Saturday, August 5, 2023

Some details on The Name of the Rose

Here are a few observations from reading the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco that I have not seen referred elsewhere. Spoilers follow

While examining the marginalia, I think it is hinted that among the possibilities of the inverted world (as in a mirror!) is men behaving as women.

Who was Malachia's first helper?... just maybe Agostino: a) Berengar was about the same age as Adelmo; b) Adelmo was young; c) thus, Berengar couldn't have been a helper for much time; furthermore, d) Agostino is reported having died the year prior which could match Berengar's ascension; furthermore, e) Agostino was a novice at the time of the poison's disappearance which would have given enough time for Malachia and him to be partners; finally f) if he did had something to do with the disappearance of the poison, he would've been associated with Jorge as well.

I saw part of the movie decades ago...why make Berengar so physically repulsive? I think the character didn't deserve it.

Maybe the Italian faction did conspire to do away with the abbot as 'spilled' by Alinardo. The last day came upon them too soon for that.

William did not answer Jorge's last argument but rather went for the ad hominem attack. In fairness, they had gone through the issue 2-3 times already and probably either he, William, didn't have any new response or considered Jorge too refractory to keep on reasoning with him; the seduction between these two that Adso perceives notwithstanding.

Jorge had the last laugh (well, several others do point out this one).

Despite being taken as an erroneous thread, the Apocalypse is after all that through which the plot ultimately the invisible hand of Eco.

Adso, I believe, gets in the aftermath back to the finis africae through Jorge's stairway, adding even more weight to the notion that the former becomes in a way the latter's successor.

Maybe I didn't pay attention but either Adso or William ever laugh?

Jesus laughs in the Judas & other Gnostic gospels (, but probably not in the way one would expect, much less want.

My chess teacher did refer to mirrors in chess but in the context of a problem where either a set relationship can be 'reflected' on to the other side of the board; or have another piece perform a job what the obvious choice can't.

It would have been interesting to know what Borges thought of the novel. Someone surely read it to him and was around long enough after its release.


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