for anyone who gets into this book. We seek, we want knowledge, we want wisdom. I include myself in this grand voyage because I, too, was sucked into the world presented; and I, too, needed to know, to understand, to make the connections.

For my young self, I read this novel as a pure soul, and like Diotevelli, I got corrupted. I had never realized that an occult world like this had existed. The second time I read this novel, I had read at least a dozen books either related or referenced in this novel, and by then I understood a greater majority of the in-jokes, and more importantly, I understood the book's message to stay grounded at all times, or you might fly away in the world of conspiracies or get lost in the labyrinths of the diabolicals. So whether you're a Jungian seeker, a literary delver, a philosopher, or an occultist, I can guarantee a wild ride in this novel, perhaps one the best ever written.

The actual plot is not that important, so don't read this novel expecting a novel like Dan Brown writes, 15 years after Eco wrote this. Like all of the best books, you get out of it what you put into it, and I admit freely that I put a lot of time and energy into this one, spending years attempting to decipher the full stories within stories within stories, periodically shocking myself from the dream to ground myself before delving into the abyss once again. Is the actual action of the novel that great? No, not at all, but the underlying threads more than make-up for it.

This is one of my favorite books because it makes me work for it; it made me think and research and delve so that I would be properly armed for the second read. And now that I've had my third read, I'm satisfied and amazed. I am still missing half the book in my researches. Perhaps in another decade, when I read this again I'll have the perfected Mileau in my mind. Then again, probably not. That's the problem with this subject... the depths are greater than any other field of study, and the most occluded.

You, dear reader, can't see it on me, but I've got a satisfied smile on my face and I'm sighing every few seconds in the reflection of the read.

Update 2/21/16:

You will always be missed, Mr. Eco. You were a bright light in the heavens.
Profile Image for Jan-Maat.
1,549 reviews1,825 followers
October 10, 2020
This is a novel that contrasts the acceptance, and delight, in the world as it is with the consequences of the desire to read in meanings to everything that we see about us.

In Eco's earlier book,The Name of the Rose, the detective mystery was parodied and this is taken one step further in this novel. The Detective mystery assumes that there is a mystery that can be solved. It invites investigation. In this novel the constant working deeper into mysteries produces only more obscurity ("the penis is just a phallic symbol") which is undercut, or rather has the cork removed, by the surface of events. The childhood memories of one character, the love and impending fatherhood of another. The desire to find out why Professor Plum is dead in the library with a lead pipe next to him is shown to be a self-destructive one that can only end in a never ending kaleidoscope of ambiguity.

Eco's next step, naturally enough, in Baudolino is to show extraordinarily commonplace and political origins for some of the myths and legends that so obsess the legion of diabolicals in this novel.

At the centre of the story are an unlikely trio; Belbo, Causabon and Diotallevi. They work for a curious publisher, Garamond. The curiosity lies partly in the everyday with the one armed warehouseman who deals with all the deliveries and dispatches and partly in the esoteric transmutation of ordinary mortals into authors. The publishing house has two parts. One a respectable business the other a theatrical lure to entice and catch self-financing authors. It is a vanity press and a very profitable business the production of authors turns out to be.

Spotting a gap in the market they become involved in producing a series of books on magic, mysticism and hermetic 'learning' to feed the credulity of the reading public. The publishing house here is not a beacon of enlightenment but rather a smoky fire that seeks to deepen a smog of obscurantism over readers. As we read we are drawn through a world of varied, contradictory but passionately held beliefs. As the publishing house offers the untalented the opportunity to become authors. So too the cults and sects the trio deal with offer meaning and a grand significance to people's lives.

In short both sides of the operation, the publishing and the cults, are a con. The kind of con in which you get exactly what you wanted, but it simply costs more than you expected.

This allows Eco to give a good kicking in passing to Holy Blood Holy Grail but also shows how bizarre beliefs in the hollow earth, the Druidical training of the Aryan Jesus and the fantasies of the Alchemists in a divinely meaningful universe spill over to affect our cultural and political lives. Perhaps is a novelist's response to Religion and the Decline of Magic.

The heroes attempt to out do the irrational beliefs of a world of faith, clinging only to the involvement of the Templars with everything, is sure to end badly when their inventiveness is taken terribly, terribly seriously.

Remember, The Templars have something to do with everything.

At the same time this is also a book about the stories that we create and recreate about ourselves while growing up and how one can become trapped within them and as it turns out, few things are as fatal as being trapped within a story of one's own construction.

(An earlier version of this review was eaten by the Templar internet.)
Profile Image for Kara Babcock.
1,923 reviews1,258 followers
July 21, 2009
I read a lot, and the people around me are used to seeing a new book in my hand every day or couple of days. Naturally, they ask me what I'm reading, usually in a way that implies I should divulge more than just the title and the author, which are plainly visible on the cover. How do I respond when I'm reading something so sublime and transcendental as Foucault's Pendulum? It defies ordinary description of plot, because Umberto Eco has again unified his narrative with his themes and characters to create a complex masterpiece. Even the hook on the back of my paperback edition doesn't do it justice.

At its core, Foucault's Pendulum is a fable about conspiracies. It is a cautionary tale that demonstrates what happens when people begin to believe in conspiracy theories; lending credence lends life, which can have unfortunate consequences for everyone involved. The main characters begin as sceptics, working for a publishing house that's allied with a vanity press, who begin constructing a fictitious Plan by connecting seemingly-disparate historical facts. When organizations and individuals begin showing up seeming to be acting in accordance with this Plan, however, our protagonists realize that if you make up a Plan, even a false one, someone might try to execute it.

This book is not about conspiracy theories though. It has been compared to The Da Vinci Code, and of course there are similarities; both books deal with Templar mythology, for instance. Foucault's Pendulum is so much more though. It isn't a mystery about a conspiracy theory; it's a mystery that looks into the effects of conspiracy theories on otherwise rational, scholarly people. The narrative parallels the characters' journey in its own structure, beginning with a strong foundation in logical principles and eventually transforming into a very spiritual, emotional text.

We have so many books based on the premise that such and such conspiracy theory is actually valid. Here, the theories are all fictitious; it begins as a harmless game among three people determined to mock conspiracy theories and the obsession with finding hidden meaning through occultism. The theory only becomes real because people begin believing in it; they begin seeing meaning where before there was nothing, no relationship. Characters emerge, ones we're familiar with from prior in the book, who appear to have a part in this Plan and think it has been in operation for centuries. These characters are in some ways created by their fellow characters (our protagonists); Foucault's Pendulum is very meta-authorial in that respect, much like Sophie's World.

Eco gives us an unreliable narrator so that we're forced to think critically about the story we're given and wonder how much is true and how much may be the feverish imaginings of an unbalanced, misguided mind. The narrator is named Casaubon, and I'm very glad I read Middlemarch before reading this book. Casaubon is sort of like his namesake from Middlemarch, who devotes his life to the syncretic task of unifying human myths. In Foucault's Pendulum, Casaubon and his friends Belbo and Diotallevi sift through the slush of conspiracy lunatics ("Diabolicals") to compile a master theory, a Plan, spun around the framework of the dissolution of the Knights Templar. As they come to believe in the reality of their own Plan, the world around them changes, becomes darker and more sinister. All conflicts in this book, even the external ones, are ultimately internal, created from our characters' own imaginations. The fact that some of these internal conflicts manifest externally, through the antagonism of rivals like Colonel Ardenti or Agliè, gives the story plenty of variety.

In between, we get glimpses of Belbo's childhood in rural Italy, and Eco mentions both historical and contemporary Italian politics. As an outsider, I found this part of the book fascinating, since I'm totally unfamiliar with Italian history or even how its citizens were affected by the rise of fascism and their time under Mussolini. That's what I like so much about Eco: he reminds me that I'm steeped in my own ignorance, but he doesn't condescend me for it. Instead, he forces me to meet him on his intellectual level.

One thing that makes Foucault's Pendulum so transcendental is the fact that it's rife with allusions to medieval and Enlightenment history and philosophy, arcane rituals and religions, and other esoteric and occult phenomena. You'd practically need a degree in these areas (like Eco has) to understand it all without a reference book; I don't, and I admit I got lost at times. Almost every page is filled with this historical references, particularly when Casaubon, Belbo, and Diotallevi are thick in their discussions of the Plan. Consider that for a moment: I got lost in the historical detail of the book, yet I'm still giving it five stars. That's how good it is; even its flaws are strengths.

Still, the tendency of this text toward tones academic will turn some people off the book. It may not be for everyone. If you find yourself reading my review and thinking, "Hmm, this sounds like it is right for me," however, don't wait. Go out and get this book now. Read it, and then read it again--I will, some day, because Foucault's Pendulum is one of those books where you need to read it through several times to grasp its complexity. And every reading will be its own reward, as reading should be.
38 reviews4 followers
April 10, 2008
One of those books where the author tediously says next to nothing, and all the semi-litterati can't figure out what he's trying to say, so they conclude he must be brilliant. A wasted effort by an otherwise talented (so I hear) author, and that portion of the gullible public that assumes that something profound is being said so long as they can't understand it.
Profile Image for Nathan.
10 reviews10 followers
July 19, 2007
The best book I have ever read. It is the creepiest, deepest, and most brilliantly executed piece of literature. Umberto Eco is a genius, and if I could have a conversation with anyone, it would be him.

The book, however, is very difficult to read. The language is dense, and in the first 200 pages, it beats you over the head with history of the Knights Templar and the Rosicrucians. All of this history is necessary to make the second half cause you to shit your pants. It's basically about these guys trying to write a fictional book about the plan for the universe by tieing together all of the secret societies and cults. While they weave together all of this to create fiction, it all begins to work as fact. Then, really creepy shit starts going down.

I recommend this book to EVERYONE. Just be patient, it will pay off.
Profile Image for Dolors.
527 reviews2,217 followers
December 25, 2013
“ “Us two? All three of us are in this. If we don’t come out honorably, we’ll all look silly.”
“Silly to whom?”
“Why, to history. Before the tribunal of Truth.”
“Quid est veritas?” Belbo asked.
“Us,” I said.” ” (p.435)

Truth? What is truth? Truth is relative. Or isn’t it?
The fact that Umberto Eco portrays one of his characters quoting Pontius Pilate’s assertion that truth is hard to ascertain with some sort of consistent resonance of a Nietzschian Superman who has passed “beyond good and evil” is no coincidence.
There is nothing superfluous or redundant in Eco’s challenging and maybe even misinformative novel, which results to be an erudite map of connections throughout the history of humankind in a quest to find meaning to the mystery of existence.

Or so believe the three protagonists of this complicated historical fugue, Casaubon, Belbo and Diotallevi, when they decide to embark on a mission they call “The Plan” to decipher the encrypted message inscribed in an ancient parchment brought to Garamond Press in Milan, a firm where Belbo and Diotallevi work as editors, by a suspicious Knight Templar fanatic called Ardenti, who claims the document to be proof of the existence of a master plan of secret societies which has been passed down for centuries involving telluric energy that will give unlimited powers to whoever capable of unraveling its encoded enigma.

Casaubon, acting as an omniscient narrator and a Doctor whose thesis is focused in the Knights Templar and the collection of German secret societies in the 17th century called Rosicrucians, goes forward and backward in time to display the creation of “The Plan”, which starts as a harmless game involving random computing processes and the analysis of symbols and semiotics through historical facts only to develop into a full-scale obsession blending speculation with the most shocking conclusions about some historical personalities ranging from Francis Bacon and Shakespeare to Elizabeth I or Hitler.

Even the characters of the novel, the quotations at the beginning of each chapter and the division of the story following the Kabbalah esoteric tradition carry extra meaning to reinforce Eco’s trial of the Western arcane tradition.
Casaubon is presented as the epitome of logic and sense, the skeptic type as a counterpoint to ascetic Diotallevi, who is in turn convinced by his passion for Kabbalah that he comes from Jewish ancestry without any real evidence.
Belbo arises as the anti-heroic protagonist whose biggest frustration relays in his inability to become a writer after an alienated childhood that shaped him with insecurities and a low self-esteem. “The Plan” represents Belbo’s triumph over his past failures and he clings to it until it becomes a life consuming mania that transcends into fatal consequences.
Eco’s idea of femininity is presented in the dichotomy between the characters of Lorenza and Lia, the first conveying the reincarnated Gnostic muse Sophia, the forbidden fruit and the volcanic passion of love; the second depicting the idea of fertility, matriarchal authority and nourishing balance.

