August 03, 2005

Island of the Day Before

Island of the Day Before cover

This is the first book by Umberto Eco that I’ve read, and I seriously doubt what some reviews on the net said about it…if his so called ‘weakest’ work can be so brilliant, I can’t wait to read his other works.

This book was my rock during two days when there was nothing else to do but read. It was perfect for me, full of metaphors that I love. That took my mind of things very nicely indeed.

The language of the book is wonderfully rich, it’s all that I love about English and more. Of course, the book was not written in English, but in Italian. Makes me want to ditch my plans of leaning Spanish in favour of Italian.

I honestly can’t find any flaws with the book. Nor can I describe it.

I makes a mad-man seem reasonable, reasonable men seem absurd. Religion, morality, theology, astronomy, metaphysics, politics, history & romance combine to make a genré bender. OK, now I’m addicted Eco’s work. I need to get more.

Some snippets, picked at random, to fill up the post:

I take pride in my humiliation, and as I am to this privilege condemned, almost I find joy in an abhorrent salvation; I am, I believe, alone of all our race, the only man in human memory to have been shipwrecked and cast upon a deserted ship.

Restless, he dreamed of his shipwreck, and dreamed of it as a man of wit, who even in dreams, or especially in them, must take care that as propositions embellish a conception, so reservations make it vital, while mysterious connections give it density; considerations make it profound, emphases uplift, allusions dissimulate, transmutations make it subtle.

It seems that his father, who was surely fond of his son even if he treated him with the taciturn roughness characteristic of the men of those lands, sometimes—and precisely in the first five years of Roberto’s life—would lift him from the ground and shout proudly: “You are my firstborn!” Nothing strange, to be sure, beyond the venial sin of redundance, since Roberto was an only child.

Thus Roberto, suffering but remembering the infinity of worlds which he had discussed in previous days, had an idea or, rather, an Idea, a great and anamorphic stroke of genius.

He thought, namely, that he might construct a story, of which he was surely not the protagonist, inasmuch as it would not take place in this world but in a Land of Romances, and the story’s events would unfold parallel to those of the world in which he was, the two sets of adventures never meeting and overlapping.

No comments: