The Prague Cemetery Chapter 4

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Page 47

Giovanni Battista Simonini
Although Eco states in the introduction that "even the hero's grandfather… is historical", I am unable to find any reference to him (apart from descriptions of Prague Cemetery).

Page 48

a warty nose
Eco included the well-known painting, "An Old Man and His Grandson" (ca. 1490) by Domenico Ghirlandaio, in his 2007 art book, On Ugliness.


Page 53

lives next to an oven used for unleavened bread
Having set up the premise of the book as a kind of secret history of anti-semitism, concepts and words linked to the history of it resonate. For instance, here, even a mention of "an oven" takes on heavy significance.

Page 61

Vincenzo Gioberti (1801 –1852) was an Italian philosopher, publicist and politician. Wikipedia The anti-Jesuit invective (yet another list of hatred) on the page attributed to him presumably derives from Gioberto's anti-Jesuit text, Il Gesuita moderno. Full text (Italian)

undermines, torments, afflicts
another list of hatred.

perinde ac cadaver
Short Description: Literally, “in the manner of a corpse”; used in describing the submission of a disciple to a spiritual master. Used to describe the extreme devotion and allegiance Jesuits have to their spiritual authority figures.

Phansigars or stranglers
Thuggee or Phansigars is the term for a particular kind of murder and robbery of travellers in South Asia and particularly in India. Wikipedia

Page 63

Babette of Interlaken
Eco draws the description of this character from "The Jew of Verona: An Historical Tale of the Italian Revolutions of 1846-9 by A. Bresciani", published in 1861. p. 133. [1] Eco quotes the text extensively in his description of Babette.

Page 64

who wanted me to be a lawyer
According to Wikipedia, Eco was urged to attend law school by his father, but he entered university to study medieval history and literature instead.

Page 66

"In the attic I found a case of books"
there's a similar scene in Queen Loana I seem to recall?

Page 69

A word that should resonate with Eco reader (Cf. the labyrinth in Name of the Rose), but actually the Italian Eco uses is "meandri del Balon", or "the maze of Balon". The Italian for labyrinth is labirinto.

Page 71

"Bicerin is a traditional hot drink native to Turin, Italy, made of espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk served layered in a small rounded glass. The word bicerin is Piedmontese for “small glass”." Wikipedia

Caffè al Bicerin
add pictures with correct license

Page 74

Une veillée de jeune fille
Erotic illustrated book published 1840. Illustration of the "buttocks of dazzling whiteness" Eco mentions can be seen here.

Ah, monseigneur, si Thomas nous voyait!
an album of erotic lithographs published around 1835-40. Sample illustrations here.

Page 75

Cagliostro's fraud
one of many examples in the book of forgeries/frauds that, like the Protocols, affect events in the real world.

Page 77

the universal form of every conspiracy
Might Eco mean Prague Cemetery to be an exploration of a universal form of conspiracy?

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