The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana Chapter 1

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Overall Notes

This first few pages mix up quotations, allusions, references to works that mention fog; later, we find that these quotations probably come from the main character's anthology of works on fog, and some of them are repeated, now with their authors' names and references (pages 31-32 and 59-62).

The reference to the fog/mist is an epistemological metaphor of the main character's loss of identity.

As befits a first chapter, many of the references are also the first lines of famous novels and poems.

The title of the first chapter is "The Cruelest Month" ("Il più crudele dei mesi"), i.e. the month of April, a reference to the opening line of "The Waste Land" (1922) by T. S. Eliot (1888–1965): "April is the cruellest month".

Page 3

"Bruges the Dead" ("Bruges la morta")
"Bruges-la-Morte" ("Bruges the Dead") is the title of a novel written by Belgian poet Georges Rodenbach (1855–1898), in 1892, portraying the Flemish city in Belgium.

In this highly symbolic novel, a widower has established himself on one of the oldest parts of Bruges along the water, the Rozenhoedkaai. He lives a sad and retired life, cultivating his pain and memories. The house is probably the ‘Spanish House’, where mayor Perez de Maluenda hid the Holy Blood in a lead casket in 1580 during the protestant iconoclasty. The town of Bruges takes the form of his grief, becomes a character of the novel, even becomes a symbol for his dead wife. In analogy to the eight-sided crystal brought back by Dirk of Elzas around 1130, supposedly containing the blood of Christ collected in a cup by Joseph of Arimathea, the hero keeps locks of his deceased wife’s hair in a crystal reliquary. One evening, leaving the cathedral, he sees a young woman who seems a dead ringer for his wife. He follows her up to the theatre; it seems she’s an actress playing in ‘Robert the Devil’. He becomes her lover but feels the city doesn’t approve. It all ends tragically during the yearly religious procession of the Holy Blood in which the whole town participates. Symbolically, he is punished for having transformed his spiritual feelings into sensual ones.

File:Rodenbach.jpg File:Bruges.jpg

Tomb of Georges Rodenbach, Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris; a Bruges canal

"Where fog hovers between the towers like incense dreaming" ("Dove la nebbia fluttua tra le torri come l'incenso che sogna")
From the opening line of the XII stanza of a poem, "Les Femmes en mante", by Georges Rodenbach:

"Le brouillard indolent de l'automne est épars…
Il flotte entre les tours comme l'encens qui rêve".
("The lazy autumn fog is scattered…
it floats among the towers like dreaming incense".)

Yambo quotes it in French on p. 31.

"A gray city, sad as a tombstone with chrysanthemums" ("Una città grigia, triste come una tomba fiorita di crisantemi")
From the IV stanza of "Les Femmes en mante", by Georges Rodenbach:

"Ville morte où chacun est seul, où tout est gris,
Triste comme une tombe avec des chrysanthèmes".
("Dead city, where each man is alone, where everything is grey,
sad as a tombstone with chrysanthemums")

"where mist hangs over the façades like tapestries" ("dove la bruma pende slabbrata dalle facciate come un arazzo")

"My soul was wiping the streetcar windows so it could drown in the moving fog of the headlamps" ("La mia anima detergeva i vetri del tram per annegarsi nella nebbia mobile dei fanali.")
Lines from "Expedición", poem from the collection "Sobre los ángeles" written in 1927/1928 by Rafael Alberti (1902-1999):

"Desde lejos, desde muy lejos,
mi alma desempañaba los cristales del tranvía
para hundirse en la niebla movible de los faroles"

Translated in Italian by Vittorio Bodini (1914-1970) in "I Poeti surrealisti spagnoli: saggio introduttivo e antologia":

"Da lontano, da molto lontano,
la mia anima detergeva i vetri del tram
per annegarsi nella nebbia mobile dei fanali."
("From afar, from very far,
my soul wiped the trolley windows clean
in order to submerge them in the streetlights' mobile mist")

"Fog, my uncontaminated sister" ("Nebbia, mia incontaminata sorella")
Line from a poem by Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973), "Thank You, Fog", posthumously published in 1974:

"Grown used to New York weather,
all too familiar with Smog,
You, Her unsullied Sister".

"A thick, opaque fog, which enveloped the noises and called up phantoms" ("Una nebbia spessa, opaca, che avviluppava i rumori, e faceva sorgere fantasmi senza forma")
From "Marcovaldo", written in 1963 by Italo Calvino (1923–1985):

"la nebbia aveva invaso la città, una nebbia spessa, opaca, che involgeva le cose e i rumori […] trasformandole in bagliori senza forma né luogo"
("fog had invaded the city, a thick, opaque fog, which engulfed things and sounds […] and transformed them into glows without shape or place")

"Finally I came to a vast chasm and could see a colossal figure, wrapped in a shroud, its face the immaculate whiteness of snow." ("Alla fine arrivavo a un baratro immenso e vedevo una figura altissima, avvolta in un sudario, la faccia del candore immacolato della neve.")
This evokes the final lines of "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket" (1838) by Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849):

"a chasm threw itself open to receive us. But there arose in our pathway a shrouded human figure, very far larger in its proportions than any dweller among men. And the hue of the skin of the figure was of the perfect whiteness of the snow."

File:Edgar-poe.jpg File:Ag pym.jpg File:Yandargent.jpg

E. A. Poe and two illustrations of Pym's encounter with a gigantic figure at the South Pole. The one to the right, by Yan Dargent, shows the figure with a scythe, i.e. as Death itself.

This astonishing image is followed by a note explaining that Mr. Pym was revising the last few chapters and they were lost with him at his death (apparently in some accident too well-known to need description). So there is no further explanation of the gigantic figure or how Pym got home to describe his adventures.

"My name is Arthur Gordon Pym" ("Mi chiamo Arthur Gordon Pym.")
The very first line of Poe's Arthur Gordon Pym. The novel, told in the first person but ending abruptly, describes adventures leading up to the approach to a "chasm" throwing up or pouring down "gray vapour" at the South Pole.
The effect of Yambo's following the inexplicable vision of the novel's last line with the banality of the very first is startling, and suggestive already of the themes of Queen Loana: seeking to reconstruct identity, to confront the colossal foggy vision of the self.
On page 6, the quotation is repeated.
On pp. 115-116, Yambo discusses why this story might have become so important to him as an adult that it intruded on his first conscious thoughts as he recovered from his "incident."

Page 4

"I was chewing fog. Phantoms were passing, brushing me, melting. Distant bulbs glimmered like will-o'-the-wisps in a graveyard. Someone is walking by my side, noiselessly, as if in bare feet, walking without heels, without shoes, without sandals. A patch of fog grazes my cheek, a band of drunks is shouting down there, down by the ferry." ("Masticavo la nebbia. I fantasmi passavano, mi sfioravano, si dileguavano. Le lampadine lontano luccicavano come i fuochi fatui in un camposanto… Qualcuno cammina al mio fianco senza rumore, come se avesse i piedi nudi, cammina senza tacchi, senza scarpe, senza sandali, una falda di nebbia mi striscia su la gota, una frotta di ubriachi urla laggiù, in fondo al traghetto.")
These paragraphs are a revision of lines from "Notturno: Commentario delle tenebre" ("Nocturne: Commentary on the shadows"), by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863–1938), mentioned and quoted on page 60. D'Annunzio wrote these prose poems while recovering from an eye injury.

These are the verses quoted from the Nocturne:

"Usciamo. Mastichiamo la nebbia.
La città è piena di fantasmi.
Gli uomini camminano senza rumore, fasciati di caligine.
I canali fumigano.[…]
I fantasmi passano, sfiorano, si dileguano.[…]
Le lampadine lucono come i fuochi fatui in camposanto.[…]
Cammina senza tacchi, senza scarpe, senza sandali.[…]
Una falda di nebbia mi striscia su la gota. Una frotta di ubriachi urla laggiù, in fondo al traghetto.
("We go out. We chew the fog.
The city is full of phantoms.
Men walk noiselessly, wrapped in dimness.
The canals smoke.[…]
The phantoms are passing, brushing by, melting.[…]
The lamp bulbs shine like will-o'-the-wisps in a graveyard.[…]
is walking without heels, without shoes, without sandals.[…]
A flap of fog grazes my cheek. A band of drunks is shouting down there, down by the ferry.)

File:Dannunzio.jpg D'Annunzio File:Casettarossa.jpg Casetta Rossa
The setting is Venice, like Bruges a city of canals; D'Annunzio was living at Casetta Rossa there when he wrote Notturno.

"The Fog comes on little cat feet" ("La nebbia arriva su piccole zampe di gatto")
First line of poem, "Fog" (1916), by Carl Sandburg (1878–1967):

"The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on".
  • "Fog", by Carl Sandburg, at Poetry Foundation.
  • "Fog", read by Carl Sandburg, on the website of the State of Illinois.

"There was a fog that seemed to have taken the world away" ("C'era una nebbia che sembrava che il mondo l'avessero tolto")
From a novel by Cesare Pavese (1908–1950), "Il compagno" (1947).

In the original Italian text, the sentence is a convoluted anacoluthon. The consecutive clause "che sembrava che" is followed by "il mondo", thus generating the expectation that "il mondo" will be the subject of the following subjective clause; however, "il mondo" is actually the object of "l'avessero tolto", where "l'" is grammatically superfluous and the subject of "sembrava" is the sentence "che avessero tolto il mondo" (and the subject of "avessero" is an undefined plural subject).

A less incoherent construction would be: "C'era una tale nebbia che sembrava che avessero tolto il mondo".

File:Simenon.jpg File:Conan doyle.jpg File:Christie3.jpg
Mystery writers: Georges Simenon, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie

"Maigret plunges into a fog so dense that he can't even see where he's stepping… The fog teems with human shapes, swarms with an intense, mysterious life" ("Maigret si immerge in una nebbia talmente fitta che non vede neppure dove mette i piedi… la nebbia pullula di forme umane, brulica di una vita intensa e misteriosa.")
From "Le Port des brumes" (1932), by Georges Simenon (1903–1989):

"Et Maigret, lui, plonge dans une brume tellement dense qu'il ne voit pas où il pose les pieds… [Plus il avance et plus cet univers de brume se remplit,] grouille intensément d’une vie mystérieuse."

Maigret is the main character in 103 novels and short stories written between 1930 and 1972 by Georges Simenon - another Francophone Belgian writer, like Rodenbach.
Jules Maigret is the head of the homicide squad (Brigade Spéciale) of the "Police Judiciaire" in Paris, France. A number of the Maigret novels include references to thick fog.

"Elementary, my dear Watson" ("Elementare, caro Watson")
Sherlock Holmes's famous dismissal of his brilliant conclusions, meme that never actually appears in the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930).

"ten little Indians" ("sono dieci piccoli indiani")
An old counting rhyme, a politically correct (ha!) version of "Ten little niggers" in which the little persons of color are killed off or eliminated one by one "and then there were none." American title of a mystery novel by Agatha Christie (1890–1976), originally "Ten Little Niggers" and also called "And Then There Were None".