On Lia:
“You live on the surface. You sometimes seem profound, but it’s only because you piece a lot of surfaces together to create impression of depth, solidity. That solidity would collapse if you tried to stand it up” (p. 365)

On Lorenza:
“For I am the first and the last. I am the honored and the hated. I am the saint and the prostitute.” — Fragment of Nag Hammadi 6.2. (p. 41)

Eco’s intellectual display of historical facts commingles with his deep knowledge of ancient traditions and ancestral esoteric beliefs while playing with the reader, who finds himself in a true terra incognita, lacking the necessary background to be able to discriminate factual truth from fiction, mesmerizing him with obscure spirituality and metaphysical philosophy concluding with the controversial Conspiracy Theory in the form of the quintessential battle among the forces of darkness.

What is the message behind this deliberate scholarly obfuscation?
Is there a hidden lesson to be learnt amidst this subtle intellectual and emotional manipulation?
Is Reason or Faith the conduit to find the meaning of existence, the truth of the making of History?
Is life the biggest joke we’ve been submitted to?
Eco laughs unashamedly at having pulled the reader’s leg and demonstrated his point with dexterous subterfuges and his disguised critic tone on spirituality.
But beware my fellow reader. Eco’s position, which has been delivered with much ambiguity, biplay and paradoxical meandering, might be a hard blow to take hitting the soul where it hurts the most because it proves the insignificance and the meaningless purpose of existence. And that is something I am not ready to accept as the fallible and imperfect human being I am.

“Where have I read that at the end, when life, surface upon surface, has become completely encrusted with experience, you know everything, the secret, the power, and the glory, why you were born, why you are dying, and how it all could have been different? You are wise. But the greatest wisdom, at that moment, is knowing that your wisdom is too late. You understand everything when there is no longer anything to understand.” (p. 640)
Profile Image for Ahmed.
911 reviews7,390 followers
May 27, 2020

إن قضيتنا هي سر بداخل سر ، سر شيء سيبقى محجوبًا، وسر يمكن لسر آخر فقط كشفه، إنه سر عن سر يحجب سر

هناك بعض الأعمال الأدبية التي تشعر أمامها أنها غير مكتوبة، بل تشعر أنها منحوتة، منحوتة بواسطة فنان جبار ظل يضرب فى صخر صلد لينتجه، فأتى العمل قوي كالحجر، عنيف كضربات صانعه، صادم كمواجهة حقيقة مرّة.

أيها السادة : هل تثقون فيما تتبعون من أديان وعقائد ؟
ماذا عن أتبع عقيدة أخرى تنتمي إلى دينكم الرئيس ولكن تختلف في غموض عبادتها وطقوسها المريبة ، هل هي ما تعبدون أنتم الآخرون، أم هي مجرد خزعبلات قوم ارتأوا فيها وتوهموا فيها طريق الصواب .
يالله : أي شيطان تقمص هذا الكاتب، بل أي جن زاره في أسوأ أحلامه وجعله يكتب هذا العمل، أم هو طيف صالح زاره و أشار إليه إلى الطريق السليم ؟
ولكن لننظر نظرة على درجة ما من التمحص والتدقيق إلى هذا العمل المعقد :

في البداية : هذا العمل عن العبادات السرية ،عن طوائف شريعتك أيًا كانت هذه الشريعة، هى واجهة الأديان الحقيقية ، التى لا نسمع عنها ولا نعرفها، وإن عرفناها لم نصدقها، وإن صدقناها يتم اتهامنا بالجنون، ولكن الأكيد : أن كل المعتقدات قريبة فى جذورها بشكل محير، محير جدا .
هل فعلا : يوجد فى هذا الكون ما يسمى (صدفة) أم أن كل شئ يتم بمعيار محدد ساهم فى تكوينه طائفة بشرية ما بحثًا عن حقيقة ما ,
وهل يوجد مصدر قوة لانهائي لا يعرف سرها إلا جماعة على قدر عظيم من السرية أقسموا على حمايته ,
اللعنة عليك يا أمبرتو , ماذا فعلت بعقلي , وماذا جنيت على نفسي لأقرأ كتابك هذا .

ولكن كما سبق وقلنا لنكن على قدر من التمهل :

فى البدء كانت كلمته ولقد خلق الله العلم وهو يتكلم , لم يرسل برقية
وتتابعت رسله لتوصيل كلمته (عز وجل ) وتوطدت سلطة الديانات عبر عصور مختلفة ولكن ما هو سر المعرفة وكيف انتقلت تلك المعرفة من شعب لآخر ؟
ولماذا ارتبطت الجهاد من أجل الرب بحمل السلاح ؟ كيف يمكن أن يكون المرء راهب وحاملًا للسيف , ينزع الأحشاء ثم يتلو صلاة (السلام عليك) للعذراء ؟ وما سر التشابه بين طوائف انتمت لأديان مختلفة وحضارات مختلفة ؟
ما الذي يجعل طائفة مثل فرسان المعبد :

تتشابه مع طائفة مثل الحشاشين :

وما هو أوجه الشبه بين الماسونية :

وبين حضارة قديمة كبناة الأهرامات مثلا :

بل إن الهرم هو الرمز الماسوني الأشهر .
وفي النهاية ما هي تلك القوة الرهيبة التى تحتويها طائفة القبالا اليهودية وتشابها مع كل ما سبق :

من نحن ؟ و لأي عقيدة ننتمي ؟ وهل هؤلاء يشبهوننا فعلا , أم أن الموضوع مجرد هوس قديم بنظرية المؤامرة ؟ لا أعلم فقط , فقط لا أعلم .
وما مصيرك يا مسكين إذا في مرّة من المرات ندمت على اختيار ما و هل تعرف أنه يمكنك أن تعيش فريسة للندم عمرك كله ليس لأنك اخترت الشئ الخاطئ , فيمكنك أن تندم على ذلك , ولكن لأنك لم تحظ قط بالفرصة لتثبت لنفسك أنه كان بإمكانك القيام بالاختيار الصائب ... ولكن ما معنى اختيار المناسبة الخاطئة لاقناع أنفسنا بأنه كان فى الامكان الاخت��ار الصائب إذا كان لدينا الفرصة الحقيقية ؟

المهم : أننا أمام عمل كامل , فيه من العبر والدلالات ما يضعك فى حيرة عميقة , عمل قدّم لك الكثير من الأشياء : فهو كتاب تاريخ , فقد قدّم لنا الكاتب عرض مميز لصراع الهوية الذى حدث فى ستينيات القرن الماضي , فمثلًا يقول الكاتب على لسان أحد قدامى المناضلين وهو يخاطب شاب :

تنازلتم في كل الجبهات , رفضنا نحن. على الرغم من رحلاتنا للحج في المغارات السفلية أن نخترع شعارًا للكوكا كولا لنزعتنا ضد الفاشية , وقبلنا أن نعمل مقابل القليل لأن الكتاب في متناول كل الطبقات. ماذا تفعلون أنتم لتنتقموا من البرجوازيين الذين لم تنجحوا في شنقهم ؟ تبيعون لهم شرائط الفيديو والكتب للحصول على نسخة من أفكار ماو وبهذه النقود ذهبتم لابتياع الألعاب النارية احتفالًا بالإبداع الجديد . بلا خجل . ونحن الذين قضينا حياتنا كلها فريسة الشعور بالخجل . خدعتمونا , لم تكونوا تمثلون أي نقاء , لم يكن سوى حب الشباب . جعلتمونا نشعر و كأننا الديدان , لأنه لم تكن لدينا الشجاعة أن نواجه قوات الشرطة , ثم أطلقتم أيضًا الرصاص على ظهور البائسين الذين كانوا يعبرون الشارع في ذلك الوقت . منذ عشر سنوات كذبنا لنخرجكم من السجن , وكذبتم أنتم لترسلوا أصدقاءكم إلى السجن ليقدم لنا تحليل مميز عن صراع الأجيال فى كل زمان ومكان .

ولم يكتف الكاتب بذلك , بل قدم لنا كتاب علم من الطراز الرفيع , ولكن من وجهة نظره فهو فالكاتب يرى : لابد من تحويل العلم إلى دراما مع الاحترام التام للحقيقة

الكتاب ملئ بالمعلومات والممارسات الدينية الغامضة على العامة , المعقدة العصيىة على الفهم فمثلا يذكر الكاتب طقس فى أحد الفقرات يقول فيه :
لتكن ثيابك بيضاء كالثلج .. وإذا حل الليل , أشعل كثيرًا من النيران ليضئ كل شئ ... و الآن ابدأ في تركيب الحروف , البعض منها أو الكثير , أنقلهم وركبهم حتى يصل الدفء إلى قلبك , انتبه إلى حركات الحروف ومما يمكنك أن تكون منها . وعندما يشعر قلبك بالدفء , عندما ترى أنه من خلال تركيب الحروف استطعت ان تصل إلى أشياء لم يكن في الإمكان الوصول إليها بمفردك أو حتى بمساعدة التقاليد, عندما تكون مستعدًا لأن تستقبل تأثير القوى المقدسة التي تدخل في قلبك , استخدم عندئذ كل أعماق فكرك لتتخيل في قلبك اسم أعلى ملائكته , وكأنهم يقفون بجوارك
ولم يخلُ الأمر من بعض من الرومناسية الحالمة فيقول على لسان أحد شخصياته :

ألم تكوني أنت التي بحثت عنها من البداية ؟ ربما انا هنا , مازلت في انتظارك . في كل مرة فقدتك لأنني لم أكن أعرفك , في كل مرة فقدتك لأنني عرفتك ولم أجرؤ , في كل مرة فقدتك لأنني عرفتك , كنت أعرف أنه لابد لي أن أفقدك .

وكعادة الكتب التي تناقش المؤامرات على مر التاريخ تبرز لنا اسماء مهيبة اهتم بها الدارسون على مر التاريخ , وفي بعض فصول هذا الكتاب يبرز لنا اسم فرانسيس بيكون الذي نجد بعض المبالغات فى ابراز قيمته ودوره فى التاريخ

وفي ثنايا العمل يبرز لنا عمق أدبي ونفسي جلي , تبرز لنا واجهة حقيقية للحياة , تجعلنا نعتقد أن الرواية ليست مجرد رواية , حتى وإن لم تظهر لنا منها مغزى فمن قال إن الحكايات لابد وأن يكون لها مغزى ؟ ولكن بإمعان النظر , ربما يعني هذا أنه غالبًا ما يتطلب الأمر أن يضحي المرء بحياته في سبيل إثبات شئ ما

وعندما أراد الكابت أن يقدم لنا الحياة قال : الحياة تُمثل أفضل بواسطة موسيقى سيئة أكثر من موسيقى سيمفونية رائعة إن الفن العظيم يسخر منا ويطمئنا , يجعلنا نرى الحياة كما كان يراها الفنانون

ولكن تبقى السرية والغموض هو أجمل ما في الرواية فإن الأسرار عند الكشف عنها جهرًا تفقد رونقها وتفقد قيمتها إذ تدنست
وعندما يريد اكاتب أن يبث شئ من الراحة في نفس القارئ فإنه يقدم نصيحة ثمينة يقول فيها : إذا كان الإيمان شيئًا ضروريًا ليكن إذن من خلال ديانة لا تدفع المرء على الشعور بالذنب . ديانة بلا روابط , مشتعلة , أسفل الأرض وبلا نهاية , ديانة مثل الرواية بعيدة عن اللاهوتية

وفي النهاية أيها السادة : نحن أمام درس تاريخ , ولكن ليس كأي درس ولا يناقش أي تاريخ , إنه يناقش حياة العقائد السرية بكل قبحها وطهرها , يناقش الأفعال الإنسانية التي تسربلت برداء دين ما لتحمي عقيدة أو لتحمي طائفة أو لتحمي الأهم وهى أن تحمي ثروة , أيا كان نوع هذه الثروة (مادية كانت أو معنوية) ولكن في النهاية هي شئ جدير بالتضحية بالنفس من أجله .

