Sunday, January 05, 2014

Happy New Year

It is so natural, at the beginning of another year, to think of making changes, to start sentences with, "from now on..."  And of course there are endless articles popping up on news sites: 14 ways to slash your expenses in 2014, slim down with these recipes, 7 things you can do right now to make yourself happier....

I make and break a dozen resolutions throughout the year, so I don't usually start now.
 I must say that I enjoy the zeugma involved in "My New Year's resolution is to clean up my apartment and my life."  It's vague, though, one must be more specific.

Right now, I resolve to finish Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco. I did not choose to read this. I belong to a book discussion group that meets just four times a year, which means that I read just four books a year that are not necessarily on my radar at all. At this point, there are about twelve (12) days to go until we meet, and I am roughly halfway through this 641-page opus. Also, I know that at least three people in the group will not have read this, and no one would fault me for putting it down. However, surprisingly, I can't.

Here's a plot summary, lifted off Amazon:

Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth.

Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.

So, I am currently on page 329, and I still have not come to the part where these three editors cook up with their fun little plan. In other words, I might have, in my hands, the novel with the longest, most well-developed background ever in novel history.  The characters are intriguing and their conversations are not like anything I've ever read before. Belbo (not a hobbit), Causabon (why the name from Middlemarch? I must figure this out), Diotellevi, Amparo, Lorenza, and the rest of the crowd have gotten under my skin. And besides, I've come this far! It was very hard to start reading, but at this point, it would be very hard to stop.

Still, though, I look forward to getting back to MY reading list. Better get reading...


TLP said...

I just love your book reviews. They always make me want to read the book, or I should say, almost always. I'm sure you have this book on your e-reader, which means I'm safe.

I do like Umberto Eco.

Karen said...

I want to work at a Bank again. It was fun but at the same time annoying. When I worked at the drive-up in Hyde Park I wanted to punch several customers in the face! I'm sure you know whom I'm talking about.

Then, one time in SF a women walked in with $10,000 in cash and I refused to count her money because it was against banking law. At the Bank manager's insistence, she went upstairs and all was forgotten.

Bone said...

Happy New Year!

I played the word "quetzal" in Words With Friends the other day and, for some reason, knew I had to share that fact here.

beach lad said...

just seeing the words 'foucault' and 'semiotic' has sent a shiver up my spine - those are words that tormented me in my uni days

Karen said...

Nath, you're "OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! That was fantastic!" comment on Pia's Bruce Springsteen post was totally awesome! Keep the good times flowing, girlfriend!

actonbell said...

Thanks, Mom.
Karen, yep, there are annoying people here, too.
Bone, that is awesome! May I have that experience some day
beach lad, I finished!!!