"hound of the Baskervilles" ("il mastino dei Baskerville")
Sherlock Holmes's most famous case, which involves a glowing dog roaming the moors at night. Of special significance to Eco since the hero of his first novel, The Name of the Rose, was named William of Baskerville.

"The gray vapor was gradually losing its grayness of tint, the heat of the water was extreme, and its milky hue was more evident than ever" ("La cortina di vapori grigi andava a poco a poco perdendo le sfumature grigiastre, il calore dell'acqua era divenuto fortissimo, e la sfumatura di latte più intensa...")
Poe's "Arthur Gordon Pym", last chapter, chapter 25:

"The gray vapour had now arisen many more degrees above the horizon, and was gradually losing its grayness of tint. The heat of the water was extreme, even unpleasant to the touch, and its milky hue was more evident than ever."

"And now we rushed into the embraces of the cataract, where a chasm threw itself open to receive us." ("Poi siamo stati trascinati nelle fauci della cateratta dove un baratro immane si spalancava per inghiottirci")
Third-to-last sentence of the last chapter, chapter 25, of "Arthur Gordon Pym" (see note to p. 3):

"And now we rushed into the embraces of the cataract, where a chasm threw itself open to receive us."

File:Duchamp29.JPG File:Masquedefer.jpg

"celibate machines" ("macchine celibi")
The term, which could also be in English "bachelor machines" (fr. bachelor = celibataire) comes from the surrealists of the early 20th century, especially Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968), one of whose themes is "The Bride and her Bachelors."

In 1954 Michel Carrouges (1910-1988) wrote a book called "Les machines celibataires", depicting the killing power of machinery and comparing Duchamp's Large Glass (aka "The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even", see illustration above) with the machine in Kafka's story "In the Penal Colony," to which Yambo refers in the next sentence.

See Christian Hubert's note on bachelor machines.

The term has been taken up by modern French philosophers to indicate a sterile male love, with a feminine object but basically egocentric.

Jean Baudrillard uses the term to refer to the final exhausted form of selfhood (NB probably the wrong word) "when everything is already calculated, subtracted, realized in advance." See his essay In the Shadow of the Millennium.

"in the penal colony" ("nella colonia penale")
Title of a short story written by Franz Kafka (1883–1924) in 1914/1918. It involves a machine designed to inscribe, by means of needles, a "sentence" (the commandment broken by the condemned man) ever more deeply on the body, until the subject dies, supposedly happy in his understanding of the justice of his death.

"the iron mask" ("la maschera di ferro")
The Man in the Iron Mask (illustration above) was an historical person, but here Yambo probably refers to the famous novel "The Man in the Iron Mask", written by Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) in 1847, in which Louis XIV of France is "really" identical twin brothers, one of whom has been imprisoned with an iron mask over his head to hide his identity without killing him. A couple of other "masterpieces of popular romanticism" by Dumas are mentioned on page 114.

Page 5

File:Hesse.jpg File:Pascoli.jpg File:FGLorca.jpg
Hermann Hesse, Giovanni Pascoli, and Federico Garcia Lorca

"Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!"
From the poem, "Im Nebel" ("In the Fog") written by Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) in 1905. Means, "strange to move in the fog!".

  • "Im Nebel", by Hermann Hesse (in German) at Lyrik-Line, Haus für Poesie.
  • "Im Nebel", by Hermann Hesse (in German).
  • "In the fog", by Hermann Hesse (in English).

"The earth has the odour of mushrooms" ("La terra ha un odore di funghi") and "long laments of the steam engine" ("lunghi lamenti di vaporiera")
From the poem "Il bacio del morto" ("The Kiss of the Dead Man"), included in the collection "Myricae", written by Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli (1855–1912) in 1891.

"È tacito, è grigio il mattino;
La terra ha un odore di funghi;
Di gocciole è pieno il giardino.
Immobili tra la leggiera
Caligine gli alberi: lunghi
Lamenti di vaporïera."
("Silent, gray is the morning;
The earth has the odour of mushrooms;
of tiny drops is full the garden.
Motionless within the light
Haze the trees: long
laments of the steam engine.")

On page 61, Yambo and Sibilla read excerpts from this poem and two others by Pascoli in which fog is mentioned.

  • "Myricae", by Giovanni Pascoli at Liber Liber.

"priests shapeless in the fog walking single file toward San Michele in Bosco" ("preti nella nebbia informi che vanno in riga a San Michele in Bosco")
From the poem "Diario Autunnale (ii)", from Giovanni Pascoli's "Canti di Castelvecchio" (1903).

… preti, nella nebbia informi,
che vanno in riga a San Michele in Bosco.
Vanno. Tra loro parlano di morte.
Cadono sopra loro foglie morte.
("Priests shapeless in the fog
walk single file toward San Michele in Bosco.
They walk. They speak among themselves of death.
Dead leaves fall on them.")

The name of the 16th-century church, San Michele in Bosco, in the Italian city of Bologna, evokes St. John Bosco (1815–1888), aka Don Bosco, Salesian priest who will be an important figure in Yambo's recovery of memories.

"The sky is made of ash" ("Il cielo è di cenere")
Perhaps the first line of the poem "Campo", written in 1920 by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), "El cielo es de ceniza."

"El cielo es de ceniza.
Los árboles son blancos,
Y son negros carbones
Los rastrojos quemados".

("The sky is made of ash.
The trees are white,
And black as coal
The burned stubble".)

  • "Campo", by Federico García Lorca, at

Victorian friends: File:CharlesDickens.jpg Dickens File:HansChristianAndersen.jpg Andersen

"Fog up the river, fog down the river, fog biting the hands" ("Nebbia su per il fiume, nebbia giù per il fiume, nebbia che morde le mani")
Evokes the second paragraph of "Bleak House", written by Charles Dickens (1812–1870) in 1852/1853, and quoted more fully on page 60-61:

"Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city[…] fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of[…]"

"[fog biting the hands] of the little match girl" ("[nebbia che morde le mani] della piccola fiammiferaia")
The story "The Little Match Girl", written by Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) in 1845, ends with the child dying in the snow at Christmas time. In the story, it is dark, cold, and snowing, but not foggy.

File:Matchgirl.jpg A Danish stamp celebrating Andersen's Little Match Girl.

"bridges to the Isle of Dogs" ("ponti dell'Isola dei Cani")
The island is in East London. T.S. Eliot refers to it in "The Waste Land":

"The barges wash
Drifting logs
Down Greenwich reach
Past the Isle of Dogs.
Weialala leia…"

"into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon and hanging" ("un infimo cielo di nebbia, avvolti essi stessi nella nebbia come in una mongolfiera sospesa")
From "Bleak House" again:

"into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon and hanging in the misty clouds"

(See comment by nebbia)

"under the brown fog… I had not thought death had undone so many" ("sotto la nebbia bruna, ch'io non credea che morte tanta n'avesse disfatta")
From "The Waste Land" again:

"Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many."

"I had not thought death had undone so many" ("ch'io non credea che morte tanta n'avesse disfatta")
From the "Divine Comedy", by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), in "Inferno" 3:56-57, as translated by T. S. Eliot in "The Waste Land".

Dante is referring to the Uncommitted, the souls of people who in life took no sides; the opportunists who were for neither good nor evil, but instead were merely concerned with themselves: these souls are incarcerated in the Antinferno, which is outside the proper Hell, on the shores of the Acheron.

Eliot is referring to people in a particular zone in London. On page 31 Yambo quotes at more length this passage from "The Waste Land".

"The odour of train station and soot" ("Odore di stazione e fuliggine")
From "Ritratto d’un amico" ("Portrait of a friend"), written in 1957 by Natalia Ginzburg (1916–1991), on the suicide death of Cesare Pavese (1908-1950), an Italian poet, novelist, and literary critic. The work was also published in "Le piccole virtù" (1962).
The quotation is also included in "L'ultima estate di Pavese" ("The last summer of [Cesare] Pavese"), an article by Umberto Eco published on La Repubblica on the 29th of August 2011.

"I seem to hear, through the fog, the sound of bagpipes starting up again on the heath" ("Mi sembra di intendere, attraverso la nebbia, il suono delle cornamuse scozzesi che si rinnova nella brughiera.")
From the XV chapter of "Madame Bovary" (1856), by Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880):

"Il lui semblait entendre, à travers le brouillard, le son des cornemuses écossaises se répéter sur les bruyères."
  • "Madame Bovary", by Gustave Flaubert, at Project Gutenberg.
  • "Madame Bovary", by Gustave Flaubert, translated by Eleanor Marx Aveling (1886), at Project Gutenberg.

"like being in a glass of water and anisette" ("sembra d'essere in un bicchiere di acqua e anice")
From "La Fisarmonica Di Stradella" (1974), song by Italian singer, pianist and composer Paolo Conte (1937-)

"Cos'è la pianura padana
dalle sei in avanti,
una nebbia che sembra
di essere dentro a un bicchiere
di acqua e anice eh già"
("What is the Po Valley
from six o'clock on,
a mist that it feels
like being in a glass
of water and anisette, oh yes")

File:Eliot.jpg T. S. Eliot File:Dante.jpg Dante Alighieri

"Posco reposco flagito — do they take the future infinitive?" ("Posco reposco flagito reggono l'infinito futuro?")
These are Latin verbs meaning "I ask, I ask again, I beg". Yambo is recollecting fragments of the Latin grammar rules learnt at school. His uncertainty is: do these verbs take the future infinitive? It is a question relevant to his own story, a schoolboy anxiety.

The grammar rule Yambo is trying to remember is that posco, reposco and flagito require the double accusative: accusative of the person to whom the demand is directed and accusative of the thing being demanded.

However note that Italian students of Latin learn the rule in a septenary and a (noncanonical) hendecasyllable:

"Spero, promitto e iuro
reggon sempre l'infinito futuro"
("Spero, promitto and iuro
they always take the future infinitive")

Apparently Yambo has the wording of his Latin rules mixed up.

"cujus regio, ejus religio"
Latin phrase literally meaning "Whose realm, his religion", i.e. "The ruler decides the religion of his realm".
This was, in essence, the principle agreed at the Peace of Augsburg, a treaty signed between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League on September 25, 1555 in the city of Augsburg in Germany.
The effect of the treaty was to establish official toleration for Lutherans in the Holy Roman Empire. According to this principle, "cuius regio, eius religio", the religion (Catholic or Lutheran) of a region's ruler determined the religion of its people.

"the Defenestration of Prague" ("la defenestrazione di Praga")
The Defenestration of Prague refers to an incident in the history of Bohemia, occurred in 1618, which contributed to trigger the Thirty Years' War and a prolonged religious conflict inside Bohemia.

Page 6


"Autosole Highway, between Roncobilaccio and Barberino del Mugello" ("Autosole, tra Roncobilaccio e Barberino del Mugello")
This weather report refers to two small towns, distant about 19 km, on the main highway between Bologna and Florence. On an Italian geographical website, it is remarked, "Chi non ha mai sentito parlare della nebbia fra Roncobilaccio e Barberino del Mugello?" ("Everybody's heard at some time or another about the fog between Roncobilaccio and Barberino del Mugello").
One such weather report, with exactly the same wording used by Yambo, can be found on La Repubblica, 4th February 2000. The sentence might be an old meme in the weather reports on that zone.

"spring on all sides shines in the air, and in the fields rejoices" ("primavera d'intorno brilla nell'aria e per i campi esulta.")
Lines 5-6 from the poem "Il passero solitario (Canti XI"), written between 1829 and 1830 by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837).

"D’in su la vetta della torre antica,
Passero solitario, alla campagna
Cantando vai finché non more il giorno;
Ed erra l’armonia per questa valle.
Primavera dintorno
Brilla nell’aria, e per li campi esulta,
Sì ch’a mirarla intenerisce il core".
("Upon the summit of the ancient tower
Unto the land around, thou, lonely bird,
Carollest sweetly till the evening hour,
And through the vale thy melody is heard.
Spring makes the gentle air
Fragrant and bright, and animates the fields,
Bidding the gazer in his heart rejoice".)

Dr. Gratarolo
Perhaps a reference to Guglielmo Gratarolo, the sixteenth-century physician who edited an important collection of alchemical texts: "Verae Alchemiae Artisque Metallicae" (Basel, 1561).

"The sum of the areas of the squares… built on the two legs… is equal to the area of the square built on the hypotenuse" ("la somma delle aree dei quadrati… costruiti sui cateti… è pari all'area del quadrato costruito sull'ipotenusa")
School textbook formulation of the Pythagorean theorem.

"My name is Arthur Gordon Pym" ("Mi chiamo Arthur Gordon Pym.")
As in page 3, from Edgar Allan Poe, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket".

Pym was someone else. He did not come back again
Actually, like Yambo, Pym did come back long enough to tell his story, at least up to his wonderful vision at the South Pole; but he died before he could publish the ending.

Page 7

"Call me… Ishmael?" ("Chiamatemi… Ismaele?")
Opening sentence of "Moby Dick" (1851) by Herman Melville (1819–1891).
Ishmael was also the son of Abraham, who is mentioned on page 19, the prototypical wanderer.
The actual first sentence is "Call me Ishmael.", without the ellipsis, and without the question mark. Eco discusses the importance of Melville's opening sentence in his book "Sei passeggiate nei boschi narrativi" ("Six Walks in the Fictional Woods").

"Saying Euclid or Ishmael was easy, like saying Jack and Jill went up a hill" ("A dire Euclide o Ismaele mi veniva facile, come dire ambarabà ciccì coccò tre civette sul comò")
Euclid suggests Greek learning, science and math; Ishmael, the Bible, hence Christian literature, and also American literature; "Jack and Jill went up the hill" must be Yambo's favorite nursery rhyme, since it recurs in the fugue of quotations on p. 20.
The Italian Yambo says that Euclid and Ishmael are as easy to say as "ambarabà ciccì coccò tre civette sul comò." This tonguetwisty rhyme is online in 2 versions at Filastrocche, where it seems slightly naughty, "three civette (owls/flirts) made love to the doctor's daughter." This makes Jack and Jill a good equivalent, since it also has versions or readings in which Jill's tumbling has a sexual connotation.

Umberto Eco has dedicated a semiotic essay to this nursery rhyme, "Tre civette sul comò", in "Il secondo diario minimo" (1992), ISBN 88-452-1833-3.

"The fog on the bristling hills climbs drizzling up the sky, and down below the mistral howls and whitens the sea" ("La nebbia agli irti colli piovigginando sale e sotto il maestrale urla e biancheggia il mar")
First stanza of a poem by Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907), "San Martino" (1883), included in the 1887 collection "Rime Nuove"'.

"April is the cruelest month" ("Aprile è il più crudele dei mesi")
As in the chapter's title.
First line of T.S. Eliot's famous poem, "The Waste Land", which also explores memory and makes one reference to fog.

Page 8

"the Sacks book" ("il libro di Sacks")
"The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales" (1985), by neurologist Oliver Sacks (1933–2015). Sacks's accounts of rare or unique neurological problems surely help Yambo - and Eco - to formulate the nature of this particular brand of amnesia.


"Giambattista Bodoni"
Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813)
Bodoni, the quintessential Italian font, is widely used to this day. Bodoni himself was born in Piedmont, where Eco hails from, and Eco's grandfather was a typographer. In Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum", the publisher and publishing firm for whom two of the protagonists work in named Garamond Press, Garamond being another famous French typeface. Note also that the name of William of Baskerville (in "The Name of the Rose"), although ostensibly referring to Sherlock Holmes, could perhaps also be a reference to the 18th century English typographer John Baskerville, who created an eponymous typeface.

"Napoleon … he was as if unmoving." ("ei fu siccome immobile")
First line of a poem by Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1873), "Il Cinque Maggio" (1821), where the title is the date of Napoleon's death, the 5th of May.

"Ei fu. Siccome immobile
dato il mortal sospiro,
stette la spoglia immemore
orba di tanto spiro,"
("He is no more. As reft of breath
The heedless body lay at last
On whom such boundless hopes were cast,
Immobile in the calm of death".)

Page 9

"I was going whack whack and having a great time" ("Facevo ciac ciac e mi divertivo molto")
By the end of the page, Yambo becomes afraid of such "exquisite sensations," remembering the name of Broglio who (p. 18) goes whack on soft cheeses just for the pleasure of it. (Albeit that the going whack whack was hitting his pillow, while the piacevolissima sensazione - singular! - came from pressing tooth paste out.)

"On a tightrope. Like the Little Mermaid" ("Su un filo teso. Come la sirenetta")
Hans Christian Andersen's story The Little Mermaid actually compares the heroine's first standing up to walking on knives or needles. Like Yambo, however, she is performing this routine in a new body, for the first time, after she sacrifices her tail.

In Foucault's Pendulum, chapter 113, Casaubon describes having feet numb from standing in one position for a long time as "standing on a bed of spiny sea urchins. The Little Mermaid." Interestingly, back in chapter 8 of that book, Belbo reminisced about little Marilena "tightrope-walking" on the back of a bench, a vision that becomes part of his erotic fantasies. (But everyone who has experienced trying to walk after having passed some weeks completely horizontal, remembers the shock of not being quite able to maintain one's balance on those hurting rag doll's legs. So Belbo's hang up seems of quite a different order than can be referenced to Andersen's tale. Let's not trip into the Pendulum's trap of relating all to everything.)

a mirror, as everyone knows ("gli specchi, si sa")
The mirror, through which all knowledge is reflected (and hence distorted), features prominently In Eco's writings on semiotics.

"I would not want to meet me on a deserted road at night, Mr. Hyde" ("Non vorrei incontrarmi di sera in una strada deserta. Mister Hyde")
Reference to "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", written in 1886 by Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894).
Mr. Hyde is the alter ego of Dr Jekyll, condensing all his depraved impulses with no conscience. Physically, he is much smaller than the good doctor himself.

"Le serpent qui danse"
Title of a poem, "Le serpent qui danse" (1857), by Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867) and set to music in 1964 by Serge Gainsbourg (1928–1991). A reference to semen? The story about Broglio, given on pp. 17-18, has to do with an obsessive sensual squeezing.

Page 10


"Excellent, said the Duke" ("Ottimo, disse il duca")
Seems to be a reference to "The Analects of Confucius", Book XII, Chapter XI:3.
Probably also a reference to a joke which was popular in the '30s and '40s: "Ottimo, disse il conte. Indi vomitò del piatto" or "Ottimo, disse… e vomitò" ("Excellent, he said, and he threw up").

An expression of comparison comprising a banal saying or a quotation followed by a joking "said …" clause ("I mustn't lose my head," said Marie Antoinette); from Charles Dickens's character of Sam Weller (pictured above left) in "The Pickwick Papers" (1836). Presumably the Confucius sentence is a Wellerism because a Duke is an Excellency (?).

"y la hierbabuena"
From the poem "Memento" by the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936):

"Cuando yo me muera,
entre los naranjos
y la hierbabuena".
("When I die,
[bury me] between the oranges
and the mint")

"a las cinco de la tarde"
From "La cogida y la muerte" ("The goring and the death"), the first section of an elegy, "Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías" ("Weeping for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías"), written in 1935 by Federico García Lorca. In this section the phrase ("at five in the afternoon") is repeated over and over again, every second line. Five in the afternoon is the time when the author learnt of the death of Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (1891–1934), a famous Spanish bullfighter who died after being hit by a bull during a corrida. The four sections of the poem correspond to the four stages of mourning: shock, denial, anger and acceptance.

The phrase also evokes "la marquise sortit à cinq heures" by Paul Valéry, quoted at page 19.

"Sfroosh … a cataract" ("Sfrusssc cateratta")
The onomatopoeic sound, sfroosh, recalls to mind a cataract, like in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket".

"like I was a circus freak" ("come se fossi un fenomeno da baraccone")
Common phraseology.

Page 11


The concept of filtering information once fascinated Eco, as evinced in this interview from 1995.

"Broca's area"
The section of the human brain is involved in language processing, speech production and comprehension (see above).

Page 12

"the Collegno amnesiac" ("lo smemorato di Collegno")
Refers to a man, Mario Bruneri, who was arrested for theft in Turin in 1926 but plead innocent because he claimed to have lost all memory of his identity and past.

In 1929 Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) wrote a play, "Come tu mi vuoi" ("As you desire me"), inspired by the Collegno's case, thus expanding on "Il fu Mattia Pascal" ("The Late Mattia Pascal"), one of his most celebrated novels, written in 1904, which also explored the topic of the double identity.

In 1932 the movie "As you desire me", based on Pirandello's novel, featured Greta Garbo (1905–1990) in the role of the main character.

"Lo smemorato di Collegno" is also a 1962 commedia all'italiana film directed by Sergio Corbucci (1926–1990), starring Totò (1898–1967) as the amnesiac.

The case has received the attention of the Italian press and TV programs until today.

Page 13

"You only have one mother, your mother is still your mother" ("Di mamma ce n'è una sola, la mamma è sempre la mamma")
These are common, domestic, Italian proverbial phrases.

Also from the novel "L'Étranger" ("The Stranger"), written in 1942 by French philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus (1913–1960):

"On n'a qu'une mère" (from the 1° chapter)

In the novel, the main character, an extremely apathetic young man named Mersault, experiences the death of his mother. These lines, within the context of the novel, help to illustrate Mersault's disinterest in the fundamental emotions and attachments of life.

"Maybe I do and maybe I don't" ("Forse che sì forse che no")
Title of a novel published in 1910 by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863–1938).

Page 14

File:Socrates.jpg File:Buddha.jpg File:Donbosco.jpg

"Pleasure is the cessation of pain" ("Il piacere è la cessazione del dolore")
A common philosophical definition, attributed to Epicurus, Socrates and Buddha. Within the history of Italian literature, this is a point of view famously embraced by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837), among others, with analogies with the thought of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860).

"The provident young man sleeps on his back with his hands clasped on his chest" ("Il giovane provveduto si addormenta supino con le mani incrociate sul petto")
A reference to Don Bosco's book "Il giovane provveduto" ("The Provident Young Man"), a guide to extreme purity for Catholic boys, which turns out to be important to Yambo's adolescence. Don Bosco and his book will figure in Yambo's final vision.

"Pensando quindi alla presenza di Dio colle mani giunte innanzi al petto prenderete riposo"
"Mindful of the presence of God, with your hands joined on your chest, you will get your rest"

Three idiomatic expressions using the word "coglione" in three different meanings.

"And my balls" ("E i miei coglioni")
Interjection denoting indifference, boredom, nuisance.

"You're a ballbuster" ("Sei un coglione")
An insult ("you're a moron").

"That guy'got balls" ("Quello ha un paio di coglioni così")
Rude expression of admiration.

Page 15

"you always said you could resist anything but temptation" ("dicevi sempre che si può resistere a tutto tranne che alle tentazioni")
From "Lady Windermere's Fan" (1892) by Oscar Wilde (1854–1900):

"LORD DARLINGTON. I couldn't help it. I can resist everything except temptation."

And again:

"LADY WINDERMERE. […] How securely one thinks one lives—out of reach of temptation, sin, folly. And then suddenly—Oh! Life is terrible. It rules us, we do not rule it."

Page 16

"One Thousand and One Nights" ("Mille e una notte")
Reference to the famous collection of Arabian tales, whose translations and alternate/expanded versions proliferated throughout 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in Europe.

"Maine de Biran"
Reference to François-Pierre-Gontier de Biran (1766–1824), a French philosopher who wrote an "Essai sur les fondements de la psychologie".

"you were fanatical about pinball, like a little kid" ("andavi pazzo per il flipper, come un bambino")
"Foucault's Pendulum" by Eco also contains a discussion of Pinball, which occurs (most notably) on page 222 and 415 in the trade paperback, and 187 and 345 in the standard paperback.

"You don't play the pinball with you hands, you play it with your groin, too… But a female groin is required, one that interposes no spongy body between the ileum and the machine, only skin, nerves, padded bone sheathed in a pair of jeans, and a sublimated erotic fury, a sly frigidity, a disinterested adaptability to the partner's response, a taste for arousing desire without suffering the excesses of one's own…" (222, 187.)

"There's fog in Val Padana" ("C'è nebbia in Val Padana")
Possibly a line from "Tradizioni (Valzer)", a song by Raoul Casadei (1937-).
It is also a commonplace.

"The curse of the Pharaoh" ("La maledizione del faraone")
Another commonplace.
It is also the title of a novel written collaboratively in 1995 by Umberto Eco, Giuseppe Pontiggia (1934-2003), Gianni Riotta (1954-), Antonio Tabucchi (1943–2012) and published on Sette - Corriere della Sera 32-36/1995.

Page 17

Palazzo Campana-- nice (exterior) photo on the University of Turin website.

"Unless this is all conspiracy" ("A meno che non sia tutto un complotto")
Conspiracy was one of the main themes in "Foucault's Pendulum".

"Jimmy Picklock" ("Felicino Grimaldelli")
Probably not a literary character. A jimmy is another word for a pick-lock tool. Coincidentally, the Italian word for burglar, "scassinatore", googles Bilbo Baggins, in Tolkien's "The Hobbit".

"the Ipcress File" ("Ipcress Files")
A Cold War-era spy film from 1965, starring Michael Caine (1933-), based on a book written in 1962 by Len Deighton (1929-).

"The Berlin Wall isn't there anymore" ("Non c'è più il Muro di Berlino")
It reminds the 2003 German movie "Good Bye, Lenin!".
The Berlin Wall was demolished starting from the 13th of June 1990. When Yambo wakes up from his coma, it is the 25th of April 1991.

"I trust you. What are stracchini?" ("mi fido. Che cosa sono gli stracchini di Broglio?")
A reference back to the wandering thought about "Broglio with the stracchini" which had come to Yambo while he was squeezing the toothpaste tube (p. 9). This is the first time Yambo asks for help to release a memory.

An example of stracchino, a kind of Italian cheese.

Page 19

Note: in this brilliant fugue of quotations, each clause a joining of two disparate bits of literature, some of the references are the work of the English translator, Geoffrey Brock, as one can determine by a comparison with the very end of the excerpt at TecaLibri.

"there are perfumes as fresh as a child's flesh" ("ci sono profumi freschi come carni di bimbi")
From sonnet "Correspondances" (1857), by Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867).

"II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,"

"the marchioness went out at five o'clock" ("la marchesa uscì alle cinque")
Paul Valéry (1871–1945):

"La marquise sortit à cinq heures"

"in the middle of the journey of our life" ("nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita")
First line of Dante Alighieri's "Inferno I:1".

  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Petrocchi, on Liber Liber.
  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Giovanni Andrea Scartazzini and Giuseppe Vandelli, on Liber Liber.
  • "Divine Comedy", by Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1864/1867), at Project Gutenberg.

"Ernesto Sabato"
Only in the original Italian text, possible reference to Ernesto Sabato (1911–2011), an Argentine writer, painter and physicist. "Sabato" means "Saturday", as in the title of Leopardi's poem (see next quotation).

"la donzelletta vien dalla campagna"
Only in the original Italian text, opening line of "Il sabato del villaggio" (1829), poem written by Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837).

"La donzelletta vien dalla campagna
In sul calar del sole,
Col suo fascio dell'erba; e reca in mano
Un mazzolin di rose e viole,
Onde, siccome suole, ornare ella si appresta
Dimani, al dí di festa, il petto e il crine".
("The damsel from the field returns,
Upon the setting of the sun,
Carrying her sheaf of grass; and in her hand she bears
A gracious bunch of roses and of violets,
With which, as it is usual, she gets ready to adorn,
Tomorrow, on the feast day, her bodice and her hair")

"Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac begat Jacob and Jacob begat " ("Abramo generò Isacco Isacco generò Giacobbe Giacobbe generò Giuda")
From "Matthew 1:2", the beginning of the "New Testament" humorously conflated with the following line.

"Abramo generò Isacco, Isacco generò Giacobbe, Giacobbe generò Giuda e i suoi fratelli" ("Matteo 1:2 La Sacra Bibbia")
"Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob, and Jacob begat Judah and his brothers" ("Matthew 1:2 KJV")

"Rocco e i suoi fratelli"
Only in the original Italian text, title of a 1960 Italian movie. The title of the movie is also a reference to the novel "Joseph and his brothers" (1926/1943), by Thomas Mann (1875–1955).

"the Man of La Mancha"
"Don Quixote" (1605/1615), aka The Man of La Mancha, novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616).
This quotation is not in the original Italian text but replaces "Rocco e i suoi fratelli".

  • "Don Quijote", by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, at Project Gutenberg.
  • "Don Quixote", by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, translated by John Ormsby, at Project Gutenberg.

"il campanile batte la mezzanotte santa"
Only in the original Italian text, from the poem “La Notte Santa”, by Guido Gozzano (1883–1916):

"Il campanile scocca
La Mezzanotte Santa."
("The bell tower strikes
The Saint Midnight")

"that was when I saw the Pendulum" ("fu allora che vidi il pendolo")
The first line of "Foucault's Pendulum" (1989) by Umberto Eco.

"betwixt a smile and tear,"
From poem "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (1812/1818), written by Lord Byron (1788–1824):

"Man! Thou pendulum betwixt a smile and a tear."

This quotation is not in the original Italian text.

"where late the sweet birds sang,"
From "Sonnet 73", by William Shakespeare (1564–1616), spoken by an aging lover, grafted onto a "branch" of Lake Como.
This quotation is not in the original Italian text.

"the branch of Lake Como" ("sul ramo del lago di Como")
Reminds the opening sentence of the novel "I promessi sposi" ("The Betrothed"), written by Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1873) between 1821 and 1842, and one of the most famous novels in Italian Literature:

"Quel ramo del lago di Como, che volge a mezzogiorno, tra due catene non interrotte di monti, tutto a seni e a golfi, a seconda dello sporgere e del rientrare di quelli, vien, quasi a un tratto, a ristringersi, e a prender corso e figura di fiume, tra un promontorio a destra, e un'ampia costiera dall'altra parte; e il ponte, che ivi congiunge le due rive, par che renda ancor più sensibile all'occhio questa trasformazione, e segni il punto in cui il lago cessa, e l'Adda rincomincia, per ripigliar poi nome di lago dove le rive, allontanandosi di nuovo, lascian l'acqua distendersi e rallentarsi in nuovi golfi e in nuovi seni."
("That branch of the Lake of Como, which turns toward the south between two unbroken chains of mountains, presenting to the eye a succession of bays and gulfs, formed by their jutting and retiring ridges, suddenly contracts itself between a headland to the right and an extended sloping bank on the left, and assumes the flow and appearance of a river. The bridge by which the two shores are here united, appears to render the transformation more apparent, and marks the point at which the lake ceases, and the Adda recommences, to resume, however, the name of Lake where the again receding banks allow the water to expand itself anew into bays and gulfs")

The lake that becomes a river, and then a lake again (and then a river), having its shape determined, in an apparently random manner, by the topographic prominence of the mountains all around, is a metaphor of time which is, briefly and only to a negligible degree, determined by the facts of nations, dynasties or strong personalities. The map of the territory is seen from above, from the point of view of God, the Providence, so that the topographic prominence of the mountains is just an imperceptible relief above the surface, as in a raised-relief map or a haut-relief.

"dormono gli uccelli dalle lunghe ali"
Only in the original Italian text, from the last line of fragment 49 Garzya of Ancient Greek poet Alcman (VII century BCE), translated by Italian poet Salvatore Quasimodo (1901–1968):

"dormono le generazioni
degli uccelli dalle lunghe ali."
("slumber the generations
of the long-winged birds")

The poem is known in Italian as "Dormono le cime dei monti" and in English as "The Mountain Summits Sleep".

"the snows of yesteryear"
From the "Ballade des dames du temps jadis" ("Ballad Of The Ladies Of Yore"'), written by French poet François Villon (1431-1463):

"Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?"

A famous translation, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882), is "Where are the snows of yesteryear?"

NB: This quotation is not in the original Italian text.

"softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves"
From the end of "The Dead," the last short story in "Dubliners" (1914), by James Joyce (1882–1941).
This quotation is not in the original Italian text.

"messieurs les Anglais"
First words of the phrase "Messieurs les Anglais tirez les premiers!", pronounced in 1745 during the battle of Fontenoy by Joseph Charles Alexandre d'Anterroches (1710-1784), meaning "Messieurs Englishmen, shoot/fire the first ones".