إذا قرأت هذا العمل كنوع من التسلية , ستجد نفسك أمام مغامرة بديعة وأحداث تنقطع فيها أنفاسك , وإذا أردت أن تقرأها كدرس فى التاريخ فإنك ستستفيد إفادة عظيمة , ولكن يا صديق تذكر ألا تصدق كل ما تقرأ .

ولا يسعنا إلا أن ننبهر بالقدرة الروائية المذهلة وكم المعلومات الرهيبة التى يقدمها لنا الساحر : أمبرتو إيكو , والتي يقف امامه دان براون كتلميذ فى بداية مراحله الدراسية أمام عالم رفيع المستوى , ويبدو أثر غيكو مذهل في مسار الرواية العالمية ككل (حتى لقد وصل إلى التأثير على الرواية العربية وعزازيل ليست ببعيدة عنا) , ومهووسي نظريات المؤامرة سيجدون في هذا العمل مبتغاهم , وعشاق الأدب الرفيع سينبهرون به .
وفي النهاية : هو عمل عظيم , مرهق للنفس متعب لها .
Profile Image for Nikos Tsentemeidis.
405 reviews207 followers
April 3, 2016
Ένα βιβλίο που θα το σταματήσεις πριν τις 100 σελίδες ή θα το απολαύσεις αργά μέχρι τέλους. Το γιατί το απόλαυσα είναι εντελώς υποκειμενικό, καθώς θεωρώ πως είναι αρκετά δύσκολο και βαρετό για τους πιο πολλούς. Στην αρχή σκέφτηκα πως είναι καλύτερο από το «Όνομα του Ρόδου», αλλά συμπέρανα ότι είναι δύο μεγάλα έργα, πολύ διαφορετικά μεταξύ τους.

Στις 900 σελίδες ο Eco αποδεικνύει ότι είναι από τους ελάχιστους μεγάλους γνώστες της ιστορίας. Άπειρες πληροφορίες καθαρά ιστορικές, αλλά και στα όρια του μύθου περί μυστικών οργανώσεων, κλασικών συνομωσιών και τάγματα ιπποτών. Το βιβλίο αυτό αποτελεί μία κατηγορία μόνο του. Τόσο πολυσύνθετο.

Τέλος, κάτι που δεν αφορά το βιβλίο. Κατέληξα στο ότι ο Dan Brown είναι ένας μέτριος μιμητής του τεράστιου Umberto Eco.
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March 9, 2020
نظرا لضخامة الرواية، ونظرا لأنني اريد تقديم ريفيو يليق بها سأقوم بتقسيم الريفيو الي 10 مراحل علي 7 ايام او اقل، متتالية

(5) Gevurah السيفروت الخامس - جيبوراه - السيد

دائما بعد الثورات تجد التخبطات في كل شيء...فوضي ما وزعزعة تحدث في الأيمان والثقافة وتظهر الخرافات نظريات المؤامرة غالبا بشكل كبير
خذ مصر علي سبيل المثال وتذكر كيف صارت بعد فبراير 2011 ،لكن الريفيو لن يتحمل التطويل

في بداية هذا الفصل يعود كازاوبون الي ايطاليا، ويقابل بيلبو مرة اخري والذي يبدو انه يعاني الكثير من التخبط من بعد ان هدأت الثورة، شيئا من عدم الإيمان ، بل ويربط ايمانه بالبندول في رمزية متميزة، سلس وسهل فهمه .. عن الثورة والجيل الثلاثيني والشباب..المثقفين والعمال..الدين والله

ومن خلال عمل كازاوبون مع بيلبو وديوتالليفي بدار النشر جارامود، يأخذنا ايكو في رحلة عجيبة مع دور النشر وخداع النشر علي نفقة الكاتب وكيف يستغل دور النشر المؤلفين متواضعي الموهبة ابشع استغلال
ما كتبه ايكو هنا هو قمة الواقعية حيث ان تلك الممارسات الوحشية من دور النشر -وأشباه المؤلفين أيضا- حولنا في كل مكان بالأخص هنا في مصر بعد الثورة
يبدي صاحب دار النشر، السيد جاراموند رغبته في مواكبة 'موضة' كتابات عبدة الشيطان، هؤلاء الباحثين في الأسرار الشيطانية والجماعات السرية ونظريات المؤامرة وأسرار فرسان المعبد وجذب كل من يكتب في هذا المجال لينشر علي نفقته،خاصا ان هذه المرة سيكون الربح مضاعف لانتشار مثل تلك الكتب فهي تباع حقا، انها ازمة ثقافة ما بعد الثورات كما قلت؟

ويوافق الثلاثي علي ان يديروا ذلك المشروع ومراجعة المخطوطات التي تصلهم...ويقترح عليهم كازاوبون السيد آلييه الذي قابله في البرازيل كمستشار خبير في تلك الأمور لتحديد ما يصلح للنشر وما هو مجرد هراء...بالرغم من إقتناعهم ان كل هذا هراء وتسلية

ولكن كما قال شكسبير
السماء والأرض فيهما أكثر يا هوراشيو، أكثر مما حلمت به أنت في فلسفتك

ستصطدم بشكل موسوعي بهذا الفصل كمية الجماعات السرية الموجودة فعلا، ستصطدم ايضا مع الأبطال بطقوس شيطانية لتلك الجماعات والتي تحاول بشكل سريالي في قلعة عجيبة احتفالية تكوين هومونيكلس ،بشر اقزام بعملية خيميائية بطقوس تعود اصولها للقرن السادس عشر

قد تتيقن ان يكون البحث تشابه بين الهرم الاكبر وكشك عم عبده وحركة الكرة الارضية وحركة الماء في المرحاض..بين جماعة دينية ما واخري ولكن هذا الفصل ليس هذا هو الهدف منه

كما قلت الفصل السابق كان النور المندفع في السيفرات أكبر من ان تتحمله..حدث شرخ في السيفروت السابق وهنا بدأ تهشم الأوعية
فهذا الفصل،الوعاء، سيفروت القاضي، يتجسد فيه الشر، ملئ بمعلومات عجيبة عن الماسون وسبب ظهور مثل تلك الجماعات، والأساطير حول اجارثا المدينة تحت الأرض والانفاق التي يعمل بها سادة العالم من يملكون الاسرار والسحر الشيطاني لحكم العالم
وبابداع بلا مثيل ينهي امبرتو ايكو الفصل بعبقرية...بتقديم لك كيف يمكنك احتواء هذا الضياء وإصلاح الاوعية..ولا ندع الشر ينفذ إليه
ولكن الفصل القادم سيشهد مفاجآت اخري

(4) Hesed السيفروت الرابع - هيسيد - الحب الفائض،الرحمة

بصوت الطبول الأفرو/البرازيلية تستقبل هذا الفصل
بطقوس صرف الأرواح الشيطانية منها والشريرة، او تحضيرها.بسحرة أمريكا الجنوبية
بجمال البرازيل وألوانها وصخبها واحتفالاتها الصوفية
التي لا تختلف كثيرا بين الأفارقة،الأمريكيين الأصليين،الهنود، النرويجيين أو حتي مولد سيدي البدوي بمصر
هل كنت تظنه سيكون فصلا سهلا؟

يترك كازاوبون إيطاليا في ثوراتها وتخبطاتها السياسية التي ذكرنها الفصل الماضي وينتقل الي البرازيل ليعمل في التدريس مؤقتا مع حبيبته امبارو الجميلة السمراء مختلطة العرق، ليقابل جمال العالم،وجمال البرازيل والتي احتوت ثقافات امريكا الجنوبية مختلطة مع ثقافة الأفارقة كالسودانيين والاثيوبيين الذين اصطحبهم الرجل الأبيض الأوروبي كعبيد منذ قرنان، ولتختلط ثقافته بهذه الثقافات ايضا

هنا ستتعرف مع البطل بشكل مفصل صاخب باصوات الطبول ذلك المزيج من الثقافات،بالاخص بمقابلته لشخصية غامضة تظهر للنور، السيد آلييه، رجل واسع الثقافة ومطلع علي ثقافات العالم يشرح له ذلك المزيج الرهيب
أرجو عدم خلط الأومباندا بالكاندومبليه

أرجوك ياصديقي،لا تلعب باليه، هل حقا وصلت لقراءة هذا الجزء؟ اشكرك جزيلا
لقد كنت بدأت افكر في لعب الباليه في موقع الويكابيديا لقراءة المزيد عن تلك الثقافات السمراء الجنوبية الحارة بل ونظريات ربطها العجيبة بأودين كبير آلهة شمال أوروبا،وبتماثيل العذراوات السود التي قضي عليها الفاتيكان كي لا تثير التشابهات، وحتي الحجر الاسود بمكة
عن كونت سان جيرمان،عن التناسخ والأبدية من خرافات الكابالا اليهودية عند زواجها بالتجارب الخيميائية ونتائجها من شياطين خالدة

لا أنكر أنني هنا ايضا شعرت بالإرهاق من كل هذا … ولكن المؤلف المحترف سيشرح لك كل مايلزم لتستمتع بحكايته وتفهمها دون التوقف للبحث في مصادر خارجية ، ارسلت رسالة لشريكتي بالخطة..خطة قراءة تلك الرواية تلك الملحوظة...لأن كل جزء يتم توضيحه خطوة بخطوة
قد ينصحنا السيد آلييه بعدم خلط الأومباندا بالكاندومبليه ولكن تذكر أيضا ما قاله السيد راياموند سموليان وكتبه ايكو في أول الكتاب

بل وبمجرد معرفة السيد آلييه مجال دراسة كازوبون، فإنه يقدم نظريات ربط فرسان المعبد مع ديانات تع��د إلى ما قبل اليهودية ،كديانات الفراعنة والافارقة والهنود في شكل مفصل ومرهق

لتجد ان كازاوبون لم يهرب بعيدا كما تمني فبالإضافة الي ان نفس سياسات الحركات الثورية المندلعة في إيطاليا سيجد مثيلتها في البرازيل، سيجد تلك الإشارات عن الجماعات السرية والمحركين
بل وستشهد معه تلك الممارسات العجيبة والطقوس الشيطانية وتحضير الارواح القبلية بالبرازيل

وفي نفس الوقت في إيطاليا، فإن بيلبو ربما متأثرا بفكرة اسرار فرسان الهيكل، او ربما فضولا، يحضر أيضا طقسا اخر لتحضير الأرواح مطابق كثيرا لذلك الذي حضره كازاوبون في الجانب الاخر من العالم

انه عالم واحد...الصوفية والاديان وايضا الممارسات العجيبة لتحضيرات الارواح كلها واحدة باختلافات بسيطة...فكله خارج من نفخة واحدة...ضوء واحد انتشر نتج عنه كل الجمال والضياء..هذا الكون المتماثل
ولكن اندفاع النهر او الضوء بشدة وبفيض كهذا في وعاء ما،العالم، قد يسبب شروخ، ظهرت الشروخ هنا في تلك الجلسات العجيبة الشيطانية وقد شهدها بيلبو وكازاوبون

وكما في الكابالا عندما انتشر الضوء احتوته السيفرات الاولي الثلاث التاج والحكمة والفهم بنجاح، ولأن اندفاع الضوء من بعد الفهم كان قويا كالنهر المندفع فلم تتحمل السيفرات التالية تحمل كل هذا الضوء...سيبدأ الشرخ هنا والذي سيؤدي هذا لتغلغل عوامل الشر لهذا الضوء، وربما تكون تلك الاوعية 'السيفرات'/العالم كان بها عوالق سيئة منذ البداية، عوالق شريرة...عندها هذه الشروخ قد تزيد ظهورها

هكذا بالضبط قام امبرتو ايكو بتماثل الرواية مع الكابالا مع العالم ككل في شكل بديع وقصة مثيرة

ونتابع غدا الفصل الخامس ان شاء الله

(3) Binah السيفروت الثالث - بيناه - الفهم

هل ارهقتك الصفحات الخمسون الأولي؟..نعم كل هذا الريفيو السابق عن أول خمسين صفحة فقط
حسنا الامور في هذا الفصل أوضح من الفصل السابق وأسهل
فهنا نعود للبداية، حيث يروي كازاوبون كيف تعرف علي بيلبو وديوتالليفي من البداية في إيطاليا في السبعينات حيث سنوات الرصاص، فترة من إضطراب إجتماعي و سياسي وهتاف الثورات واصوات الرصاص في خلفية الأحداث، قبل ان تتعقد الامور كما يبدو في الفصل الاول

