|a vineyard in the Monferrato hill country, Italy|
- I think we all knew the Mickey Mouse cartoon about Clarabelle and her treasure would come back. I suppose the number of sources for metaphors on memory and collecting are endless; so why something like Mickey Mouse et alia? (And how perfectly the comments from Chapter 4 predict this first point as well as the title of the new section!)
- "...I could not help tasting one [fig] and venturing to say that that tree always had been bountiful...." Is Yambo trying out his ability to generate memory, and to what end?
- What of the "memory of humanity," and the peaches, the poop, and the grapes? When I first read this, it took me by surprise, especially when there was a bathroom just inside. But consider the contrast from Milan to Solara in the first place. The descent into the vineyard is perhaps but the final steps of this journey to the bottom of the well, back of the cave, to the very beginning and all its metaphoric baggage. (Aside from all this, I think these few paragraphs are hilarious.)
- I wonder about Eco's use of "spirit" here: "In order to rediscover lost time, one should have not diarrhea but asthma. Asthma is pneumatic, it is the breath (however labored) of the spirit: it is for the rich, who can afford cork-lined rooms. The poor, in the fields, attend less to spiritual than to bodily functions. [¶] "And yet I felt not disinherited but content, and I mean truly content, in a way I had not felt since my reawakening." Is he admitting a level of spirituality or is it separate and/or euphemistic?
- The general American population doesn't understand, or fully comprehend, the level at which other cultures (generally not first world, or which were relatively recently and widely impoverished) hold/value their food. Like a language, it really has to be lived, rather than just studied. With few exceptions (generally holidays, though school-day lunch periods may also qualify, though not for reason food quality), we eat simply because we need to, and without ceremony. Our culture is not built around our meals; we come by them too easily. Also, and at its simplest, it's also directly connected to that very personal issue of defecation from earlier.
- A little Carrollian riddle: How is a Yambo like a house cat?
- Owls = ghosts, pretty much always by the way, or phantoms more generally and symbolically speaking.
- If Paola is acting mother in the tale, this journey away from her and home, more than just a quest, is also a test: can Yambo control his eating, among other things, without mommy breathing down his neck, making this story a sort of coming-of-age (yes, I'm intentionally avoiding the more "correct" literary snob term). Thoughts (about the question or the contents of the parentheses)?