Page 20

"je me suis couché de bonne heure"
From the first line of "A la Recherche du temps perdu", massive work written by Marcel Proust (1871–1922) between 1909 and 1922.

"Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure"
("For a long time I used to go to bed early")

In "Foucault's Pendulum", chapter 73, Belbo also quotes the line, presumably in Italian.

"though words cannot heal" ("benché 'l parlar sia indarno")
From the first line of poem "Italia mia, benché 'l parlar sia indarno", Canzoniere CXXVIII, by Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374).

"the women come and go"
From "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915) by T.S. Eliot (1888–1965).
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"here we shall make Italy or" ("qui si fa l'Italia o")
"Qui si fa l'Italia o si muore!" ("Here we shall make Italy, or die!") was uttered by Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882) before leading the charge that overran the Bourbon positions at the Battle of Calatafimi, 1860.

"si uccide un uomo morto"
Only in the original Italian text, reference to the last words of Francesco Ferrucci (1489–1530), Italian captain of the Florentine army who fought in the Italian Wars. When he was captured by Fabrizio Maramaldo (1494–1552), who fought for the Duke of Orange and who intended to personally dispatch him, Francesco told him:

"Vile, tu uccidi un uomo morto!"
("Coward, you kill a dead man!")

A reference to Francesco Ferrucci is present in the fourth stanza of the Italian National Anthem, "Il Canto degli Italiani", also known as "Inno di Mameli" or "Fratelli d'Italia":

"ogn'uom di Ferruccio
ha il core, ha la mano"
("Every man has the heart
and hand of Ferruccio")

"a kiss is just a kiss"
A line from "As Time Goes By", song written by Herman Hupfeld in 1931 and made famous by "Casablanca" in 1942, a movie that Eco has written extensively on.
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"tu quoque alea"
Combination of two famous quotations by Julius Caesar (100–44 BCE):

"Tu quoque, Brute, fili mihi" ("Thou also, Brutus, my son", better known in English as Shakespeare's "Et tu, Brute") when he saw Brutus among his assassins;
"Alea jacta est" ("The die is cast"), when he crossed the Rubicon river to march on Rome (49 BCE).

In French, "aléas" means something like "disasters."

"a man without qualities"
English title of the novel "Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften" written by Robert Musil (1880–1942) between 1921 and 1942.
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"fights and runs away" ("soldato che scappa")
From the rhyme "He that fights and runs away, will live to fight another day", completed two lines later. In the original Italian text it is "soldato che scappa è buono per un'altra volta".

"arrestati sei bello"
Only in the original Italian text, line from the libretto of "Mefistofele" (1868), opera composed by Arrigo Boito (1842–1918).

"brothers of Italy" ("fratelli d'Italia")
First line of the Italian national anthem ("Il Canto degli Italiani", also known as "Inno di Mameli" or "Fratelli d'Italia", "Brothers of Italy"), composed by Goffredo Mameli (1827–1849) in 1847.

"ask not what you can do for your country"
From the 1961 inaugural address of John F. Kennedy (1917–1963).
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"ancora uno sforzo"
Only in the original Italian text, from the title of the pamphlet "Français, encore un effort pour être républicains" ("Francesi, ancora uno sforzo se volete essere Repubblicani"), written in 1795 by Marquis de Sade (1740–1814).
The combination, "fratelli d'Italia ancora uno sforzo" ("brothers of Italy, another effort"), has a tragicomic effect.

"the plow that makes the furrow" ("l'aratro che traccia il solco")
This is from a Fascist slogan:

"È l'aratro che traccia il solco, ma è la spada che lo difende. E il vomere e la lama sono entrambi di acciaio temprato come la fede dei nostri cuori."
("It's the plow that makes the furrow, but it is the sword that defends it. Ploughshare and blade are both made of steel quenched like the faith in our hearts").

In the context, this suggests the idea of "beating swords into plowshares" (Joel 3:10) with its opposition between war (swords, brothers of Italy, fighting) and agriculture (plow, the wise fellow who runs away). A similar opposition is represented by the description a battle followed by one of ploughing depicted on Achilles' shield in the "Iliad" Book 18.

"will live to fight another day" ("è buono per un'altra volta")
Completion of the rhyme mentioned above:

"Soldato che scappa è buono per un'altra volta"
("He that fights and runs away, will live to fight another day")

The original Italian text does not have a heroic sound: the idea is that the soldier will be sent to death on another occasion.

"I mean a Nose"
A quotation from Volume 3, Chapter 31 of the 1760 novel "Tristram Shandy" by Irish author Laurence Sterne (1713–1768). It's the 18th-century equivalent of "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar":

"I define a nose as follows, intreating only beforehand, and beseeching my readers, both male and female, of what age, complexion, and condition soever, for the love of God and their own souls, to guard against the temptations and suggestions of the devil, and suffer him by no art or wile to put any other ideas into their minds, than what I put into my definition. For by the word Nose, throughout all this long chapter of noses, and in every other part of my work, where the word Nose occurs, -- I declare, by that word I mean a Nose, and nothing more, or less."

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"by any other name"
A play off of Juliet's line in "Romeo and Juliet":

"a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

There, Juliet means that names are unimportant and do not affect the things they designate, but Eco has written that his use of the title, "The Name of the Rose", implies exactly the opposite: names are important.

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"Italy is made" ("l'Italia è fatta")
Massimo D'Azeglio (1798–1866), Cavour's predecessor as prime minister of Piedmont, in the first meeting of the Parliament of the newly united Italian Kingdom, famously suggested that "Italy is made, We still have to make Italians." (source)

"ma non s'arrende"
Only in the original Italian text, it seems a quotation from Pierre Cambronne (1770–1842) at Waterloo (1815):

"La garde meurt mais ne se rend pas!"
("The Guard dies but does not surrender!")

"e senza vento"
Only in the original Italian text, it is from "La sera del dì di festa" (1820), by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). The quotation is split, in reverse order and incorrect. The correct quotation is:

"Dolce e chiara è la notte e senza vento"
("Sweet and bright is the night, and without wind")

"l'inconscia zagaglia barbara"
Only in the original Italian text, from the poem "Per la morte di Napoleone Eugenio" ("Odi Barbare Libro I") written by Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907) in 1877. Might be rendered in English as "the unknowing barbarous assegai".

"a cui tendevi la pargoletta mano"
Only in the original Italian text, from the poem "Pianto antico" ("Ancient Lament") written by Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907) in 1871, dedicated to his son, Dante, who died at the age of three.

"L'albero a cui tendevi
La pargoletta mano,
Il verde melograno
Da' bei vermigli fior,
Nel muto orto solingo
Rinverdí tutto or ora
E giugno lo ristora
Di luce e di calor.
Tu fior de la mia pianta
Percossa e inaridita,
Tu de l'inutil vita
Estremo unico fior,
Sei ne la terra fredda,
Sei ne la terra negra;
Né il sol più ti rallegra
Né ti risveglia amor.
("The tree towards which you used to stretch
Your little infant hand,
The verdant pomegranate
With its pretty vermilion flowers,
In the mute solitary orchard
Has now just turned all green
And June is restoring it
Of light and warmth.
You, blossom of my own plant
Shaken and shrivelled,
You, of vain life
Ultimate, only flower,
Lie in the chilly ground,
Lie in the pitch-black ground;
Nor can the sun gladden you again
Neither can love awaken you back.)

"now the rest is commentary"
This seems to have become a bit of a statement of finality, a la "…and that's final". The (presumably) oldest reference I can find is to a Jewish story about a question asked of Rabbi Hillel -- a notable rabbi from the 1st century BCE. A non-Jew asked the rabbi to teach him everything about the Torah while standing on one foot. Rabbi Hillel responded: "What is hateful to you, don't do unto your neighbor. The rest is commentary. Now, go and study." Eco has also mentioned this motif in "Foucault's Pendulum", explaining that "truth is brief (afterward, it is all commentary.)" (525)
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"mi espiritu se purifica"
From a novel by the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (1864–1936), "Niebla" ("Mist"), written in 1914. One of the last sentences of the book is

"Siento que mi espiritu se purifica al contacto de esta muerte"
("I feel that my spirit is purified in contact with this death")

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"en Paris con aguacero" -
"Me morire en Paris con aguacero" ("I will die in Paris with rain pouring down") is the first line of the poem "Piedra Negra Sobre una Piedra Blanca", by Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo (1892–1938). Interestingly, the omitted element which joins the two Spanish quotations is "death": esta muerte, me morire.
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"don't ask us for the word" ("non chiedere la parola")
Eugenio Montale (1896–1981), from the poem "Non chiederci la parola" (1923).

"crazed with light" ("impazzita di luce")
Eugenio Montale again, "Portami il girasole ch'io lo trapianti" ("Bring Me the Sunflower So I Can Transplant It"):

"Portami tu la pianta che conduce
dove sorgono bionde trasparenze
e vapora la vita quale essenza;
portami il girasole impazzito di luce."
("Bring me the flower that leads us out
where blond transparencies rise
and life evaporates as essence.
Bring me the sunflower crazed with light.")

"dall'Alpi alle Piramidi"
Only in the original Italian text, another line from the poem "Il Cinque Maggio" (1821), by Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1873).

"andò in guerra e mise l'elmo"
Only in the original Italian text, a verse from the satirical rhyme "La partenza del Crociato (Il prode Anselmo)", written in 1856 by Giovanni Visconti Venosta (1831–1906).

"Passa un giorno, passa l’altro
Mai non torna il prode Anselmo,
Perché egli era molto scaltro
Andò in guerra e mise l’elmo…"

"fresche le mie parole nella sera"
Only in the original Italian text, opening line of the poem "La sera fiesolana" ("Evening at Fiesole"), from the collection "Alcyone" (1903), by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863–1938).

  • "Alcione", by Gabriele D'Annunzio, at Liber Liber.

"pei quei quattro scherzucci da dozzina"
Only in the original Italian text, from the poem "Sant'Ambrogio", by Giuseppe Giusti (1809–1850):

"per que' pochi scherzucci di dozzina"
("for those few worthless jokes")

"sempre libera"
Only in the original Italian text, aria from "La traviata" ("Always free"), opera composed in 1851/1852 by Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901), libretto by Francesco Maria Piave (1810–1876).

"sull'ali dorate"
Only in the original Italian text, meaning "on wings of gold", line from "Va', pensiero", also known as the "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves", chorus from the third act of the opera "Nabucco" (1842) composed by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Temistocle Solera (1815–1878).

"addio monti sorgenti dall'acque"
Only in the original Italian text, a famous passage from the VIII chapter of "I promessi sposi" ("The Betrothed") by Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1873):

"Addio, monti sorgenti dall'acque"
("Farewell, ye mountains, rising from the waters")

NB: the farewell introduces Lucia's reflections and feelings.