محب شخصية المحقق الخاص سام سبيد، الشغوف بكل شئ ،حتي لو بدون تعمق شديد، يشعر بالتخبط من الايدوليجيات والأنظمة السياسية في إيطاليا بكل ثوراتها في السبعينات فيبتعد عن دراسة السياسة ويرس التاريخ الموثق، تاريخ فرسان الهيكل

بيلبو :
شخصية لها أبعاد نفسية عميقة...يشعر انه جبانا وبتغلغلنا في ذكرياته نجده دائما يهرب من المواجهات، كما هرب من الثورات وبالطبع لا يرضي بحال نتائجها الخائبة
كما يهرب من الكتابة لأنه لايشعر انه مبدعا، ويقسم أولئك الذين يظنون انفسهم مبدعين او حتي فلاسفة -بالأخص الوجوديين- بالبلهاء،الاغبياء،الحمقي والمجانين

اليهودي المحترم الذي يهوي التاريخ وأسرار التوراه والكابالا

تعرفت هنا علي الشخصيات بشكل سلس وجذاب ، وستتغلغل بينهم كأنك معهم، امبرتو ايكو كتبهم بشكل دقيق
شعرت بقربي تارة لكازاوبون لشغفه الذي قد يراه البعض سطحيا، واكثر لبيلبو...لأسباب اخري..واعتقد انك فعلا من الصفحة 100-إن صبرت بالقراءة المتأنية لما سبق في 90 صفحة تتراوح بين الارهاق الشديد والتغلغل في والعناوين والمصطلحات وذكريات الشخصيات-ستشعر بانسيابك مع نهر القصة

وتبدأ القصة من هذا الفصل في افهامنا الحبكة الرئيسية للحكاية وهنا ستشعر بالفعل كما يقول لنا الغلاف الخلفي الصفحات التالية لن تستطيع التوقف عن قراءتها بالرغم من ان -لن اكذب عليك- الإرهاق بها اكبر
حيث يبدأ يقص علينا امبرتو ايكو من خلال كازاوبون تاريخ فرسان المعبد من نشأتها اثناء الحملة الصليبية علي أورشليم حتي محاكمتهم المثيرة للجدل والقضاء علي تنظيمهم بعد 200 عاما
سشتعر وكانك انغمست في التاريخ تماما كما انجذب بيلبو وصديقه ديوتالليفي لذلك التاريخ الغامض المليء بالملابسات الغير مفسرة الذي يحكيه كازاوبون

ولن تتوقف هنا
يأتي لدار النشر التي يعمل بها بيلبو وديوتافيللي كولونيل غامض 'اردينتي' لديه وثيقة قديمة مكتوبة بالشفرة، عثر عليها في مدينة فرنسية "بروفان" شهيرة بانفاقها السرية تحت الارض
والآن هذا الكولونيل يفك شفرة تلك الرسالة السرية ويريد نشرها ليبحث عن من معه معلومات اخري تفيد حل لغز الفرسان ونظرية مؤامرة تربطهم بالروزا كروتشي وتريد الانتقام، وحكم العالم

ولكن ماهو هذا السر؟
بالتأكيد ستشعر إنه مخبولا آخر يتحدث عن نظرية مؤامرة وبالفعل يتم صرف الكولونيل ورفض الفكرة

ولكن في اليوم التالي تبدأ تحقيقات حول إختفاء الكولونيل
غير معقول ان يكون هناك نظرية مؤامرة..ربما يكون مجرد نصابا، او احد البلهاء،الحمقي،المجانين،الاغبياء

ولكن....لأعترف إنني اتيت لمعرفة المزيد عن نظريات المؤامرة
I want to Believe
وشدني ايضا هذا الاختفاء الغامض اكيد وراءه سرا
ولكني اكتشفت في النهاية أمرا مختلفا تماما

عاما ، ما بهذا الفصل "الفهم" هو النهر،المجري الذي سيجري به كل ما ظهر كفكرة وخطوط مبهمة في "التاج" وتم تعريفه وتأسيسه في "الحكمة" الذي هو مصدر العناوين، المنبع.. لينساب هنا ويظهر ويبان كمعرفة ستنتشر كالضوء في السيفرات

(2) Hokhmah السيفروت الثاني - خوكماه - الحكمة
يقول أمبرتو إيكو في أحد حواراته
"المؤلف دان براون هو احدي شخصيات 'بندول فوكو'! أنا اخترعته. فهو يشترك مع شخصيات إفتنانهم- المؤامرة العالمية للروزاكروتشي، الماسون، واليسوعيين. دور فرسان الهيكل. والأسرار الهرمسية. مبدأ ان كل شئ متصل ببعضه البعض. أنا أشك أن دان براون ربما ليس موجودا اصلا "

بعد رحيل المؤلف العبقري 'امبرتو ايكو' بأيام وصلني رسالة بها هذا الجزء من حوار له من جودريدزية مميزة تعشق ،مثلي، سحر روايات دان براون مؤلفي المفضل، بل وتبحث في كل ما تقرأ من مراجع حقيقية
قررت ان تشارك ذلك الإكتشاف لمعرفة إن كنت قرائتها من قبل، وسريعا ما قررنا بالبدء في قراءتها ولندمر خطط القراءة المرسومة مسبقا لتدمر اصلا. وبالرغم من اني لا اهوي فكرة القراءة الجماعية، ولكن انتظارا لرواية اخري لدان براون محترف ذلك المجال فكانت خطة ممتازة
كما أن بصراحة الفضول يقتلني، لم ذكر ايكو وجود دان براون بهذه الرواية بالأخص وكيف؟ وهل هذا مدح أم ذم؟ ولماذا تلك الرواية لم تنل اي شهرة؟
بالرغم من ان الضجة حول شفرة دافنشي ربطت بينها وبين "اسم الوردة" أن الاخيرة تقزم رواية دافنشي … هي ما اشتهرت بالفعل لأيكو ،وليس بندول فوكو عربيا ،بل وعالميا، يليها للمؤلف "مقبرة براغ" الصادرة بعد دافنشي
انا اعشق هذه القراءات عاما، بالأخص عندما تأتي في اطار روائي، وايكو روائي ممتاز بلا شك وإن ظلمته ترجمة اسم الوردة معي
ولذا، كي لا أكرر خطأ تحربتي مع اسم الوردة، يجب البحث عن نسخة لائقة

باسم، جودريدزي اصيل يعشق روايات هذا الرجل بجنون، هو من جعلني انظر لايكو نظرة تقدير حقيقي كمؤلف محترم أدبيا بل -وهذا نادر- أخلاقيا
-راجع ريفيو اسم الوردة-
سألته عن افضل ترجمة للرواية الايطالية الاصل،الإنجليزية ام العربية؟ فوجدته متحمسا بشكل غريب انني سأبدأ بها واقسم لي أنها ليست برواية سهلة ولا يفضلها الكثيرين لذا لم تحقق شعبية عربيا، ولكن لأجربها طالما عن موضوع يعجبني، مع انه قال لي انها رواية كونية -لماذا لم يذكر نظرية المؤامرة؟
حمسني تعليقه عاما...وحرصت علي نقل الحماسة -مع تحذير الصعوبة- لرفيقة القراءة المشتركة الاولي

النسخة العربية ترجمتها جيدة جدا...ولكن النشر العربي سئ للغاية، لا اهتمام بعلامات الترقيم وغيابها احيانا،ولا تنسيق للفقرات المختلفة كالإنجليزية، فضلا عن اختلافات في حروف الاسماء المترجمة من فصل لأخر
، حسنا، فالنقرأ العربية ونراجع عند الحاجة من الإنجليزية بالاخص للمصطلحات عند البحث عنها في ويكابيديا
وبدأت الرحلة بالمتحف السابق الذكر بالفصل الاول ،التاج، البداية ونقطة الانطلاق، 25 صفحة فقط ومع ذلك استغرق مني ساعتان ونصف قراءة ومحاولة فهم والتركيز في كل تلك المصطلحات
ولكن الحكمة استغرقت مني اقل شيئا ما
كنت في هذا الفصل كالبطل هنا كازاوبون ، اتعرف علي الشخصيات الاخري وأساس ما سأقدم عليه بشكل اوضح

كازاوبون شاب يهوي التاريخ الموثق ويدرسه...هو الراوي والذي يعود في هذا الفصل بالزمن يومان قبل وصوله للمتحف بالفصل الاول
جاكوب بيلبو محرر بدار نشر كان يتمني ان يكتب ولكنه لا يشعر بانه مؤلفا مبدعا فاكتفي بالتحرير
و ديوتالليفي مراجع زميل بيلبو ،يهودي دارس جيد للقابالاه ومؤمن بها تماما

بيلبو تم خطفه من أشخاص مجهولة ولا نعرف السبب وعلي كازاوبون معرفة سر خاطفيه ولكي يعرف يجب ان يخترق حاسبه
الحاسب كان في الثمانينات أمرا جللا، وكان بيلبو مهووسا به، اطلق عليه ابو العافية، نسبة إلى إبراهيم ابو العافية القبالي اليهودي والذي كان يتلاعب بحروف التوراه ويغير الكلمات العبرية ليصل للحقيقة حتي تلبسه الشيطان وظن نفسه المسيا المخلص
وكان ابوالعافية، كمبيوتر بيلبو، اسما علي مسمي

حسنا، يبدو إن هناك غموض، اختطاف ومطاردة، ورموز ولوحة عجيبة للروزكروتشي...ايا كان ما هي الروزاكروتشي
يبدو انها ستكون كروايات دان براون فعلا...وربما ستكون اسهل بعد ذلك
ولكني كنت مخطئا

وكمبدأ السيفروت الثاني، شوكماه،الحكمة.. ستجد هنا منبع الضوء...الأساس...أساس الشخصيات، أساس ان هناك خطة أدت لفوضي، أساس ان هناك لعبة وتلاعب وعلم تفكيك واعادة تركيب الكلمات والجمل، تيموراه وسيفرات وكابالا و...خطة ما

والآن علي كازاوبون ، وعلينا نحن أصحاب خطة القراءة ان نفتح الملفات بداخل ابو العافية، كمبيوتر بيلبو بحثا عن دليل لنعرف مصيره ولكن
"'هل معك كلمة السر؟'
"لا، وهذا ليس معناه ان الكلمة السحرية ليست موجودة فحسب، بل ونحن لا ندرك عدم وجودها، ولكن هؤلاء الذين يعترفون بجهلهم قد يتعلمون علي الأقل ما استطعت ان اتعلمه"

سيصل كازاوبون لمعرفة ما إذن ، ولكني لم اكن اعلم وقتها ماهي

ونتابع غدا السيفروت الثالث ان شاء الله

(1) Keter السيفروت الأول - كيتر - التاج

حدث عندئذ أن رأيت البندول

رواية، بل عمل أدبي فني عجيب بديع
اختلط بها تاريخ موثق مع نظريات مؤامرة وأنظمة وجماعات سرية من فجر التاريخ حتي اليوم في قلب رحلة عجيية، مع الأديان السماوية الثلاثة وعلومها بالأخص القابالاه اليهودية، الثالوث والكأس المقدسة، والطوائف الإسلامية من ��يعة و إسماعيليين
وكل العبادات المختلفة والتجارب الخيميائية العجيبة والمعتقدات الغريبة والطقوس الشيطانية للمحافل السرية، مع جغرافيا الأرض والتيارات الأرضية والجماعات التي مقاراتها تحت الأرض التي يدعي البعض انها من تتحكم في الطقس والزلازل بل والثورات
مع فلسفة كفلسفة الثورات وما يتبعها من تخبطات اجتماعية واختلافات بين أجيال لايفرق بينها سوي بضع سنوات
مع قصة بوليسية بسيطة ومعقدة بنفس الوقت وتحقيقات اختفاء غامض، كل هذا مصحوبا مع نوستالجيا ورومانسية وحقيقة طبيعة الحياة

