The Prague Cemetery Cover
The Prague Cemetery
The Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague was used from the early 15th century until 1787. Wikipedia
The cemetery is the key locus of Jewish conspiracy theories. According to the infamous anti-Semitic conspiracy text, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the works that inspired it, the cemetery was used as a secret meeting place where plans for Jewish global domination took place.
The cover of the US edition was designed by Michaela Sullivan.
The cover incorporates a photograph of Paris, with one of the gargoyles atop Notre Dame in the foreground. The photo was licensed from Corbis Images. A thumbnail of the copyrighted image may be be seen at Corbis.
A 2007 photo of the same, bat-like Notre Dame gargoyle above Paris:
photo by Wally Gobetz, Creative Commons, source
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
"is a fraudulent antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for achieving global domination. It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the twentieth century." Wikipedia
Henry Ford funded the printing of 500,000 copies of the Protocols, which were distributed in the United States in the 1920s. Hitler and the Nazis were major proponents of the text, which were taught as factual in German classrooms during the Nazi years.
Umberto Eco wrote an introduction to the 2006 graphic novel, The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by the great comic book artist Will Eisner. Amazon
More than one critic has viewed the popular novels of Dan Brown as lite versions of Eco's Foucault's Pendulum.
- NYTimes interviewer:I am wondering if you read Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code,” which some critics see as the pop version of your “Name of the Rose.”
- ECO: I was obliged to read it because everybody was asking me about it. My answer is that Dan Brown is one of the characters in my novel, “Foucault’s Pendulum,” which is about people who start believing in occult stuff.
- NYTimes Interviewer: But you yourself seem interested in the kabbalah, alchemy and other occult practices explored in the novel.
- ECO: No, in “Foucault’s Pendulum” I wrote the grotesque representation of these kind of people. So Dan Brown is one of my creatures.
Cf. also, ECO: "The author, Dan Brown, is a character from Foucault’s Pendulum! I invented him. He shares my characters’ fascinations—the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist." Paris Review
two kinds of readers
Eco has written exhaustively on different types of readers, both of his books and of books in general. Most notably in The Role of the Reader.