"ma il mio nome è Lucia"
Only in the original Italian text, from a famous aria from "La Bohème", opera composed in 1896 by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) to a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa (1847–1906) and Luigi Illica (1857–1919):

"Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì
Ma il mio nome è Lucia"
("Yes, they call me Mimi,
But my name is Lucy")

"we'll have our battle in the shade" ("combatteremo all'ombra")
From Herodotus (c. 484 BCE – c. 425 BCE), "The Histories" (a common online version; for a better one see Dienekes)

"…on the eve of [the Battle of Thermopylae], [the Spartan officer, Dienekes] was told by a native of Trachis that the Persian archers were so numerous that, when they fired their volleys, the mass of arrows blocked out the sun. Dienekes, however, quite undaunted by this prospect, remarked with a laugh, 'Good. Then we'll have our battle in the shade.'"

"and suddenly it's evening" ("ed è subito sera")
A famous line, title of a three-line poem and of a 1942 collection of poems by the anti-Fascist poet Salvatore Quasimodo (1901–1968) . The poem can be read in Italian and English at AlterNETive. The English phrase is the title of at least three different musical compositions, by Elizabeth Luytens (1966), Tobias Picker (1994), and Donald Erb (1997).

One of the Monks in "The Name of the Rose" is called Salvatore. The monk Salvatore has a secret past he tries to hide. When his secret is revealed, (ray of light - see poem above) he is burned at the stake - "suddenly it's evening"???

The monk Salvatore may have gotten his name partly from the double pseudonym Salvatore Quasimodo since, like Quasimodo in Victor Hugo's novel "Notre-Dame de Paris", he is deformed and in some ways isolated. The Italian poet may have been looking to Hugo's hunchback too, or else to the origin of his name, the entrance verse for Low Sunday, "Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabile, sine dolo lac concupiscite" ("Like newborn babies, desire milk rationally and without deceit").

"around my heart three ladies'" ("tre donne intorno al cor")
A line from Dante Alighieri, "Tre donne intorno al cor mi son venute", "Three ladies came to me and sat around my heart" -- Dante's Later Poems.
In Dante, the three ladies represent universal justice, human justice and natural law.
Late in the book, in chapter 14, Yambo evokes three ladies in his own life.
And Belbo's file ending chapter 8 of the Pendulum is also named Tre donne intorno al cor…

"arms I sing" ("l'arme gli amori")
The first line of Virgil's "Aeneid", "Arms and the man I sing"." The Aeneid line in turn evokes the beginning of Homer's "Illiad", which is parodied a few lines later here in the fairy-tale of Achilles.
The original Italian text is a reference to the first line of the epic poem "Orlando furioso", written between 1504 and 1532 by Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533):

"Le donne, i cavallier, l'arme, gli amori"
("Of loves and ladies, knights and arms, I sing")
  • "Orlando furioso"), by Ludovico Ariosto, edited by Cesare Segre, at Liber Liber.
  • "Orlando furioso"), by Ludovico Ariosto, edited by Marcello Turchi, at Liber Liber.
  • "The Aeneid", by Virgil, translated by John Dryden (1631-1700), at Project Gutenberg.

"oh Valentino Valentino wherefore art thou" ("o Valentino Valentino storno")
Another play on a famous line from Romeo and Juliet, here substituting Romeo with the heartthrob film star of yesteryear, Rudolph Valentino.
The original Italian text is a reference to the poem "La cavalla storna", written in 1903 by Giovanni Pascoli (1855–1912), on the murder of the poet's father - whose only witness is his black and white mare who can't speak but can affirmatively neigh at the name of the murderer.

"O cavallina cavallina storna
che portavi colui che non ritorna"

"happy families are all alike"
First line of Anna Karenina (1877), by Lev Tolstoy (1828–1910):

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

  • "Anna Karenina", by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Constance Garnett (1861-1946), at Project Gutenberg.

"said the bridegroom to the bride"
This may be a variation on …said the actress to the bishop, although this specific phrase does turn up in some versions of "The Robber Bridegroom" by the Brothers Grimm.
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"Guido I wish that" ("Guido io vorrei che")
Sonnet by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), to his friend and poet Guido Cavalcanti (1250/1259–1300):

"Guido, i’ vorrei che tu e Lapo ed io
fossimo presi per incantamento
e messi in un vasel, ch’ad ogni vento
per mare andasse al voler vostro e mio;"
("Guido, I wish that Lapo, you and I,
in one enchantment bound, right now could be
inside a vessel faring on the sea,
braving the wind, to your content and mine.")

"al ciel si scoloraro"
Only in the original Italian text, it reminds the title of the poem "Era 'l giorno ch'al sol si scoloraro (Canzoniere III)", by Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374), meaning "It was the day the sun's rays hid their light".

"mother died today"
Opening of the novel "L'Étranger" ("The Stranger"), written in 1942 by French philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus (1913–1960).
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"I recognized the trembling" ("conobbi il tremolar")
Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, Canto I, 117:

"conobbi il tremolar della marina"
("I recognized the trembling of the sea.")

Dante's famous line is also quoted in the poem "I pastori" ("The shepherds"), written by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863–1938) and included in the collection "Alcyone" (1903).

"O voce di colui che primamente
conosce il tremolar della marina!"
  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Petrocchi, on Liber Liber.
  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Giovanni Andrea Scartazzini and Giuseppe Vandelli, on Liber Liber.
  • "Divine Comedy", by Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1864/1867), at Project Gutenberg.
  • "Alcione", by Gabriele D'Annunzio, at Liber Liber.

"of man's first disobedience"
"Paradise Lost", by John Milton (1608-1674):

"Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree…"

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"de la musique"
From the poem "Art poétique" (1884), by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896):

"De la musique avant toute chose"'
("music before all other things"')

"où marchent des colombes"
Paul Valéry (1878-1945), "Le Cimetière marin" ("The marine cemetery", 1920):

"Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes,
Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes;"
("This quiet roof, where doves walk,
trembles among the pines, among the tombs")

"fresca e chiara è la notte e"
Only in the original Italian text, it is the other fragment of the previous quotation from "La sera del dì di festa" (1820), by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837). The correct quotation is:

"Dolce e chiara è la notte e senza vento"
("Sweet and bright is the night, and without wind")

NB: The attributes are mixed up: Leopardi says "dolce e chiara", Yambo says "fresca e chiara"; together they recall "Chiare, fresche et dolci acque", "Canzoniere CXXVI", by Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374).

Only in the original Italian text, from the very short poem "Mattina", written in 1917 by Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888–1970):

("I am enlighted
of immensity")

"pio bove"
Only in the original Italian text, from the poem "Il bove", written in 1872 by Giosuè Carducci (1835–1907):

"T'amo, o pio bove"
("I love thee, holy ox")

"li ho visti a Pontida"
Only in the original Italian text, from poem "Il giuramento di Pontida", part of "Le Fantasie" (1829), written by Giovanni Berchet (1783–1851):

"L'han giurato. Gli ho visti in Pontida
Convenuti dal monte e dal piano."

"settembre andiamo"
Only in the original Italian text, opening line of the poem "I pastori" ("The shepherds"), included in the collection "Alcyone" (1903), written by Gabriele D'Annunzio (1863–1938):

"Settembre, andiamo. È tempo di migrare."
("September, let us go. It's time to migrate.")
  • "Alcione", by Gabriele D'Annunzio, at Liber Liber.

"go little book""
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894), "Go, Little Book", taking a line from the end of Troilus and Criseyde, by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400): "Go, little book, go, little myn tragedye." A classic way of beginning an envoy or final stanza of a long poem.
This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"to where the lemons blossom" ("dove fioriscono i limoni")
This is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), "Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen blühn", written in 1795. The poem appears in the novel "Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre" ("Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship")

See also Johann Strauss II (1825–1899), "Wo die Zitronen bluhen"?
Where the lemons blossom being Italy.

"once upon a time there lived Achilles son of Peleus" ("qui comincia l'avventura del Pelide Achille")
A cheeky twist on the beginning of Homer's Iliad.

"Qui comincia l'avventura" is the opening line of the episodes of "Signor Bonaventura", an Italian comic strip created in 1917 by actor and playwright Sergio Tofano (1886–1973).

The first lines of the "Iliad", translated by Vincenzo Monti (1754–1828) are:

"Cantami, o Diva, del pelide Achille
l'ira funesta che infiniti addusse
lutti agli Achei, molte anzi tempo all'orco
generose travolse alme d'eroi".

"tintarella di luna"
Only in the original Italian text, title of the first album and refrain of the song "Tintarella di luna" (1960), sang by Italian singer Mina (1940-).

"[luna] dimmi che fai"
Only in the original Italian text, opening line of the poem "Canto notturno di un pastore errante dell'Asia" ("Night Song of a Wandering Shepherd in Asia"), written by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) between 1829 and 1830.
The first word, "luna", is the last word of the previous quotation. The combination of the two quotations produces a strong contrast, between the light-spirited and cheerful voice of Mina and the pensive, introspective, grave atmosphere of Leopardi's poem.

"and the earth was without form" ("in principio la terra era siccome immobile")
Opening of "Genesis", "the earth was without form and void.".
In the original Italian text, "in principio la terra era" combines first and second verses of the Genesis:

"In principio Dio creò il cielo e la terra.
Ora la terra era informe e deserta e le tenebre ricoprivano l'abisso e lo spirito di Dio aleggiava sulle acque."
("In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.")

The sentence is then completed with the ending of the first line of the poem "Il Cinque Maggio" (1821), by Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1873):

"Ei fu. Siccome immobile".

"[the earth was] too much with us"
First line of the sonnet by William Wordsworth (1770–1850),

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours."

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"Licht mehr licht über alles"
Combination of the last words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), "Light, more light!", and "Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles," the German nationalist hymn of the 19th century, part of which remains Germany's national anthem today.
In "Foucault's Pendulum" ch. 73, Belbo attributes the phrase to the dying John Dee.

"Contessa, what oh what is life?" ("contessa cos'è mai la vita?")
Giosuè Carducci (1835-1907), Nobel Prize 1907. "Ode Jaufré Rudel" (1888)

Contessa, che è mai la vita?
È l'ombra di un sogno fuggente.
La favola breve è finita,
Il vero immortale è l'amor.
(What is life, my countess?
'tis the shadow of a fleeting dream.
The short romance is over,
The true Immortal is love.)

"and Jill came tumbling after" ("tre civette sul comò.")
From the rhyme "Jack and Jill / went up the hill / to fetch a pail of water. / Jack fell down / and broke his crown / and Jill came tumbling after". The sort of rhyme one is told as a child, already cited on p. 7 by Yambo.
In the original Italian text, the rhyme is:

"Ambarabà ciccì coccò
Tre civette sul comò
Che facevano l'amore
Con la figlia del dottore;
Il dottore si ammalò
Ambarabà ciccì coccò!"

"Names, names, names" ("Nomi, nomi, nomi")
Eco has a longtime love of lists, and it's possible, even probable, that someone could trace the connection that emerges throughout this list of seemingly random names from history.
Could also be taken as an out-of-context play on "Words words words" from Hamlet, as words are all Yambo can remember, rather than the emotions, etc. that might be attached to what the words represent.
In 1972 Italian singers Mina (1940-) and Alberto Lupo (1924–1984) sang the duet "Parole, parole".