كل هذا في هيكل روائي أدبي فريد..يبرز كل ماسبق ويضمه بشكل فني عجيب، مبدع ومرهق بنفس الوقت

ولكن، لاكون صريحا معك ،اذا كنت تنتظر فقط ان تعرف حقيقة نظرية المؤامرة، او ترغب في معرفة العلاقة بين فرسان الهيكل والروزا كروتشي، او الماسون والحشاشين والاخوان، او ابعاد اهرامات الجيزة واهرامات الصين واهرامات المكسيك واتفاقها مع ابعاد كشك عم عبده او المسافة بين الأرض والشمس
فهذه الرواية ليست لك
وأيضا إذا كنت لا تهوي جو نظريات المؤامرة فايضا هذه الرواية ليست لك

ولكن ماذا رأيت بهذه الرواية؟
حدث عندئذ أن رأيت البندول

يدور البندول، يدور بحساب، ولكن هناك نقطة يتعلق منها ثابتة ،النقطة الواحدة ،بلا وزن ولا ابعاد ولا روح ولاخيال ولا اي شئ...هي الثابتة ومنها يتحرك كل شئ بنظام مدروس حسابيا
وكان هناك مغناطيس اسفل البندول مدفون بالقاعدة يساعد في ثبات حركة البندول،لا يتعارض مع قانونه وانما يسمح له بالظهور

هذا أول ما كتب بهذه الرواية العجيبة في اول فصل بإرهاق شديد
هذا أول ما رأيت بالرواية ، وهذا اول ما رأي الراوي في قاعة الفنون والحرف بكنيسة سان مارتان دي شوم بفرنسا
هذا الكونسرفتوار العجيب، والذي يحاكي ما ببيت سليمان في رواية 'اطلانطيس الجديدة' الشهيرة لبيكون، به عجائب اختراعات الإنسان جنبا الي جنب متحف تاريخ طبيعي كل هذا بداخل دار عبادة قديمة للرب

for an amazing tour of Musée des Arts et Métiers de Paris by in this awesome photographer's blog
لمزيد من صور ذلك المعرض الرائع بتلك المدونة

ياله من مكان يبدأ فيه مؤلفنا العبقري هذا الجزء الاول من روايته
وكالبطل، ستشعر بحيرة من كل هذا...كل هذه الأفكار والإشارات والمصطلحات
كل تلك العجائب الكونية والعجائب البشرية، كل هذه العناوين عن أساطير كقارة اطلانطيس المفقودة،قارة مو الاسطورية وجزيرة أفالون

وكسيفروت التاج،السيفروت الأول والبداية في شجرة القابالا اليهودية الشهيرة،هنا تتشكل الأفكار كلها من نقطة، كل هذه الإشارات والافكار هي ما ستتجسد و تنتشر في باقي الفصول، باقي السفيرات ،باقي الريفيو
انها نقطة بداية خلق الرواية، خلق الريفيو

غدا ان شاء الله الفصل الخامس
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July 4, 2017
Το εκκρεμές του Φουκώ είναι το αγαπημένο μου βιβλίο. Το διάβασα για πρώτη φορά στα 15 μου και αποφάσισα φέτος να το ξαναδιαβάσω και πλέον το λέω με κάθε σιγουριά: είναι ασύγκριτο, μοναδικό και για μένα ελάχιστα άλλα βιβλία και με μεγάλη δυσκολία μπορούν να το συναγωνιστούν, αλλά κανένα δεν μπορεί να το φτάσει.
Πολύπλοκο και πολυεπίπεδο,
Μακροσκελές αλλά και τόσο πυκνογραμμένο,
με μια λέξη ΑΡΙΣΤΟΥΡΓΗΜΑ!
Κανείς δεν χειρίζεται τον λόγο όπως ο Έκο. Κάθε λέξη έχει νόημα, έχει σκοπό και λόγο ύπαρξης στο κείμενο. Η πλοκή του βιβλίου είναι συναρπαστική, η μεγάλη του έκταση όχι μόνο δεν δημιουργεί πρόβλημα (καθώς δεν πρόκειται για ένα βιβλίο που θέλεις να το τελειώσεις, αντιθέτως εύχεσαι να μην τελειώσει) αλλά δικαιολογείται απόλυτα από το περιεχόμενό του. Ο συγγραφέας δεν γεμίζει σελίδες απλά για να το κάνει. Κάθε του πρόταση εξυπηρετεί μία τελεολογία και παράλληλα μία τελετουργία μύησης του αναγνώστη στον αριστοτεχνικά δομημένο κόσμο του.
Είχα διαβάσει κάπου πως ο Έκο όταν ρωτήθηκε για τον Νταν Μπράουν απάντησε πως είναι ένας από τους χαρακτήρες του "Εκκρεμές του Φουκώ", και γέλασα πολύ γιατί το ίδιο είχα σκεφτεί όταν διάβασα το "Κώδικας Ντα Βίντσι".
Συμπερασματικά, το προτείνω και το συνιστώ σε όλους είτε είστε λάτρεις ιστορικών μυθιστορημάτων, είτε συνωμοσιολογικών, είτε φιλοσοφικών, είτε βιβλίων περιπέτειας. Απίθανο να μην σας συνεπάρει.
Profile Image for Théo d'Or .
327 reviews168 followers
July 13, 2021
Reading " Le Pendule de Foucault ", I understand where Dan Brown and the other amateur writers of sensationalist literature, with esoteric flavor - were inspired. I would never have thought that Eco was the initiator of these tendencies to revive interest in the mysteries of the Templars, and in what is supposed to be behind religious " truths ", on a extensive book, built in a multiple way, combining history with mystery, and finally with a postmodern irony.
The frame story is simple : three friends and a colonel passionate about the history of the Templars, interprete the message from a found sheet, ( here I had a little fun, going back about 25 years ago, when I was vibrating at this stuff..) - as an indication of the " Plan" - a secret mission of the Knights Templars, begun in 1308.
Initially a pastime, the interest of the three slips more and more into the obsession of deciphering the message, which occupies about a quarter of the book. From the second half, the narrative takes the undoubted form of a thriller, the plan captures entirely the three, and destroys their lives, for once this plan is imagined - it gets out of control, the signifier no longer sends to any meaning, as long as the initial assumptions were based on an overturned logic. The meaning becomes meaningless, everything floating in the absurdity of the Sign, which has only the power to destroy its creator.
If so far, Eco has kept me in some lethargy, well, the end part of the novel has really stunned me. Eco demolishes the entire building he so meticulously built.
It's all a big farce, brought to life by the power of words, formulas, variants of interpretation,which give the feeling of a relentless logic. In a kind of postmodern death of the Author, the so-called plan - born rather from the need of the characters to believe in mystery - devours its creators, accentuating the absurdity of the insistence of giving meaning, even to the vacuum.
After so much effort in keeping up the appearance of logic and seriousness, Eco does not hesitate, in the end, to expose the perfidy of reason, and the absurdity of our stubborness to see connections, and to impose meaning where there is not even the beginning of a connection.

" But if you want to find connections, they are everywhere, and in everything, the world explodes in a network, in a whirlwind of kinship , and everything sends to everything, everything explains everything. "
Profile Image for Nora Barnacle.
163 reviews100 followers
February 6, 2017
Ako Umberto Eko preporučuje da za jedinu stabilnu tačku u čitavom Univerzumu izabereš srećnog sebe, mora da su sve druge opcije promašaj. A kome drugom ću verovati, ako ne Umbertu Eku koji je pročitao sve knjige i sve zna?

Ovo je veoma naporno čitanje. Najpre treba proći onaj test - deo „i naravno rukopis“ koji Eko nikad ne izostavlja. Tih prvih stotinak strana služe da se lepo predomisliš i na vreme odustaneš od muke, ako te je, recimo zaveo naslov ili recenzija. U ovom slučaju, taj deo je oko 350 strana, ako ne i više.

Sledeće je da si spreman da se sam pred sobom pretvaraš da tečno govoriš: latinski (klasični manje – više, ali srednjovekovni pod obavezno), starogrčki, starofrancuski, nemački, staroengleski, portugalski i ruski, dok za hebrejski, poljski, bugarski i arapski možeš da prođeš sa nekim B2 nivoom. Naravno, istoriju srednjeg veka znaš u prste, istoriju književnosti, kao i kabalu, sipaš iz rukava i, uopšte, znaš sve moguće svetske kulturološke odrednice, ko je ko, kad je šta napravio, zašto, u kojim okolnostima i sa kakvim uverenjima, kao i šta se obično veruje da je bilo – a, ustvari nije bilo nego su to samo spekulacije, a ti znaš čije i šta su zlobnici njima nameravali da postignu.

Standardno, dakle, kad je Umberto Eko u pitanju, s tim što ovde mora da se pojede mnooogo veće parče znanja koje je profesor rešio da ti sipa u glavu, da bi se došlo do onog mystery – detektivskog dela (kome je svrha, dabome, da lakše prođe ovo prvo). Ukratko, oni kojima su delovi o hrišćanskim monaškim redovima i književnosti u „Imenu ruže“ bili smaranje, bolje da „Klatno“ zaobiđu u širokom luku.
Kad se probiješ kroz tu šizofrenu gomilu imena, istorijskih podataka (što stvarnih, što zakulisnih), pretpostavki, tumačenja, aluzija, i ko zna čega sve ne, Eko ti kaže „ Jesi vid'o? Ako dovoljno dugo gledaš u ambis, smorićeš se od dosade ili straha, pa ćeš (pod sasvim prirodnim dejstvima dosade i straha) primetiti da i ambis gleda u tebe; možda će te i progutati, a za to ćeš biti sam kriv, jer i vrapci znaju da mrak jede ljude i da su bezdane rupčage uglavnom prazne, a da izvesno ne sadrže ništa što tebi treba“. Tu ti, pride, ispriča neki vic, i ohrabri te činjenicom da je Kosmos silan i da ako uzmakneš pred njim nisi kukavica nego žrtva njegove moći, i, ako će ti zbog takvog tumačenja u tom ambisu biti udobnije, eto, svi se slažemo da bude tako, uz izraze istinskog žaljenja što iz ambisa izaći nećeš.

Svakako da je mogao i drugačije (jednostavnije i/ili zabavnije) da iznese poentu, ali mislm da u tom slučaju ne bi bio ubedljiv u ovoj meri i ja nikad ne bih razumela kako je u glavi onim veselnicima što po televiziji dokazuju da je Dizni masonski iluminat kroulijevske provenijencije (gle samo te Šiljine oči!), a britanska kraljica reptilijanac.

Prevod je odličan, Vulkan brlja, ali nije strašno.
Ne znam da li svi izdavači sa Ekom potpisuju ugovore da se u knjige ne smeju ubacivati napomene prevodioca, ali bi sa njima sve bilo mnogo lakše.
Ne volim knjige koje su pisane za više čitanja (a ova jeste, traži čak da se vode beleške), zato 4.

Profile Image for Sara.
Author 1 book488 followers
November 21, 2016
I loved The Name of the Rose. I liked the obscure, Medieval tone of it. I enjoyed the characters and the story. I was prepared to feel the same about Foucault’s Pendulum, although I had been warned there was little similarity between the two. I was disappointed.

Foucault’s is Dan Brown on steroids. It is as if Eco (who never needs to prove his brilliance), needed to prove his brilliance on absolutely every page. There are references to Rosicrucians and Templars, as they are at the heart of the story, but there are also references to Akhenaton and constant French titles to remote treatises and a conspiracy theory that throws in everyone in history from Bacon to Descartes, Shakespeare to Hitler, and that spans a globe and requires a pretty rich understanding of the history of every nation on earth from 1344 forward. It was tiring.

The underlying story crept in often enough to keep me reading and then I found I had committed to over 300 pages and I had to complete the tome. I felt the story could have been told well with about half the references and half the pages. But, who am I to instruct Umberto Eco?

In the end, it didn’t really work for me because it was just too clever. There are madmen all around us, that much I can agree with, and you might stumble into a coven of them, but I wonder if everyone you meet would be part of the coven, if they would have the kind of power he attributes to them, if they could keep themselves functioning in a society where everything is secret and even the members themselves are subject to sudden elimination, and if men who are portrayed as being so erudite and scholarly would be so easily taken in by a manufactured clue.

