Wednesday 30 May 2007

15.The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

I started this hefty tome yesterday and am about 65 pages in. The main character is an antiquarian bookseller, Dottore Bodoni, who's had some kind of incident involving memory. He can't remember who he is, anything of his history, or anyone he knows, but he can remember every book he's ever read (which is a lot - he has 5,000 books in his home, never mind in his shop. You know that sounds like heaven to me. Maybe I should become a bookseller! Becoming independently wealthy would also allow me to have 5,000 books in my home at any given time; I'll have to work on that too).

I know from the dust jacket that Bodoni will eventually start trying to reconstruct his memory of his experiential past through his books, but right now he's just trying to figure out how to move forward (both literally and symbolically) without knowing where he's come from. I also know that this book has reminded me that my notion of myself as well-read is a false one - I'm not getting even half of his literary references. I'll have to keep reading I guess!

I haven't read anything else by Umberto Eco, but like many people I know I've tried and failed to get past the first 50 pages of Foucault's Pendulum.

NB: I thought I didn't like hardcover books, but this is in hardcover and I think actually increasing my pleasure in the reading experience. I'll have to amend my complaint: I don't like thin or small hardcovers; but a large, fat hardcover is always good - it feels like a serious read.

(PS-If someone knows how to post images to a blog entry, please contact me. I keep trying to post cover photos of the books I'm writing about but nothing happens when I click the add images button. And it's not my pop up blocker that's causing the problem.)

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