Insert info from

File:Dalloca.jpg File:Brummel.jpg File:Pindar.JPG

"Angelo Dall'Oca Bianca"
Angelo Dall'Oca Bianca (Verona, 1858-1942), realistic painter of figures and landscapes; above, his 1915-20 "Piazza delle Erbe". See

"Lord Brummell"
George Bryan Brummell (1778-1840), famous dandy, "Beau" Brummel, a commoner who rose to associate with the Prince Regent through his wit.

5th century BC Ancient Greek lyric poet, famous for his odes to victors in athletic contests.

File:Flaubert.jpg File:Disraeli.jpg File:Zena.jpg

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), French novelist, author of "Madame Bovary" (1857), who is evoked elsewhere in the novel.

Benjamin Disraeli, (1804-81) British statesman, Prime Minister of Queen Victoria (1819–1901).

"Remigio Zena"
Remigio Zena (1850-1917). Italian Catholic author of fiction (pseudonym of Gaspare Invrea).

File:Jurassic.jpg File:Fattori.jpg File:Straparola.jpg

Geological period when the dinosaurs roamed, spanning from 201 million years ago to 145 million years ago.

Possibly Giovanni Fattori (1825-1905), Italian Realist Painter. The name means "makers". Above, his self-portrait. See

"Straparola and the pleasant nights" ("Straparola e le piacevoli notti")
Giovanni Francesco Straparola (1480–c.1557), author of "Le piacevoli notti", a collection of Italian and Middle Eastern fairy tales, structured like the "Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375).

File:Pompadour.jpg File:Smith wesson 3 003.jpg File:Rosa.jpg

"de Pompadour"
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson (1721-1764), Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV (1710–1774), famous for wit as well as beauty.

"Smith and Wesson"
Gun manufacturers in the days of the American Old West, founded in 1852 and still going strong: Company site.

"Rosa Luxemburg"
Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), Polish-born German Marxist philosopher and revolutionary. Wikipedia

File:Zeno.gif File:Palmavecchio.jpg File:Archaeopteryx.jpg File:Ciceruccia.jpg

"Zeno Cosini"
Self-analysing anti-hero of 1929 novel "La coscienza di Zeno" ("Confessions of Zeno"), written between 1919 and 1923 by Italo Svevo (1861–1928). Also evokes the "paradox of Zeno" mentioned elsewhere in the novel.

"Palma the Elder" ("Palma il Vecchio")
Palma the Elder (c.1480-1528), Italian painter. Above, his "Judith with the Head of Holofernes".

Prehistoric bird with feathers.

Angelo Brunetti (1800-1849), participated in Italian revolutionary politics in Rome, partly by throwing parties:

File:Irenaeu.jpg File:Pinocchio.jpg

"Matthew Mark Luke John" ("Matteo Marco Luca Giovanni")
Authors of the four canonical Gospels.

Hero of the 1883 novel by Carlo Collodi (1826–1890), the naughty wooden puppet who achieves his goal of becoming a living son to his creator, Geppetto, with the help of a blue-haired fairy. Several references later in the novel, both to the book and to the illustrations of Attilio Mussino (1878–1954), of which one is shown above.

File:Sade2.jpg File:Goretti..jpg File:Thais.jpeg

Sade's Justine's frontispiece of Virtue being worried by Lust and Vice, Saint Maria Goretti, and Gustave Dore's vision of Dante's vision of Thais.

Heroine of a 1791 novel by the Marquis de Sade, Donatien Alphonse François (1740–1814); she is the naive sexual victim.

"Maria Goretti"
Maria Goretti (1890-1902) pre-teen girl, canonised saint of the Catholic Church, who was murdered during an attempted rape: "Death rather than sin." The female equivalent of Aloysius Gonzaga (1568–1591) and Domenico Savio (1842–1857), mentioned in chapter 17 as ideals of chastity for boys.

"Thais the whore" ("Taide puttana dall'unghie merdose")
Reference to Dante Alighieri's depiction of Thais immersed in excrement among the flatterers in Inferno XVIII, lines 127-136. Thais was a mistress of Alexander the Great, who turns up a few names later. The name also belongs to St. Thais, a repentant whore.

"Appresso ciò lo duca «Fa che pinghe»,
mi disse, «il viso un poco più avante,
sì che la faccia ben con l’occhio attinghe
di quella sozza e scapigliata fante
che là si graffia con l’unghie merdose,
e or s’accoscia e ora è in piedi stante.
Taïde è, la puttana che rispuose
al drudo suo quando disse 'Ho io grazie
grandi apo te?': 'Anzi maravigliose!'»"

("Then said to me the Guide: «See that thou thrust
Thy visage somewhat farther in advance,
⁠That with thine eyes thou well the face attain
Of that uncleanly and dishevelled drab,
Who there doth scratch herself with filthy nails,
And crouches now, and now on foot is standing.
Thais the harlot is it, who replied
Unto her paramour, when he said, 'Have I
⁠Great gratitude from thee?'—'Nay, marvellous'».)

  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Petrocchi, on Liber Liber.
  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Giovanni Andrea Scartazzini and Giuseppe Vandelli, on Liber Liber.
  • "Divine Comedy", by Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1864/1867), at Project Gutenberg.

File:Osteoporosis.jpg File:EmpireAlex.jpg File:Gordian.jpg

Loss of bone density, usually with age, leading to curvature of the spine.

"Saint Honoré"
Saint Honoré (6th c. bishop of Amiens) has a fashionable long straight street in Paris named after him, and is the patron saint of bakers and millers. A Gâteau St-Honoré is a fabulous dessert of puff pastry decorated with caramel and whipped cream.

"Bactria Ecbatana Persepolis Susa Arbela"
Cities of the Persian Empire, conquered by Alexander the Great (see map above).

"Alexander and the Gordian knot"
Alexander the Great "solved" the riddle of the Gordian knot, the solver of which was to rule all Asia. Instead of untying it, he cut it with his sword.

"The encyclopedia was tumbling down on me, its pages loose, and I felt like waving my hands the way one does amid a swarm of bees."
This is a nightmare version of some images from the last cantos of Dante's Paradiso, which are taken up again but in a sublime mode on 421 ("the jumbled notebook of my memories") and 442 (Yambo's family now seeming to emerge like bees from "a happy apiary"). Encyclopedic knowledge makes his grandchildren seem like menacing bees; his recovered if jumbled notebook of memories restores them to the happy, orderly bees of Virgil and Dante.

Page 21

File:Ella.jpg File:Rimbaud.jpg

"A-tisket, a-tasket, a green and yellow basket… Was it red? Was it brown? Was it blue? No! Just a little yellow basket."
Rendition of "A-tisket a-tasket" by Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996).

The original Italian text has:

"Din din din scarpetta rossa,
Din din din che colore è?
Color pisolin, color ciclamin,
Esci fuori o garibaldin!"

"A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu, voyelles, je dirais quelque jour vos naissances latentes"
From the poem "Vowels," by French poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854–1891), which assigns a color to each vowel of the alphabet. Full text (French).

Above a portrait of Arthur Rimbaud by Henri Fantin-Latour.

Page 22

Note: this fugue has a different format from the previous one: the series of quotations are based on a noun common to two in a sequence, a kind of poetic puzzle. The keywords sometimes point to motifs important later in the novel: mind, love, stars, fire, world, string, orders, angels, tread, lightly, lie, beauty, wonder. For example, in Chapter 8 Yambo puts on a set of records with themes of "night", most of which are love-songs which mention the stars (here linked in Dante); the "mysterious flame" of Queen Loana is evoked here in the image of fire. And Yambo's heart suffers because he will not follow the doctor's orders. (But at the same time the reader must keep in mind that many of these references are the translator's and not Eco's, because the translator had to find equivalents where straightforward translating would not do.)

"love that within my mind discourses with me" ("amor che nella mente mi ragiona")
A famous line from Dante Alighieri, title of a canzone, "Amor che ne la mente mi ragiona" included in the work "Convivio" and also quoted in the "Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, (Canto 2, line 112)".

  • "Convivio", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Giovanni Busnelli and Giuseppe Vandelli, at Liber Liber.
  • "Convivio", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Cesare Vasoli e Domenico De Robertis, at Liber Liber.

"the love that moves the sun and the other stars" ("l'amor che muove il sole e l'altre stelle")
Last line of the Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto 33, line 145, by Dante Alighieri.

  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Petrocchi, on Liber Liber.
  • "La Divina Commedia", by Dante Alighieri, edited by Giovanni Andrea Scartazzini and Giuseppe Vandelli, on Liber Liber.
  • "Divine Comedy", by Dante Alighieri, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1864/1867), at Project Gutenberg.

"meglio sole che male accompagnate"
Only in the original Italian text, from an Italian proverb: it is better to be alone than in bad company.

"spesso il male di vivere ho incontrato"
Only in the original Italian text, title of a poem, "Spesso il male di vivere ho incontrato", written in 1925 by Eugenio Montale (1896–1981).

"ahi vita ahi vita mia ahi core di questo core"
Only in the original Italian text, refrain of a Neapolitan traditional song, "'O surdato 'nnammurato", written in 1915 by Aniello Califano (1870–1919).

"De Amicis"
Only in the original Italian text, reference to Edmondo De Amicis (1846–1908), author in 1886 of the children's novel "Cuore" ("Heart").

  • "Cuore", by Edmondo De Amicis, at Liber Liber.

"dagli amici mi guardi Iddio"
Only in the original Italian text, Italian proverb, "Dagli amici mi guardi Iddio, dai nemici mi guardo io", "May God guard me from my friends; from my enemies I guard myself".

"o Dio del ciel se fossi una rondinella"
Only in the original Italian text, opening of a patriotic song of the First World War period.

"vivere ardendo e non sentire il male"
Only in the original Italian text, line from a sonnet, Rime d'amore CCVIII, written by Gaspara Stampa (1523–1554).

"Amor m'ha fatto tal ch'io vivo in foco,
qual nova salamandra al mondo, e quale
l'altro di lei non men stranio animale,
che vive e spira nel medesmo loco.
Le mie delizie son tutte e 'l mio gioco
viver ardendo e non sentire il male,
e non curar ch'ei che m'induce a tale
abbia di me pietà molto né poco.
A pena era anche estinto il primo ardore,
che accese l'altro Amore, a quel ch'io sento
fin qui per prova, più vivo e maggiore.
Ed io d'arder amando non mi pento,
pur che chi m'ha di novo tolto il core
resti de l'arder mio pago e contento".
  • "Rime", by Gaspara Stampa, at Liber Liber.

"male non fare paura non avere"
Only in the original Italian text, Italian proverb meaning "Do no evil, have no fear".

"la paura fa novanta"
Only in the original Italian text: Italian proverb which associates the number 90 to fear, in the smorfia napoletana and in the Italian Tombola Game.