No one else would have had the stamina or ability to keep weaving this story together. Eco is masterful in so many ways. There are so many reasons to give his writing a high rating, and yet, I did not enjoy this, and I was mostly relieved to close the back cover and say “done”. I have The Prague Cemetery sitting on my shelf and I wonder if The Rose should make me want to read it, or if Foucault’s should guarantee that I don’t.

I was warned, but I wanted to read this, so I did. My warning to others is don’t go into this thinking you are going to spend time with the writer of The Name of the Rose. This is an entirely other enterprise, or dare I say, conspiracy.
Profile Image for Hadrian.
438 reviews222 followers
April 6, 2022
What strikes me on reading this again is not just how much minutiae Eco loves to cram into his books - here we have a list of vintage French cars, histories of the Fourth Crusade, the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucian esoteric movement, and Afro-Brazilian religion, but what I keep thinking about was his description of the conspiracy theory and how people fall victim to it.

Our protagonists, a gang of layabouts at a vanity publisher, decide to invent a conspiracy theory as a joke. Eventually, people do in fact believe the joke, and the all-devouring conspiracy theory begins to tear them apart - where The Plan is a search for religious meaning. It all starts simply - taking random trivia from history, especially with political elites or secret organizations, mashing together snippets of text from a computer program, and then taking advantage of the human tendency towards pattern recognition and having the act of 'researching' or finding out more as a lure to draw more people in.

I thought of it as an intriguing novel several years ago, put aside, and in past years I realize with horror that some slob playing pretend on a 4chan offshoot has led thousands of people worldwide to believe in a pedophile conspiracy about fetal blood harvesting and a secret coup d'etat planned by Obama, the Clintons, and George Soros. That would be QAnon. The grotesque joke is real.

As the joke starts with the Templars and expands outward to include several centuries of history, the conspiracy theory explains everything -- and anyone who is credulous enough and lets their sense of pattern recognition overrun their skepticism is willing to believe more conspiracy theories and fold them into the grand plan. For Eco, a story about the Templars includes the Bavarian Illuminati, the Cathars, the Jesuits, the Bogomils, and whoever forged the vile slurs of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. For a conspiracy theorist today, well, take your pick.
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,057 reviews1,725 followers
June 3, 2016
شاید تا به حال زیاد از "تئوری توطئه" شنیده باشید، هر چند شاید این اسم (تئوری توطئه) به گوشتان نخورده باشد. اما این که یهودی ها (یا صهیونیست ها) جهان را کنترل می کنند، همه ی ثروتمندان و دولتمردان فراماسون هستند و رازی مذهبی-جادویی در اختیار دارند و استقرار صهیونیست ها در فلسطین برای تکمیل کردن پیشگویی های کتب مقدس است و آخر الزمان و جنگ های صلیبی و پروتکل های یهودی برای کنترل جهان و تلمود و شیطان پرستی و چه و چه.
این تئوری توطئه، که می گوید ما همه بازی خورده ی یک توطئه ی مشترک جهانی هستیم، مختص ایرانی ها نیست. در امریکا و اروپا هم هستند کسانی که به این ها اعتقاد دارند.
آونگ فوکو، نقیضه ایست بر تئوری توطئه و می خواهد با این عقیده که هر چیزی به هر چیزی ربط دارد شوخی کند.

اومبرتو اکو، خودش استاد فلسفه و نماد شناسی است. بنابراین به راحتی می توان حدس زد که رمان اکو، از لحاظ اطلاعات متنوع و عجیب و غریب و دسته اول، به حدی است که سرتان گیج می رود. اکو، به فراماسونری، قباله (کابالا) و پروتکل های صهیونیستی و ایلومیناتی و شیطان پرستی و دادگاه های تفتیش عقاید و حشاشین اسماعیلی و هر چه که فکرش را بکنید، ناخنکی می زند و در طی یک بازی و شوخی، سعی میکند همه را به هم ربط دهد.

از طرفی اومبرتو اکو، به رغم ادعای خودش، کتاب عامه پسند نمی نویسد. یعنی نباید در رمانش انتظار واقعه ی هیجان انگیز یا اشک آلود یا هر گونه واقعه ی محرک داستانی داشته باشید. هفتاد در صد رمان، در حقیقت بازی با همین اطلاعات حقیقی یا ساختگی است. سی درصد رمان، واقعاً داستان است. رمان حدود صد صفحه ی آخر است که تازه شروع می شود.
Profile Image for Mattia Ravasi.
Author 5 books3,511 followers
September 11, 2018
Video review

A masterpiece, a must-read, dirò di più, a great novel.

At once an ecyclopedic study of human stupidity, a flight of fancy of historical proportions, and a seven-hundred-page praise of a rather pretty Piemonte hill. Traps you into the same mechanisms that doom its characters, but it's gentle in showing you the trap's functioning, and sympathetic in sharing your pain.
Not for kids who find it challenging to sit still through fifty-minute lectures.
Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,002 reviews
January 5, 2023
الأكاذيب قد تتحول يوما ما إلى حقائق
رواية تبدأ بمجرد لعبة وتنتهي نهاية فادحة
ثلاث شخصيات يقوموا باختراع خطة مؤامرة تجمع نظريات كونية ودينية وتاريخية
فيكتشفوا ان اختلاق الخطط والتنظيمات والأسرار والمؤامرات يحكم تاريخ العالم
وبمرور الزمن يصعُب تمييز الأكاذيب والأساطير والأوهام
عمل أدبي معلوماتي ومتشابك.. ملئ بالدلالات والرموز
Profile Image for Sina.
115 reviews87 followers
April 14, 2022
- چرا واکسن نزنم؟!
+ چون همش دروغه. همش بازی ذهنته. همین الآن کلی از کسایی که واکسن زدن دارن می‌میرن. ولی تلویزیون هیچوقت نشون نمیده. خدا عذابشونو زیاد کنه که مردمو اینجوری دارن می‌کُشن.
- کیا مردمو میکشن؟
+ همشون. همین دبلیو اچ اوی کثافت داره مردمو می‌کشه.
- چرا باید بخوان که مردمو بکشن؟
+ چون رئیسش یهودیه. مگه نمیدونستی؟
- به فرض که باشه. خب که چی؟!
+ خب که چی؟!! حرفایی میزنیا. همه یهودیا خودشونو نژاد برتر میدونن. میخوان فقط خودشون زنده بمونن. بقیه رو هم بکشن. کرونا و همه این دستانا زیر سر همین پدرسوخته ‌هاست.
- آها
طرز تهیه سه عدد رائفی‌پور، اما از نوع باحالش
آونگ فوکو سومین کتاب و احتمالا حجیم‌ترین کتابی هست که از امبرتو اکو می‌خونم. شاید در نگاه اول کتاب درمورد تئوری توطئه باشه. درمورد این که چجوری ممکنه آدم به جایی برسه که بجای لذت بردن از اون‌ها، باورشون می‌کنه. ولی به نظر من قضیه فقط به همینجا ختم نمیشه. اکو فقط درمورد اعتقاد به تئوری توطئه حرف نمیزنه. به طور کلی درمورد هر اعتقادی حرف میزنه. اینکه چجوری ما ایمان قلبی پیدا می‌کنیم به داستان‌هایی که شاید خودمون از سر شوخی برا�� این و اون تعریف بکنیم. اینکه چجوری کمبود‌هایی که تو زندگی داشتیم منجر میشه به این که سعی کنیم تا اون کمبود‌ها رو با باورهامون پر کنیم.

و اما خود داستان: سه ویراستار که مغزشون از حجم اطلاعات ذخیره‌شده و بعضا بی‌مصرف داره میترکه و هیچوقت فرصت نشده که این اطلاعات رو جای خاصی استفاده کنن. اما حالا فرصت پیش اومده و تو محفل خودمونی که دارن شروع میکنن با این اطلاعات بازی کنن و ربطشون بدن بهم و عملا تاریخ رو از نو بازنویسی کنن. همه چیز هم از ماجرا شوالیه‌های معبد شروع میشه، چه شروعی بهتر از این برای ساخت یک تئوری توطئه. (و خداوندا...چرا این معبدی‌ها هیچوقت تکراری نمیشن؟! همیشه خدا، اگه تا ابد هم بدوشنشون بازم جذابن برام.)

برخلاف دوتا کتاب قبلی که از اکو خوندم، این کتاب چندان پلات قوی نداشت. در واقع اصلا پلات محور نبود. چون تقریبا 70 درصد کتاب حول این میچرخه که این سه نفر چجوری رسیدن به اون تئوری توطئه‌ای که خودشون تمام و کمال ساختنش. بخاطر همین اواسط داستان خیلی کند پیش میره و ممکنه خسته کننده بشه. بخش زیادی از این صفحات هم که... اکو به اکوترین حالت خودش میرسه. بمباران اطلاعات و رفرنس‌هایی که اگه بخواید هرکدوم رو تک به تک برید و جستجویی تو ویکیپدیا بکنید، زمانی که صرفش میشه تقریبا برابره با زمانی که صرف خود کتاب میشه. البته باید اینم بگم که خیلی جاها اکو به ظاهر داره رفرنس میده، در حالی که نمیده. میگه فلان متن از فلان کتاب، در صورتی که اصلا همچین کتابی وجود نداره.

شاید اگه پایان‌بندی کتاب انقدر خوب پیش نمی‌رفت سه ستاره می‌دادم. چون یجاهایی همون وسطا واقعا حوصلم رو سر می‌برد. در کل این کتاب رو از دوتای قبلی کمتر دوست داشتم و همچنان بائودولینو برای من تو صدر قرار داره. البته این به این معنی نیست که این کتاب کتاب ضعیفیه. اتفاقا خود اکو این کتاب رو بهترین کتاب خودش میدونه. ولی خب من اونا رو بیشتر دوست داشتم. همون میم معروف که میگه:

This is brilliant, but I like this.

در نهایت هم باید بگم که همخوانی این کتاب با علی و بحث هایی که درموردش می‌کردیم جزو بخش‌های جذاب خوندن این کتاب حجیم بود.
پ.ن. : اون دیالوگی که اول نوشتم درواقع بین من و یک شخصی در جریان بود. موقع خوندن این کتاب باز به اهمیت تفکر نقادانه پی بردم. مخصوصا تو این زمان که هر چرت و پرتی رو میشه از هر شبکه ای چه مجازی و چه غیر مجازی شنید. مخصوصا تو این زمان که باور کردن به این خزعبلات میتونه خیلی راحت باعث مرگ آدما بشه. پس تصمیم گرفتم که در سال جاری حداقل یک کتاب درمورد تفکر نقادانه بخونم. پس از کسایی که تا انتها این یادداشت رو میخونن میخوام که اگه منبع خوبی تو این زمینه میشناسید معرفی کنید. ممنون میشم.
Profile Image for Biron Paşa.
144 reviews190 followers
January 31, 2018
Foucault Sarkacı 900 küsur sayfalık tarif edilmesi imkânsız, devasa bir roman. Eco'nun uçsuz bucaksız birikiminden ve zekasından çıkan müthiş zırvalıklarla dolu, tam anlamıyla bir roman.

Çevirmen Şadan Karadeniz'in de değindiği ve arka kapakta gördüğümüz gibi, kitabı nasıl tanımlayacağımız bir muamma, çünkü kitaba her açıdan bakmak mümkün. 8 yıllık, araştırılan 2000 kitaplık bir emeğin sonucu. Yine de Karadeniz'in yaptığı tanımlama kitapla ilgili yapılabilecek en iyi tanımlamalardan biri: Foucault Sarkacı 500 yıllık irrasyonel düşünmenin tarihi. Ama buna ek olarak karşılıksız bir aşkın, hayatın karmaşıklığının ve anlamsızlığının, tarihin ve kitapların yapaylığının, çağın sıkıcılığının, algının sınırlılığının ve uçsuz bucaksızlığının yani izafiliğinin, 68 kuşağının, ikinci dünya savaşının, Tapınakçıların, Kabala'nın, tarihsel figürlerin (Shakespeare, H. Sabbah vb.) Joyce'un ve Proust'un, edebi oyunların, edebiyatı konu edinmenin, İtalya'nın sıradan bir kasabasında çocuk olmanın, cesaretin, bir şeylere inanmanın ve bence güçlü bir şekilde varoluşun romanı.

