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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana XVII -- chapter 16: DEFENESTRATING FOG

  1. The first paragraph holds Eco's second mention of tapeworms (proglottid), and this time regarding their divisive mode of reproduction.  Is this (I'm being a little sarcastic here) Freudian?
  2. I love the indirect comparison between the Seven Dwarfs and the kings of Rome.
  3. Le corna, or "the horns," is the inadvertent obscene gesture in the aspirin ad.  The version shown is the augmentative of the one-handed horns, which are made by closing the thumb and the middle and fourth fingers and then pointing the remaining fingers (index and pinky, if you're not keeping track) at your target or, more figuratively, toward hell.  It's a versatile gesture with a number of variations, and happened to be the favorite and much-abused gesture of a close friend when I was in Italy.
  4. Why is a stamp a perfect window--and so much simpler, if not cheaper, than books and comics--to another land and/or time?
  5. Interesting how all the pulp and press from Part 2 find connections, subtle, tangential, and/or direct, to the truths of his memories in Part 3.
  6. As far as storytelling is concerned, who is Gragnola?
  7. "...it was like throwing rocks at a rhinoceros...."
  8. Compare the figurative, fog-laden gorge of Yambo's memory to the real, childhood nightmare.  The latter was overcome by dedicated and systematized training.  Is there a correlative here to penetrating the memory fog?
  9. Next character: as far as storytelling is concerned, who is Durante?
  10. "...because we knew that half a Hail Mary would basically paralyze them."
  11. "I lack the courage to go to Don Cognasso and confess… and besides, confess what? That which I did not do, nor even see, but only guessed at? Not having anything to ask forgiveness for, I cannot even be forgiven. It is enough to make a person feel damned forever."  There's something big here.  This story of terror and heroism and guilt occurs just at Yambo's coming of age.  All this, combined with Gragnola's ideologies and that of Yambo's books, comics, and grandfather, should add up to who he became as an adult.  Thoughts?
  12. Following up from #8: The bottom of both the figurative and literal gorges hold the same event.  Is this Clarabell's treasure?  Is this, after everything, a parallel of some sort to the First Folio?


  1. (Wow, that was a long chapter. Great, though!)

  2. I have about 20 pages left. I'll try to finish today. But come on Eco, how am I supposed to finish a 50 page chapter on a bus ride? Usually, Eco is perfect for a 25 min bus ride. Not today.

  3. I know. Thankfully, today was all reviews and work completion time. I had pretty much nothing to do, so I read. And read. And read.

  4. That actually doesn't sound like such a bad day. haha

  5. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I actually have to work again!

  6. 1. Ugh I hope not.
    2. Yes, and the best part is how he ends the Roman kings with a pause and then, "Sneezy."
    3. Thanks. I was looking at it and wondering.
    4. Captures location and time at once, as well as an important cultural fact usually.
    6. I get the feeling that Gragnola is sort of the impious side of Eco.
    8. Arg, I can't remember the dream since I read it yesterday, but as far as systemized training, I find it interesting that this is the type of memory that the doctor says he still should have.
    9. The voice of scientific progress, risk, and temptation.
    11. I think that Gragnola has taught him to look more at ends than means, but the Church looks at both, so he can't be forgiven for the means because he doesn't think that he needs to.
    12. Yeah, it might be. But the First Folio? I'm still trying to figure out how this factors in.

  7. 1. Eh, I couldn't resist the question.
    2. I laughed out loud.
    4. There's such opportunity for vicarious adventure and experience. I would add, and I think Eco's likely intending it, books.
    8. The dream is just his allegedly unconscious torpor, sitting in the attic with the Folio in his hands as the memories rush into (or from??) him.
    11. Yeah, I agree. The combination of Gragnola and Durante is interesting. I know this isn't accurate, but it feels a little like ego and id and superego.
    12. And supposedly he's holding it the whole time he's remembering all this stuff. I need to go back and read Borges' "Shakespeare's Memory." I'm wonder if there's a connection or tribute....


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