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The Name of the Rose: including the Author's Postscript (1980)

af Umberto Eco

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7,886118804 (4.12)5
“A brilliantly conceived adventure into another time” (San Francisco Chronicle) by critically acclaimed author Umberto Eco. nbsp; The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns to the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon to find the killer. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey (“where the most interesting things happen at night”) armed with a wry sense of humor and a ferocious curiosity.… (mere)

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It's been a while since I first read The Name of the Rose -- probably 6 or 7 years. I might have mentioned on here in the past that I lost a small set of my favorite books, and my copy was among them. Anyhow.

Superficially, The Name of the Rose is pretty simple: William of Baskerville (hint hint) and his apprentice monk, Adso, arrive at a remote Italian abbey to prepare for an important meeting between church leaders, only to discover a series of murders based on the seven seals of the Book of Revelation has begun, and seems to be centered around the immense, forbidden library of the monastery.

Is TNOTR a good mystery? Yes. I wouldn't go so far as to say "you can read it for the mystery OR you can read it for...the everything else", but on rereading it (knowing the ending) I'd say Eco plays pretty fair with the clues given, despite a final twist that takes a hard turn away from these things

The real star of the show, however, is what I already called "the everything else": a deep dive into the politics of the medieval Catholic church, logic, religion (and heresy), knowledge, and more.

I feel a little funny giving this five stars in the same way that I felt funny giving Little, Big five stars in that I don't think I completely grasped everything that was going on in the story (this is a book to be reread) BUT: what I did grasp is fantastic. The Name of the Rose is full of the thrill of the hunt, deep contemplation of big questions, and the bittersweet quality of memory. If you have the time to dedicate, I would say it's more than worth it. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
4 stars

Although I dislike murder mystery stories overall, I initially thought that a murder mystery set in a monastery would be an atmospheric and comfortable read. It fulfilled that expectation, more or less, but I couldn’t get into the theological debates much, on account of me not being a god-loving Christian and all. Overall, the plot is engaging, the prose is very descriptive and even humorous, for instance, when a group of monks did not agree about whether Christ espoused poverty or not, and started pulling each other’s beards.
I recommend you read it if you enjoy theological discussion on sin and virtue, or you would like a mystery in a non-standard setting.
P.S. The untranslated parts were novel, but a little pretentious and quite annoying to follow, as I had to read translations on a website every time they came up. ( )
  Firons2 | Jan 31, 2021 |
A somewhat less then flattering portrayal of monastic life and Christianity in general which I guess is the source of its notoriety but otherwise quite a unique and engaging mystery story. ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
Slow, the crime/detective story is just a frame on which to hang a lot of detail about life in the 14th century, and it is not a great crime story. All the Latin phrases does not make it easier to read. Feels like a bit of showing off by the author ... ( )
  rendier | Dec 20, 2020 |
My first reaction upon finishing "The Name of the Rose" was shock that this book of all books became an international publishing sensation. I came into it, by accident, almost as well prepared as possible to understand the book's voluminous references: in addition to reading about medieval history in general, I had read Eco's [b:The Book of Legendary Lands|17621050|The Book of Legendary Lands|Umberto Eco|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1364250926s/17621050.jpg|24587891], which discusses places and beliefs he references such as Cockaigne and Ultima Thule. Most importantly, for more than a year I've been listening to the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast, a very thorough grounding that happens to be, at this moment, at the exact time period Eco's book is set in. So I knew exactly what his characters were talking about when they used Aristotelian logic, referenced Averroes' theories, mentioned the Arab translation movement, debated nominalism vs. universalism, or talked about Occam, Aquinas, Bacon or Isidore of Seville. The podcast had even discussed the two most important background elements of the book: the debate over clerical poverty and the debates in political theory between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire. All that I was missing was any comprehension of Latin to decipher the many un-translated remarks with which Eco sprinkled his text.

Despite being almost as prepared as a layman could be, I was frequently overwhelmed by the numerous dense, exhausting philosophical and theological asides. There were moments of delightful writing in the book, but also moments that made me want to throw up my hands and put it down. I soldiered through (or skimmed through) and was rewarded in the end, but I'm having a hard time imagining the experience of someone without my background.

And yet, the book was delightful and compelling, full of interesting characters, clever lines, an immersive setting and, above all, a propulsive plot that managed to overcome even the many digressions (many of which — though not all — turned out to be important to solving the mystery). I had fun reading it, and learned things.

Now to see the movie, to answer my curiosity about how they managed to strip away all the density necessary to make it watchable without throwing out crucial plot elements as well. ( )
  dhmontgomery | Dec 13, 2020 |
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Eco, Umbertoprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Ascensión Recio García, Tomás De LaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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de Voogd, PiethaOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Voogd, Pietha deOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Naturally, A Manuscript

On August 16, 1968, I was handed a book written by a certain Abbé Vallet, Le Manuscrit de Dom Adson de Melk, traduit en français d'après l'édition de Dom J. Mabillon (Aux Presses de l'Abbaye de la Source, Paris, 1842). Supplemented by historical information that was actually quite scant, the book claimed to reproduce faithfully a fourteenth-century manuscript that, in its turn, had been found in the monastery of Melk by the great eighteenth-century man of learning, to whom we owe so much information about the history of the Benedictine order. The scholarly discovery (I mean mine, the third in chronological order) entertained me while I was in Prague, waiting for a dear friend. Six days later Soviet troops invaded that unhappy city. I managed, not without adventure, to reach the Austrian border at Linz, and from there I journeyed to Vienna, where I met my beloved, and together we sailed up the Danube.
Note
Adso's manuscript is divided into seven days, and each day into periods corresponding to the liturgical hours. The subtitles, in the third person, were probably added by Vallet. But since they are helpful in orienting the reader, and since this usage is also not unknown to much of the vernacular literature of the period, I did not feel it necessary to eliminate them.
Prologue
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This was beginning with God and the duty of every faithful monk would be to repeat every day with chanting humility the one never-changing event whose incontrovertible truth can be asserted. But we see now through a glass darkly, and the truth, before it is revealed to all, face to face, we see in fragments (alas, how illegible) in the error of the world, so we must spell out its faithful signals even when they seem obscure to us and as if amalgamated with a will wholly bent on evil.
First Day

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In which the foot of the abbey is reached, and
William demonstrates his great acumen
.

It was a beautiful morning at the end of November. During the night it had snowed, but only a little, and the earth was covered with a cool blanket no more than three fingers high. In the darkness, immediately after lauds, we heard Mass in a village in the valley. Then we set off toward the mountain, as the sun first appeared.
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“A brilliantly conceived adventure into another time” (San Francisco Chronicle) by critically acclaimed author Umberto Eco. nbsp; The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns to the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon to find the killer. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey (“where the most interesting things happen at night”) armed with a wry sense of humor and a ferocious curiosity.

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