"milleottocentosessanta, la spedizione dei Mille"
Only in the original Italian text: 1860, year of the Expedition of the Thousand, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882).

"mille e non più mille"
Only in the original Italian text: prophecy on the end of the world in year 1000.

"le meraviglie del Duemila"
Only in the original Italian text: title of a novel, "Le meraviglie del duemila", written in 1907 by Emilio Salgari (1862–1911).

"stars hide your fires"
From "Macbeth", Act I, Scene 4, William Shakespeare.

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

  • "Macbeth", by William Shakespeare, at Project Gutenberg.

"if I were a fire I would burn the world" ("s'i fossi foco arderei 'l mondo")
Cecco Angiolieri (Siennese, c.1258–1312), "If I were a fire, I'd burn up the world" ("S'i' fossi foco, arderei 'l mondo").

  • "Rime", by Cecco Angiolieri, at Liber Liber.

"I've got the world on a string"
Song written by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler; performed by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and others.

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"there are strings in the human heart"
Charles Dickens, "The Seven Poor Travellers".

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"the heart does not take orders" ("al cuore non si comanda")
Italian proverb.

"who would hear me among the angel's orders"
From the first line of "Duino Elegies" by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926):

"Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"fools rush in where angels fear to tread"
From Alexander Pope (1688–1744), "An Essay on Criticism", part III, line 66. First lines of "Fools rush in", a song performed by Frank Sinatra (1915–1998). "Where Angels Fear to Tread" is also the title of the first novel by Edward Morgan Forster (1879–1970).

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"tread lightly she is near"
First line of "Requiescat", a poem by Oscar Wilde (1854–1900).

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"lie lightly on her"
Evokes the burial of a young woman, a voice asking the earth or turf to lie gently on her body, probably a translation of an epigram by Martial (38/41–102/104 CE), "Erotion the slave-girl", "Erotion".

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"a beautiful lie"
A traditional definition of poetry.

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"touched with the wonder of mortal beauty"
From the "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" (1914/1915), by James Joyce (1882–1941).

This quotation does not appear in the original Italian text.

"wonder is the poet's aim" ("è del poeta il fin la maraviglia")
Line from a poem, "La Murtoleide", by Giovan Battista Marino (1569-1625): "È del poeta il fin la meraviglia".

"I was twenty. I won't let anyone say that's the best time of a person's life." ("Avevo ventanni. Non permetterei a nessuno di dire che questa è la più bella età della vita")
"J'avais vingt ans. Je ne laisserai personne dire que c'est le plus bel âge de la vie," Paul Nizan (1905–1940), "Aden Arabie" (1931).
In Foucault's Pendulum ch. 73, Belbo quotes this line, changing the age to thirty.

"When Gregor Samsa woke one morning" ("Quando Gregor Samsa si svegliò una mattina si trovò trasformato nel suo letto in un immenso insetto")
Opening of the short story "The Metamorphosis", written in 1912 by Franz Kafka (1883–1924).

"Just words" ("Basta la parola")
Reference to the historic slogan appearing in the advertisements of an Italian laxative product since at least 1959:

"Falqui. Basta la parola"

"Basta la parola" means "the word is enough", "the word suffices".

Note that the slogan appeared in 1959 during a famous episode of Carosello, an Italian television advertising show, broadcast on RAI from 1957 to 1977. By today's standards, the episode had unacceptable racist contents; however, by the standards of the time, it may have had progressive contents: there appeared an actor, presented as the professor who kept misusing a "difficult" Italian word, "tòrrido"; then a second actor appeared, who had his face painted black, and was introduced by a young blond female assistant as a "negro", Italian word for "black"; the negro intervened to correct the professor and provide the right meaning of the difficult word.

Page 23

File:MonaLisa.jpg File:Olympia.jpg

The Mona Lisa, Manet's Olympia (larger image).

"Mona Lisa"
aka La gioconda, famous painting (ca. 1500) by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), now in the Louvre. Probably the most recognizable face in Western culture. But "no one's ever been devoured by the Mona Lisa--an androgynous Medusa only for aesthetes," says Casaubon in Foucault's Pendulum, chapter 2.

"Manet's Olympia"
A painting by Édouard Manet (1832–1883) which shocked Paris in 1865 with its deromanticized, demythologized picture of a beautiful naked woman.

Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish-born painter famous as the leader of the cubist school but also for many other styles. "A good imitation" of a Picasso might well be a painting by another distinguished French or Spanish artist.

Below: Picasso's 1910 portrait of Kahnweiler, Salvador Dali's 1923 "cubist self-portrait."

File:PicassoKahnweiler1910.jpg File:Dalicubist.jpg


"Greta Garbo"
Greta Garbo (1909-1990), Swedish film actress. NB she, like Moravia, had died recently at the time of Yambo's "incident." She had however retired from films in the early 1940s.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955), physicist.

Antonio de Curtis (1898-1967), a famous and beloved Italian comedian and actor. IMDB Note: the San Marino 2005 "Varietà" stamp series above was issued for the centennial of the birth of Wanda Osiris, a music-hall star who will be important in the book.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), American president--only 14 years older than Yambo.

Alberto Moravia (1907-1990) - pseudonym of Alberto Pincherle, Italian journalist, short-story writer, and novelist. (more)

File:Alberto moravia.jpg

Page 25

"These mournful and enduring memories", "this trail of death we leave alive…" ("I lugubri e durevoli ricordi", "questo strascico di morte che noi lasciamo vivendo…")
Lines, in inverted order, from the poem "Passato" ("Past") by Vincenzo Cardarelli (1887–1959):

"questo strascico di morte
che noi lasciamo vivendo
i lugubri e durevoli ricordi"

"a convergent lens in a camera obscura"
A camera obscura allows viewing, in a darkened room, of a vista outside; a nice site is at the University of Pretoria.


Among those who have compared vision or memory to a camera obscura are Locke, Descartes (La Dioptrique, 6th section, in which he carefully describes the role of the lens in sharpening the image)., Leibniz, Nietzche, Marx, Henri Bergson and Freud.

A typical analysis is that cited by Jonathan Crary in Suspensions of Perception (page 24):

"John Dewey provides an exemplary account, using optical figures, in his 1886 textbook: 'In attention we focus the mind, as the lens takes all the light coming to it, and instead of allowing it to distribute itself evenly concentrates it in a point of great light and heat. So the mind, instead of diffusing consciousness over all the elements presented to it, brings it all to bear upon some one selected point, which stands out with unusual brilliancy and distinctness.'"

Gratarolo, however, speaks of memory (not attention) as the lens which focuses and even enhances the image.

"Proust's madeleine" ("La madeleine di Proust")
Reference to an episode of involuntary memory from "Du côté de chez Swann" ("Swann's Way"), the first volume of "A la Recherche du temps perdu" ("In Search of Lost Time"), written by Marcel Proust (1871–1922) between 1909 and 1922. In this episode, tasting a madeleine evokes memories of the past that had been lost.

"Et tout d’un coup le souvenir m’est apparu. Ce goût, c’était celui du petit morceau de madeleine que le dimanche matin à Combray (parce que ce jour-là je ne sortais pas avant l’heure de la messe), quand j’allais lui dire bonjour dans sa chambre, ma tante Léonie m’offrait après l’avoir trempé dans son infusion de thé ou de tilleul. La vue de la petite madeleine ne m’avait rien rappelé avant que je n’y eusse goûté; peut-être parce que, en ayant souvent aperçu depuis, sans en manger, sur les tablettes des pâtissiers, leur image avait quitté ces jours de Combray pour se lier à d’autres plus récents ; peut-être parce que, de ces souvenirs abandonnés si longtemps hors de la mémoire, rien ne survivait, tout s’était désagrégé ; les formes – et celle aussi du petit coquillage de pâtisserie, si grassement sensuel sous son plissage sévère et dévot – s’étaient abolies, ou, ensommeillées, avaient perdu la force d’expansion qui leur eût permis de rejoindre la conscience. Mais, quand d’un passé ancien rien ne subsiste, après la mort des êtres, après la destruction des choses, seules, plus frêles mais plus vivaces, plus immatérielles, plus persistantes, plus fidèles, l’odeur et la saveur restent encore longtemps, comme des âmes, à se rappeler, à attendre, à espérer, sur la ruine de tout le reste, à porter sans fléchir, sur leur gouttelette presque impalpable, l’édifice immense du souvenir."
("And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before church-time), when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it; perhaps because I had so often seen such things in the interval, without tasting them, on the trays in pastry-cooks' windows, that their image had dissociated itself from those Combray days to take its place among others more recent; perhaps because of those memories, so long abandoned and put out of mind, nothing now survived, everything was scattered; the forms of things, including that of the little scallop-shell of pastry, so richly sensual under its severe, religious folds, were either obliterated or had been so long dormant as to have lost the power of expansion which would have allowed them to resume their place in my consciousness. But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection")

Page 26

File:Marcel Proust.jpg File:Celine.jpg File:Valery.jpg
Marcel Proust, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and Paul Valéry

"It seems there must be an involuntary memory of the limbs, our legs and arms are full of torpid memories" ("Pare vi sia una memoria involontaria delle membra, le gambe e le braccia sono piene di ricordi intorpiditi")
From the first tome of "Time Regained", the last volume of "A la Recherche du temps perdu", by Marcel Proust, page 11 (Modern Library edition).

"Ma mémoire avait perdu l’amour d’Albertine, mais il semble qu’il y ait une mémoire involontaire des membres, pâle et stérile imitation de l’autre, qui vive plus longtemps comme certains animaux ou végétaux inintelligents vivent plus longtemps que l’homme. Les jambes, les bras sont pleins de souvenirs engourdis"
("The love of Albertine had disappeared from my memory. But it seems that there exists too an involuntary memory of the limbs, a pale and sterile imitation of the other but longer-lived, just as there are animals or vegetables without intelligence which are longer-lived than man. Our legs and our arms are full of torpid memories")

"Nothing compels memories to manifest themselves as much as smells and flames" ("Niente costringe i ricordi a manifestarsi come gli odori e la fiamma")
From "Voyage au bout de la nuit" ("Journey to the End of the Night"), novel written in 1932 by French author Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894—1961):

"Rien ne force les souvenirs à se montrer comme les odeurs et les flammes"

The phrase is used in an account of French paratroopers during the Algerian war in 1954, by Pierre Leuillette, at Gazette 2004-05, without attribution. An Italian literary site identifies it as by the writer Céline.

"Soleil, soleil, faute éclatante"
Paul Valéry (1878-1945), "Ébauche d'un serpent" (1917):

"Soleil, soleil! … Faute éclatante!
Toi qui masques la mort, Soleil…
Tu gardes les cours de connaître
Que l'univers n'est qu'un défaut
Dans la pureté du Non-être."
("Sun, sun! … dazzling fault!
You who mask death, O Sun…
You keep the courses from knowing
That the universe is just a mistake
In the purity of Non-being.")

Go back to The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

Proceed to Chapter 2 - The Murmur of Mulberry Leaves