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SPOILER POLICY: this particular wiki is intended for people who have already read Foucault's Pendulum once. First-time readers are recommended to just read the book without any sort of guide. Spoilers may be contained herein.

Please read the Foucault's Pendulum wiki guidelines, but above all, do not add information unless it is notable, relevant and interesting. We don't need Wikipedia links for every last place and person mentioned in the novel.

Page X

Sample entry
Information directly relevant to the quotation.

  • Tangentially relevant information (relating to Eco's other writings, etc).
  • Your own interpretations and insights. Bleakhouse <--Use three ~ to sign your name


von Nettesheim
(1486 – 1535) was a German magician, occult writer, astrologer, and alchemist. Wikipedia

  • "What is concealed in one place we have disclosed in another" mirrors Eco's stated philosophy of placing clues to one part of his books in another part (source?).
  • Eco discussed Agrippa in his Search for the Perfect Language. GB cite
  • Agrippa is briefly mentioned in Joyce's 1916 novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, as being known to the protagonist Stephen: "A phrase of Cornelius Agrippa flew through his mind".

Raymond Merrill Smullyan (b. 1919) is a American mathematician, logician, philosopher, and magician. Wikipedia 5,000 BC (published 1983) was "A collection of paradoxes, dialogues, problems, and essays discusses aspects of philosophy, including the natures of reality, truth, existence, and death."

Page 3

Indecipherable Hebrew
Apparently translates as, "When the Light of the Endless was drawn in the form of a straight line in the Void... it was not drawn and extended immediately downwards, indeed it extended slowly — that is to say, at first the Line of Light began to extend and at the very start of its extension in the secret of the Line it was drawn and shaped into a wheel, perfectly circular all around." source

  • Eco said in interview, "In The Name of the Rose, the first 50 or 70 pages were difficult in order to give the reader the necessary exercise. He had to learn how to breathe in order to start mountain climbing. In this new book, I open with a Hebrew quotation nobody is able to understand. This is in order to say, "O.K., do you want to play this game? You are my friend, and we go. Otherwise, too bad for me or for you."" source

Page 5

the Pendulum
Foucault's pendulum, named after the French physicist Léon Foucault, was conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. Wikipedia

  • Foucault's Pendulum no longer hangs in the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris as takes place in the novel. It has been moved to the Pantheon.
  • The use of a Central Scientific Metaphor such as the pendulum in 'Foucault's Pendulum' is common in Eco's works (longitude in 'Island of the Day Before') and among some of our greatest contemporary writers, including Pynchon (the parabola in 'Gravity's Rainbow', North-South divide in 'Mason & Dixon', light in 'Against the Day)... Bleakhouse

Page 7

Jacopo Belbo
Any significance in the name?

  • Someone once noted a similarity between "Belbo" and "Bilbo," the protagonist of The Hobbit (possibly Salman Rushdie in his scathing review of FP in Imaginary Homelands). Perhaps, but if so, I am unaware of any other Tolkien references in the book. Bleakhouse 12:46, 2 March 2008 (MST)
  • Pure coincidence. The Belbo is a river in Piedmont, near Alessandria, Eco's hometown. Belbo seems semi-autobiographical; perhaps his name is a confirmation of this. Matthew Wikipedia Italian Wikipedia
  • In Confessions of a Young Novelist, Eco acknowledges that until a very late stage in writing the book, Belbo's first name was Stefano, thus evoking the name of a town in Piedmont, Santo Stefano Belbo, where he spent some of his childhood. Yambo
  • In considering possible allusionary references for the name Jacopo, there is the figure of Jacopo Foscari, a Venetian who did not "talk" under torture.Yambo

Page 10

"I had to play this ironically"
Echoing Eco's approach to the entire novel?

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