The Prague Cemetery Chapter 3

From Umberto Eco Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Chapter 3

Page 29

consumptive Polish pianist kept by a degenerate woman who went about in trousers
Chopin and his lover, George Sand.

Page 30

Eco is a big fan of the French novelist Gerard de Nerval (1808-1855). Eco made an extensive analysis of Nerval's short story, "Sylvie", in his Six Walk in the Fictional Woods. Eco focused especially on Nerval's use of grammatical tenses, which reminds us of the opening pages of Prague Cemetery.

Interestingly, Nerval is not mentioned again by name, but later in the book when we learn that France outrageously taxes fictional serials called feuilletons, Nerval responded by publishing "The Salt Smugglers." From Amazon: "Originally published as a serial work in the 1850s, The Salt Smugglers is a biting and hilarious satire of the politics and censorship of literature; it is an unearthed pre-postmodern classic. By writing a first-person narrative text in which he himself is in search of a lost book containing the history of the Abbé de Bucquoy, the author is able to evade the French censorship law forbidding fiction newspaper serials while at the same time underscoring its ludicrousness." [1]

Doctors Bourro and Burot

Jean-Martin Charcot (1825 - 1893) was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology.[1] He is known as "the founder of modern neurology". Wikipedia Freud studied with Charcot in Paris at the psychiatric asylum of Salpetierre, where in 1885 Charcot was experimenting with the use of mesmerism on female patients. source

Tous les légumes
seems to be a famous French nursery rhyme?

Page 31

Abbé Faria
the name of the character who befriended Edmond Dantes in prison in Dumas's great Count of Monte Cristo. Eco discusses the historical origin of the character's name in a footnote in Confessions of a Young Novelist:

"By the way, a real Faria existed, and Dumas was inspired by this curious Portuguese priest. But the real Faria was interested in mesmerism and had very little to do with the mentor of Monte Cristo. Dumas used to take some of his characteristics from history (as he did with d'Artagnan) but his readers were not expected to be concerned with the real-life attributes of those characters." Confessions, p. 209.

Page 35

du Maurier
It's unclear if this is a reference to George du Maurier (1834-1896), the French-born British cartoonist and author, known for his cartoons in Punch and also for his novel Trilby, which prominently featured hypnotism. Cf. Mesmerism and Jewishness in a novel by George Du Maurier: Trilby By Anna Maria De Bartolo.

Almost certainly a reference to Diana Vaughan -- cited by Leo Taxil in the mid-1890s as a source for his writings 'exposing' the Satanic influences in Masonry, and believed to be a real person who had numerous demonic encounters under the guidance of FreeMasons, until she was revealed as a fictional character in 1897. See: "Diana was supposedly involved in Satanic freemasonry, but was redeemed when one day she professed admiration for Joan of Arc, at whose name the demons were put to flight. As Diana Vaughan, Taxil published a book called Eucharistic Novena, a collection of prayers which were praised by the Pope.

On April 19, 1897 Taxil called a press conference at which he claimed he would introduce Diana Vaughan to the press. He instead announced that his revelations about the Freemasons were fictitious. He thanked the clergy for their assistance in giving publicity to his wild claims." at ; also , for a transcript of Taxil's original announcement.

Doctor Azam… second state

Page 38

fetor judaica
The anonymously written 1888 anti-semitic pamphlet, The Original Mr. Jacobs, attributes such a remark to Hugo, but I am unable to locate the source of this in Victor Hugo's works. Possibly apocryphal?

Page 40

This list of cocaine's virtues in the following paragraph comes directly from Freud's writing. source

Page 42

Cocaine advertisement


Full scan available at National Library of Medicine

Page 45

turtle soup by Dumas
Alexandre Dumas wrote a massive encyclopedia slash cookbook called Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine (Great Dictionary of Cuisine). It contains a recipe for Potage en tortue (turtle soup). Full text (French)

Return to The Prague Cemetery

Chapter 1
pp. 1-4
Chapter 2
pp. 5-28
Chapter 3
pp. 29-46
Chapter 4
pp. 47-82
Chapter 5
pp. 83-96
Chapter 6
pp. 97-113
Chapter 7
pp. 114-139
Chapter 8
pp. 140-158
Chapter 9
pp. 159-167
Chapter 10
pp. 168-169
Chapter 11
pp. 170-190
Chapter 12
pp. 191-210
Chapter 13
pp. 211
Chapter 14
pp. 212-228
Chapter 15
pp. 229-232
Chapter 16
pp. 233-235
Chapter 17
pp. 236-259
Chapter 18
pp. 260-271
Chapter 19
pp. 272-277
Chapter 20
pp. 278-283
Chapter 21
pp. 284-301
Chapter 22
pp. 302-330
Chapter 23
pp. 331-377
Chapter 24
pp. 378-397
Chapter 25
pp. 398-407
Chapter 26
pp. 408-426
Chapter 27
pp. 427-437