The READIN Family Album
Me and a frog (August 30, 2004)

READIN

Jeremy's journal

If he hadn't been so tired, ... he might have seen at the start that he was setting out on a journey that would change his life forever and chosen to turn back.

Orhan Pamuk


(This is a subset of my posts)
Front page
Most recent posts about Umberto Eco
More posts about Readings

Archives index
Subscribe to RSS
Follow on Facebook
Follow video posts

This page renders best in Firefox (or Safari, or Chrome)

Friday, April 8th, 2005

The Experience of Reading Foucault's Pendulum

I have been reading Foucault's Pendulum for a week now. (I started it last Friday, when I had a long train ride, because I thought I was going to need a long period of concentration in order to get into it.) This is another book that has been on my shelves for years, taunting me and intimidating me. But guess what: it is not difficult to read. Quite the contrary -- it is difficult to put down! I was anticipating a Gravity's Rainbow-type of experience where I get a lot out of reading the book, but only after putting huge amounts of effort and concentration into it. But this book is like a clear pool of warm water on a sunny day.

Early in the book I was identifying strongly with Belbo and wondering how sincere that identification was. I am still not sure quite how to put into words, what my suspicion was -- somehow I was afraid that I was being conned into liking Belbo, that I was buying an incomplete characterization. I am not thinking about that as much anymore, since the section where Casaubon was in Brazil.

I am assuming that the citations at the head of each chapter are genuine though I don't know that I'll ever actually check that out. If they were inventions, that would be kind of disappointing.

I was thinking this afternoon, that reading the book is giving me a curious time-dilation effect, and that this effect is common to the books I have really enjoyed.

posted evening of April 8th, 2005: Respond
➳ More posts about Foucault's Pendulum

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Foucault's Pendulum was bogging down for me a bit in the last third or so but has picked up again near the end, as the narrative came into the present. I had found Belbo's character really sympathetic in the first half of the book but sort of lost my connection to him while wading through all the copies of his journals. Not sure what to make of this -- it makes me feel a little like Saure trying to listen to Beethoven...

posted evening of April 19th, 2005: Respond
➳ More posts about Readings

Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

The revelation (or summing up) at the end of Foucault's Pendulum really was excellent and made the book worth while. (Though I do wish he had spent a little less effort on putting together Belbo's journals -- there could have been half as much of that or less without negatively impacting the effect.)

I felt at the end much more in sympathy with Casaubon than I had been before and it makes good sense that I should do -- he is after all the narrator, and plus his relationship to Lia and his son made me flash on my own relationship with Ellen and Sylvia.

posted evening of April 20th, 2005: Respond

Drop me a line! or, sign my Guestbook.
    •
Check out Ellen's writing at Patch.com.

Where to go from here...

Comix
Blogs
Music
Texts
Woodworking
Programming
South Orange
Friends and Family
readincategory