Kitap aslında çok basit bir kurguya sahip. Bir yayınevindeki üç arkadaş "Şeytancı" adını taktıkları insanların getirdiği tapınakçılarla, gizli örgütlerle, delice komplo teorileriyle dolu sayfaları incelerler ve "Plan" adını verdikleri kendi alternatif tarihlerini üretirler. Onlar yavaş yavaş Plan'ın içine çekildikçe, planın içinde kayboldukça biz de kayboluruz.

Bu basit kurgunun her aşaması müthiş derinlikli bir şekilde yazılmış Eco tarafından. Müthiş renkli karakterlerin, müthiş renkli dünyaların ciddiyetle yazılmasını okumak çok güzeldi. Belbo'nun karşılıksız aşkı, Brezilya bölümleri, Tapınak Şövalyelerinin resmi tarihi, Belbo'nun metinlerarasılıkla dolup taşan File'ları, 250 sayfalık göstergebilim şovu, karakterlerin değişimi... Muhteşem bir yolculuk.

Ben romanın aslında tümünü kaplayan, pek de değinilmeyen bir şeye değinmek istiyorum: Bence Foucault Sarkacı bir varoluş romanı. Modern çağda akılcı hayatın sıradanlığını, varoluşunun sıradanlığını ve anlamsızlığını kaldıramayan bireylerin bir masala, bir büyüye çekilmesini anlatıyor. Rasyonel aklı bir köşeye bırakıp hayatı daha anlamlı, daha gizemli kılabilmek adına irrasyonelleşerek hayatta kalmaya çalışmanın romanı Foucault Sarkacı.

O kadar büyük, o kadar dolu bir roman ki hakkında bir şeyler yazmak gerçekten zor. Bu büyüklüğü benim için çok anlamlı. Bazen edebiyatın yapay, sahte bir şey olduğunu, okurların zaten anlamayacağını, yazarların büyük kısmının da bu yüzden bir iki bir yılda roman yazdığını düşünüyorum. Ama Umberto Eco gibi bir romancının olması bana ümit veriyor. Sanki o sahteliğin içinde, bu işi olması gerektiği gibi yapan az sayıdaki insandan biri olduğunu düşündüm. Yani Amerikan edebiyatının önde gelen yazarları P. Roth, Paul Auster gibi yazarlarken, dünyanın bir yerinde Umberto Eco'nun yaşamış olması çok büyük bir şey. Sekiz yılı bir romanla geçirdiğini düşündükçe ve zaten metin bize bu romanın ancak böyle bir uğraşla ortaya çıkabileceğini gösterdiğinde, ona duyduğum saygıyı ve hayranlığı tarif etmekte zorlanıyorum.

Foucault Sarkacı bütün bu muhteşemliğine, akıcılığına, eğlenceliliğine rağmen zaman zaman okuru zorluyor. Bu sebeple başlayacak olanlara kitapla ilgili birkaç ön bilgi ve tavsiye vermek istiyorum. Öncelikle Kabala nedir, ne değildir bakılabilir. Bununla birlikte Saint-Martin-des-Champs biraz araştırılabilir. Google sağ olsun, müzeyi gezebiliyoruz. Ben kitaba başladıktan sonra müzeyi biraz gezdim ve Eco'nun romanda epey yer ayırdığı müze bölümleri daha keyifli hale geldi. Sarkacın ne olduğu, nasıl çalıştığına bakılabilir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMxLV...

Kitap Kabala'nın 10 sefirahıyla bölümlenmiş. Bu sefirahların her birinin kendi teması olduğu için, Eco da bu tema üzerinden romanı kurgulamış. Çevirmen Şadan Karadeniz'in açıklamalarıyla Eco'nun sefirah açıklamaları çoğu zaman uyuşmamış, nedenini bilmiyorum.

Kitabın ilk bölümü, ilk sefirah Keter, yani Taç, idrak edilemez bir mertebe. Bu yüzden ilk bölüm anlaması, takip etmesi çok zor bir bölüm. Keter'i okuyup "Ben ne okumaya başladım böyle" diye bir yılgınlığa kapılmanıza gerek yok. İkinci ve üçüncü sefirahları Hokmah ve Binah, yani bilgelik ve anlayış ile her şeyi anlayacaksınız. Tapınak Şövalyelerinin de çoğu kişinin bildiği hikâyesi Eco'nun muazzam yazarlığı ile anlatılacak.

Ama kitabın tek zor bölümü ilk bölüm değil, altıncı sefirah Tiferet, ki Karadeniz bunu Güzellik sefirahı olduğunu yazmış sözlükte ama Eco bunun sabır sefirahı olduğunu söylüyor. Bu bölüm gerçekten de sabır isteyen bir bölüm, ama güzel bir bölüm. Burada kahramanlarımız irrasyonel düşünmenin içine düşüyorlar 220 sayfa boyunca ve burada takip etmenizin bence pek mümkün olmayan tarihsel olaylara göstergebilimsel bağlar kuruluyor.

Eco, tıpkı ondan çok etkilendiğini gördüğümüz Orhan Pamuk gibi, romanın içinde defalarca bu romanın nasıl bir roman olduğunu anlatıyor. Romanı nasıl okumamız gerektiğinden, romanın maksadının, amacının, kullandığı yöntemlerin ne olduğunu okura bildiriyor. Bu yüzden zorlansanız dahi, kitap bittiğinde okurunu hiçbir şey anlamamış biçimde ortada bırakmıyor.

Bir Kara Kitap hayranı olarak bu kitaptan etkilenmemem olanaksızmış zaten. Kara Kitap'ı okuyup sevenlere bu kitabı hiç durmadan hemen okumalarını tavsiye ediyorum.

Çeviriye de kısaca değinmek istiyorum. Önsözde Karadeniz'in çevirisi "tutkulu" olarak niteleniyor ve buna katılıyorum. Arkadaki sözlük gerçekten çok işe yarıyor. Ama Öztürkçe'nin çeviride işi olduğunu düşünmüyorum. Bir çevirmenin buna hakkı olduğunu da düşünmüyorum. Karadeniz eğer bunu tercih ediyorsa özgür olduğu kendi eserlerinde yapabilir. Ama biz Eco okumak istiyoruz ve çevirmen bir sanatçı değil, parayla tutulan bir çalışan. Bu yüzden de okurun taleplerine göre iş yapmak zorunda. Hayatımda Öztürkçe kullanan bir tane insan görmedim, neden romanda bir karakterin yıldızbakışım, katışım, erginleme, yengi vs. dediğini okuyayım ki? Okurken sık sık sinirlendim. Kitabın kendisini sürekli araştırarak okurken bir de arada Tdk'da dahi olmayan uydurma kelimelerin anlamlarını araştırmak çok gereksiz. Yıldızbakışım diye Google'da arattığınızda bu roman çıkıyor sonuç olarak. Usunuz batsın.

Bununla birlikte 106. bölümün son paragrafının Karadeniz tarafından nedensizce kesildiğini de bildirmem gerekiyor. Benim elimde 17. baskı vardı, sonraki baskıları bilemiyorum. Önemli de bir paragraftı.

Romanla ilgili yazılacak çok şey var, bu yazı özetin özeti dahi olamaz; Belbo'nun bir dosyasını bile bunun beş katı uzunluğunda değerlendirmek mümkün. Şimdilik aklıma gelenler bunlar, hayatımın sonuna kadar defalarca okuyacağımı biliyorum bu romanı.
Profile Image for Terry .
394 reviews2,146 followers
September 25, 2022
2022 re-read thoughts:

A part of me has often found it appealing to think that the workaday world was really merely a veneer that hides the occult secrets that so many have either claimed to know or to seek. It does make the the hum drum everyday seem so much more intriguing. I am always convinced, however, by Eco’s refutation of it in this book…and yet even with his rebuttal of the great Templar conspiracy and the simple, one might even contend saccharine, solution to the Great Mystery as opined by Casaubon's lover Lia, he still manages to retain the magic of the world.

Maybe it’s just all in your point of view.

Still…I have to say the elegance of the made-up plot of the three editors at Garamond is almost sublime in its symmetry…and I retain the right to pretend to believe it when the whim strikes. Who knows? Maybe, after all, they really did “…arrive at the truth through the painstaking reconstruction of a false text.” I mean stranger things have happened, right?

ANYTHING can be connected to the secret of the Templars and the Great Plan if you look hard enough and want it badly enough. Any number has mystical correspondences, any place has historical significance, and any person can have secret motives to their actions that point to the answer you want to find. “…wanting connections, we found connections - always, everywhere, and between everything.” Alas that the reward for their industry was tragedy.

Eco wrote an excellent novel of ideas that looks like a thriller. Or is it a thriller, that looks like a novel of ideas? Either way, I still love it.

Original Review:

I think it could be validly opined that all of Umberto Eco’s novels primarily exist to show off how much he knows. They are all jam-packed with esoteric knowledge from such specialized and varied sources that one wonders how a single human being managed to fit them all into his head, let alone turn them into fodder for a story. In this sense Eco seems much like his own creation of Casaubon from this novel, “the Marlowe of culture”: one able to sift through the vast repository of arcane and seemingly arbitrary bits of knowledge and not only pull out the bits he wants, but to put them together to create an impressive and coherent edifice. These influences and bits of knowledge aren’t just “high culture” things one might expect from an ivory tower academic, but also include numerous pop culture references that show a deep affection for them on Eco’s part. I can get behind that kind of syncretism. From the Templars, South American religious cults, and telluric currents to the secret masters of the world, the mysteries of alchemy, and the hollow earth Eco seems to fit pretty much every occult mystery you could think of (and many you couldn’t) into his work. There is also a prevalent fascination with Cabala, the nature of words, and the way in which words (and the ideas they form) shape our reality...only natural for a semiotician I suppose.

I’m sure you all know the basic premise of the story, and in its most common shorthand description, one that I think is fairly apt, it’s been called “the thinking man’s _Da Vinci Code_”. It's the story of three clever men undone by their own ingenuity, or perhaps they are actually undone by the credulity of others. Either way these three friends, working for a small publishing house in Milan, decide to play a little game after one too many crazy ‘diabolicals’ obsessed with the occult and the mystery of the Templars comes to their office peddling the next conspiracy theory of the secret masters of the world. Why not look at all of the vast theories out there, as well as numerous other ‘normal’ facts, and tie them all together into the grandest, and most elegant conspiracy theory of them all? Beat the crazies at their own game! What happens, though, when the crazies get wind of your incredibly elegant theory and begin to suspect that maybe there’s something to it and their lust for the ‘secrets’ you possess will brook no pleas of innocence and ignorance on the matter?

Eco does a lot of clever things in this novel, not least of which is coming up with a syncretic theory of nearly everything that plausibly ties huge swathes of western history and occult theories into an overall Master-Plan neatly tied up with a bow. He also manages to keep things off kilter enough that the reader is left wondering at the end just what is real and what is false. It seems, for most of the book, that the occult-obsessed diabolicals are truly insane monomaniacs. They pursue their goal with single-minded abandon and are able not so much to ignore any fact that contradicts their ideas, as to take it and twist it to align with the meaning their world-view requires with ridiculous ease. Indeed, Casaubon and his friends Belbo and Diotallevi show just how ridiculously easy it is to twist meaning to your own ends…that’s the whole point of their game, sending up the ridiculous blinders of those they mock. And yet…there are enough strange occurrences and unexplained phenomena to give one pause. Could it be true? Is the story more than just a story? Do things dove-tail so nicely because they should?

Casaubon is the viewpoint character for Eco’s little drama, immediately plunging the reader in medias res as we are thrust abruptly into the tail end of a conspiracy gone bad, though bit by bit he reveals the source of his troubles and terrors as he remembers the path of folly that led him to his current dire straits. While Casaubon is thus central to the story in many ways it is also (or perhaps “really”) the sad story of the life of poor Jacopo Belbo, a man whose existence has been, in his own mind at least, little more than a string of disappointments and failures. His reminiscences play a melancholic counterpoint to the larger story of the Templar conspiracy that threatens to overwhelm the three hapless editors. It is, indeed, through his single success at being the driving force (through the means of both his own thwarted creative impulses and his computer Abulafia) behind the crafting of the disparate and unlikely elements that become the Plan that his greatest failure lies...or is it his only true victory? Belbo’s story is ultimately the beating heart of the novel, the thing that keeps it grounded in human experience and ensures its wide and varied flights of fancy never take it too far from what we live and know at a gut level.

I think this is a great book that runs the gamut from ‘high-brow’ meditations on the nature of history and the mysteries of reality to ‘low-brow’ penny dreadful adventure and intrigue. The main characters are fairly well drawn, even when done so by the merest brush strokes, though the real stars in this regard are probably the large and varied cast of ‘diabolicals’, foremost amongst them that most urbane and witty cabalist, the Comte de Saint-Germain. If you like occult mysteries, conspiracy theories, and books that are densely packed with nuggets of lore then this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Banafsheh.
175 reviews115 followers
March 30, 2022
عجب کتاب تمیزی برای شروع قرن جدید انتخاب کردم !!

صفحه اول کتاب با یک تصویر شروع میشه: تصویر کابالا یا قباله.

همون چیزی که یه بخشی از یهودی‌ها با رمزگشایی تورات بهش رسیدن و می‌گن اصل ماجرا اینه.

خب، اکو قبل از اینکه نویسنده باشه، نشانه‌شناسه. پس طبیعیه که کتابش با همچین تصویری شروع بشه و با پیگیری سرنوشت یه فرقه معروف به شهسواران معبد از زمان جنگ‌های صلیبی ادامه پیدا کنه.

میزان اطلاعاتی که توی این کتاب راجع به فرقه‌های سری و انجمن‌ها و افراد موثرشون به مغز آدم تزریق می‌شه، سرگیجه‌آوره !! کاملا زیر بار اطلاعات مدفون می‌شی !!

حالا همه‌ی این اطلاعات حول یه هدف می‌چرخه: رسیدن به راز یا سرّی که جهان بر پایه‌ی اون به واسطه‌ی یه عده آدم مخفی داره کنترل می‌شه.

خلاصه که اکو موضوع جذابی برای کتابش در نظر گرفته ولی محتوا خیلی نظریه، مثلا اگه با خوندن جملات قبل کلی اکتشاف و گنج و طلسم و … اومده توی ذهن شما، باید بگم از این خبرا نیست.

پس هوشیار باشید که خوندنش بسیار سخته و نیازمند تمرکز بسیار بالا. اون یکی کتابی که ازش خوندم، آنک نام گل، جنبه‌ی داستانی قوی‌تری داشت و حجم اطلاعاتی که منتقل می‌کرد هم کم‌تر بود. برای شروع به نظرم اون بهتره.

اما من عمیقا از خوندن این یکی هم لذت بردم، چون سرم درد می‌کنه واسه پریدن وسط کلی اطلاعات، کلی محتوای صرف از جنس مطالعات باستانی و رمزگشایی و هر چیزی توی این سبک و سیاق.

بسیار کتاب رو دوست داشتم و البته اکو رو هم دوست دارم.

ازش قطعا باز هم خواهم خوند.
Profile Image for Vasilis Philologist.
113 reviews42 followers
February 19, 2021
Υπάρχουν βιβλία τα οποία αποτελούν για εμάς ένα είδος προσωπικού ημερολογίου. Σημαντικό ρόλο σε αυτό διαδραματίζει η ηλικία ανάγνωσης, η θεματολογία, αλλά και το πως «μιλά» το έργο στον εσώτερο ψυχισμό μας. Το «Εκκρεμές» είναι για μένα ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο. Δεν μπορεί κανείς να το θεωρήσει μυθιστόρημα υπό την ευρεία έννοια, ούτε καν μια μεταμοντέρνα εξέλιξή του. Ντυμένο με τον λογοτεχνικό μανδύα, αποτελεί ένα προσωπικό statement του Έκο, αναφορικά με τις απόψεις του γύρω από τη φιλοσοφία, την παραλογοτεχνία, τη συνωμοσιολογία και τη στάση μας απέναντι στην πεζή (όπως νομίζουμε) πραγματικότητα που μας περιβάλλει. Συνεχίζοντας την (εν πολλοίς θρησκευτική) φιλοσοφική κληρονομιά που μας άφησε με το «Όνομα του Ρόδου», στήνει πάλι ένα ογκωδέστατο έργο γύρω από έναν μάλλον προσχηματικό τίτλο.

Οι περιπέτειες τριών επιμελητών ενός έγκριτου εκδοτικού οίκου που λειτουργεί παράλληλα και ως εκδότης “vanity press”, ξεκινούν μέσα από τη μελέτη άπειρων χειρογράφων περί αποκρυφισμού και θεωριών συνωμοσίας. Όταν όμως αποφασίζουν να διασκεδάσουν στήνοντας το δικό τους «Σχέδιο», πυροδοτούν ανεξέλεγκτα γεγονότα και εισέρχονται σε επικίνδυνες και απίστευτες ατραπούς. Στην ουσία, ανασκευάζουν ένα ανύπαρκτο παρακλάδι της ιστορίας των Ναϊτών ιπποτών και της δήθεν απόκρυφης ιστορίας της Μαρίας της Μαγδαληνής. Απίστευτες συμπτώσεις, γνήσια και μη χειρόγραφα, λεξαριθμικές συνδέσεις, εμπλοκή πραγματικών μυστικιστικών ομάδων, οδηγεί τους χαρακτήρες ��την παραπλάνηση και στην πίστη σε μια πραγματική συνωμοσία, εν είδει αυτοεκπληρούμενης προφητείας.

Η δομή και η εξέλιξη της πλοκής στήνεται σταθερά και ομαλά από τον Έκο, όπως ακριβώς η αέναη κίνηση του εκκρεμούς. Οι ομόκεντροι κύκλοι του όμως οδηγούν τους πρωταγωνιστές σε ζοφερές λόχμες και –τελικά- στην πραγματική ζώνη του λυκόφωτος. Μην περιμένετε φυσικά εξαντλητικά προσεγμένη σκιαγράφηση χαρακτήρων, ούτε και ψυχογραφήματα τύπου Ντοστογιέφσκι. Το «Εκκρεμές» είναι μια ξεκαρδιστικά στημένη φάρσα, αφού ο οξύνους Έκο, αποδομεί πριν καν την εμφάνισή τους, τα κύματα συνωμοσιολογικής παραλογοτεχνίας του κιλού (βλ. Dan Brown) τα οποία πυροδοτήθηκαν μετά το βιβλίο “Holy blood and the holy Grail”. Παράλληλα, μας διδάσκει υποσυνείδητα ότι αν ψάξεις να βρεις αιτιώδεις σχέσεις και να ερμηνεύσεις στοιχεία και σπαράγματα εγγράφων κατά το δοκούν, τότε θα δημιουργήσεις ο ίδιος έναν μίτο, ο οποίος θα σε οδηγήσει σίγουρα όχι στον Μινώταυρο, αλλά στο τέρας της αυθυποβολής και της παραπλάνησης. Και όλα αυτά, κλείνοντας μας το μάτι ως προς το ότι η πραγματικότητα μπορεί να αποκτήσει πτυχές πιο απίστευτες και από την πιο παρανοϊκή, νοσηρή φαντασία.

Όμως ο Έκο, πέρα ένας homo universalis, μια κινητή βιβλιοθήκη και αστείρευτη δεξαμενή γνώσεων, ήταν ένας πραγματικός φιλόσοφος της σύγχρονης εποχής, Συνεπώς, δε θα δημιουργούσε ένα τέτοιο έργο απλώς για να περάσει κάποια αξιόλογα και χρήσιμα μηνύματα. Πίσω από τις καββαλιστικές δοξασίες, τις απίστευτες σκηνές με παγανιστικές τελετές, με πρόσωπα που θεωρούνται απέθαντα (Κόμης Σεν Ζερμέν), πέρα από τη χαμένη γνώση του Corpus Hermeticum και της πραγματικής δράσης των Ναϊτών Ιπποτών, το «Εκκρεμές του Φουκώ» είναι κάτι άλλο: Μια ωδή στη διακειμενικότητα, μια υπέροχη μεταδομιστική έννοια, η οποία περιγράφει με τον πιο όμορφο τρόπο ότι όλα τα κείμενα που έχουν γραφτεί και θα γραφτούν, αποτελούν υφές ενός αέναα μεταβαλλόμενου ιστού. Ενός ιστού που συνδέει βιβλία, λόγια προσωπικοτήτων, κινηματογραφικές ταινίες, ιδέες, όλα αυτά σε ένα ενιαίο όλον, υπό την ευρεία έννοια του κειμένου.

Με μια ακραία χρήση της διακειμενικότητας, ο Έκο παραπέμπει, συνδέει, πραγματοποιεί τις πιο σύνθετες αναγωγές, για να μας αποδείξει ότι ένα βιβλίο, πέρα από εξιδανικευμένους χαρακτήρες, υποδειγματική πλοκή και προχωρημένες αφηγηματικές τεχνικές, αποτελεί ένα παράθυρο στο άγνωστο. Και μέσα από αυτό το άγνωστο, μπορούμε να παραμερίσουμε το στρεβλό πέπλο μιας πραγματικότητας που μας έχει επιβληθεί, μιας αχλής που θέλει να μας ορίσει η ίδια ένα πεπερασμένο πλήθος γνώσεων που μας αρκούν. Ο συνεκτικός ιστός των ρητών και υπόρρητων διακειμενικών αναφορών, εγκαθιστά μια μπαχτινική διαλογικότητα, μέσω της οποίας ο αναγνώστης συνομιλεί με άλλα παρόμοια κείμενα, προκειμένου να αναζητήσει το δικό του ιερό δισκοπότηρο.

Έχουν γραφτεί αναλύσεις επί αναλύσεων για το είδος του αναγνώστη στον οποίο απευθύνεται ο Έκο. Σίγουρα κάποιος εξοικειωμένος με μεσαιωνικά τάγματα, καββαλιστικά δόγματα και απόκρυφες παραδόσεις, μπορεί να συλλάβει πολύ πιο εύκολα τον πακτωλό υπονοημάτων και συμβόλων που γενναιόδωρα μας χαρίζει ο Έκο. Το «Εκκρεμές» δεν είναι ένα εύκολο ανάγνωσμα. Όπως εύκολο (και δεν εννοώ ευκολοδιάβαστο) δεν είναι για μένα ούτε το «Έγκλημα και Τιμωρία», το οποίο είναι ένα μνημείο ψυχολογίας, ηθογραφίας, εγκληματολογίας και σωφρονιστικής, στο σώμα ενός άρτιου μυθιστορήματος. Εκεί όμως που ένας Ντοστογιέφσκι θα σε αφήσει μόνος σου να επιστρέψεις στις σελίδες, να στοχαστείς ξανά, να εντάξεις το έργο σε ένα ευρύτερο πλαίσιο κοινωνικών και ψυχολογικών θεωριών, ο Έκο είναι ο προσηνής αλλά απαιτητικός καθηγητής. Εκείνος που θα σε πάρει από το χέρι, θα σου δείξει το γνωστικό κενό σου και θα σε σπρώξει να πηδήξεις στην απέναντι όχθη.

Εκεί υπάρχει ένας «θαυμαστός καινούργιος κόσμος», ένα συμπίλημα από λογοτεχνία, επιστήμη και καθαρή, πρωτόγονη γνώση. Όχι, ο Έκο δεν απαιτούσε ποτέ να γίνουμε όλοι οι κολοσσοί διανόησης που αυτός ήταν. Για κάποιον όμως που έχει μελετήσει μέρος από το έργο του περί σημειωτικής, λογοτεχνίας, ερμηνείας και αναγνωστικής πρόσληψης, είναι προφανές τούτο: Ότι απαιτεί να τσαλακωθούμε, να προσπαθήσουμε και να καταλάβουμε ότι, ακόμη και αν είμαστε νάνοι, μπορούμε πάντα να σκαρφαλώσουμε στους ώμους γιγάντων.
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