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Das Foucaultsche Pendel. (German Edition) by…

Das Foucaultsche Pendel. (German Edition) (original 1988; edition 2003)

by Umberto Eco

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12,573175190 (3.86)410
Title:Das Foucaultsche Pendel. (German Edition)
Authors:Umberto Eco
Info:Carl Hanser (2003), Hardcover, 767 Seiten
Collections:Your library

Work details

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (1988)

Recently added byDReicht, private library, gdelreal, PaulCranswick, ivanmilke, FatMonkey, VolupteFunebre, cmoewes
  1. 210
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    P_S_Patrick: These books have a fair bit in common. They are both intense and thrilling mysteries, involving the occult, conspiracies, books, murders, and are both set mainly in Europe. What The Club Dumas does, Foucalt's Pendulum does better, but that is just my opinion. I have known people give up on reading Foucalt's Pendulum because of its length, its abundance of complicated detail, and its demands on the readers concentration, but any serious reader who enjoyed the Club Dumas should enjoy this more. Anyone who enjoyed Eco's story, likewise, should enjoy the other book, but don't expect it to be quite as good, though I don't think there is a surplus of work in this genre that can compare, with this being more or less the next best thing that I have read.… (more)
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  8. 22
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    freddlerabbit: See the Name of the Rose recommendation above - I find Foucault's even more analogous here because Name of the Rose is a bit more plot-driven than the other two, where Foucault's and Anathem both have as much as 40% pure theory-disguised-as-dialogue.… (more)
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» See also 410 mentions

English (156)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  French (1)  Czech (1)  Hebrew (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
This is one of those books I feel it should have enjoyed more than I did. It's an incredibly intelligent book of Templar secrets and conspiracy theories. However, it didn't quite work for me.

The story involves three friends work at a publishing house that is used to seeing manuscripts exploring and supposedly revealing the secrets of the Templars and other occult sects. When a man comes to tell them he has discovered a secret code, they figure he is mad like many of the others and send him on his way. Several days later he disappears under mysterious circumstances. Inspired by the mystery, the friends begin to spin a story based on the texts they've read, inventing the Templar Plan. It's a game, a fake. Or so it seems.

The premise sounds exciting, but it was bogged down and drawn out. Around 90% of the book is in dialog between the three friends or between the narrator and other characters, talking history, theories, counter theories, myths, and so forth about the Templars, Rosecrutians, and others. Hundreds and hundreds of pages, so many facts an dates and names with periodic untranslated phrases in Latin and French, so much that I would sometimes grow glassy eyed while reding and facts seemed the blur together. I couldn't keep it all straight. I like my history books to read like stories; this is a novel that reads like a history textbook.

Other than the narrator, I never full connected with or cared much about the characters and even the narrator I wasn't that much into. Any threat or tension was buried under the mountain of information. The Plan created by the three friends doesn't even start to take place until over halfway through the book. By the time the danger starts to really show itself and actual action becomes mixed in, it's almost too little too late. The climax felt anticlimactic and it all seemed more work than it was worth.

It's clear that Echo is a scholar, because the amount of research that had to have gone into this book boggles the mind. I know of at least one friend who loves this book and I can see why people like it. But ultimately it was not for me. ( )
  andreablythe | Aug 4, 2014 |
This book is hard to describe because it works on so many levels. Like all of Eco’s work, at it’s most basic level it’s a study of words, philosophy, and history. At it’s most commercial level it’s a thriller/suspense novel (if you can stay on track with that story through all of the diversions!). Basically, the owners of a publishing company become involved in the world of a network of conspiracy theorists whose focus is the Templars, Rosicrucians, Occult sciences, etc. The publishers create a fictional but elaborate story from a partially finished document that is supposed to be the “answer” to everything these conspiracy theorists have been searching for. This fictional “Plan” ends up being taken quite seriously with disastrous results. As the publishers find, if you write something enough times it becomes true!

Eco isn't always easy to read, but his insights are really interesting and amusing. If you like language, words, philosophical humor, etc., I'd recommend it. Otherwise, you'll probably be really, really annoyed! ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 23, 2014 |
Parts of this I really enjoyed and I liked the message that people will believe what they want to believe. However, there was too much cabalistic history that I really didn't get and had to just read for the sake of getting to a section that I could understand. I also found some of it ridiculous (as in a secret Templar actually wrote all of Shakespeare's work for him). The main plot, about Casaubon and Belbo, reminded me of a more erudite version of Dan Brown's [book:The Da Vinci Code|6192236], which was the best part of the book (although I did like Belbo's reminiscences about being a boy during WW2). ( )
  leslie.98 | May 30, 2014 |
Romanian version
  athaulf | May 16, 2014 |
What you might think it's about: the Knights Templar.

What it's really about: faith and credulity, fact and fiction, courage and cowardice, the drive to create.

Okay, it's kind of about the Knights Templar, I'll give you that. Our narrator, Casaubon (a note on that name momentarily), gets involved with a publishing house that is half scholarly publishing and half vanity publishing. Through various occurrences, both sides of the business become involved in publishing books relating to conspiracy theories and what may have happened to the Knights Templar. Casaubon was already working with the company on other books when they get into the conspiracy theory business, and since he has a background of studying the Templars, he is a natural fit to help them with this new line as well. Now, about that name, Casaubon: if you've read Middlemarch, you'll recognize it. I wouldn't go so far as to say that you need to read Middlemarch before Foucault's Pendulum, but relating Eco's Casaubon to Eliot's adds a layer of meaning. The same could be said for many, many references in the book - references to everything from Gone with the Wind to Don Quixote, Proust to Stephen King. I'm sure many sailed over my head, but the allusions, both overt and subtle, come fast and furious. The same goes for the history. It's good to have at least a passing knowledge of the basics of the Templars, but ultimately I don't think it matters because the mix of truth and supposition will have you looking up many things to try to separate fact from fiction anyway.

Obviously if you're talking about the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, and any number of other secret societies, you're going down the rabbit hole. It's just a matter of what kind of rabbit created it, how far down the hole goes, and whether or not there's a way out. But aside from having fun tying seemingly every occurrence in history together into one intricately intertwined narrative, Eco is also exploring the themes I mentioned above. Over and over we return to those ideas in different forms and different situations. After I finished the book, I found myself contemplating two things: 1. what kind of mind would do that to history (sub-item: did he have one of those "crazy person" rooms with cards and thread connecting them all over the walls like they show on tv?), and 2. that he did all that to wrap it around something so simple and universal: the desire to know that you're part of something larger than yourself, something that lives on past your own death.

Recommended for: speculative fiction/alternate history fans, philosophers, people who liked The Crying of Lot 49 but thought it wasn't complicated enough.

Quote: "'Why are pyramids found on both sides of the Atlantic?' 'Because it's easier to build pyramids than spheres. Because the wind produces dunes in the shape of pyramids and not in the shape of the Parthenon." ( )
2 vote ursula | May 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
Umberto Eco has launched a novel that is even more intricate and absorbing than his international best seller The Name of the Rose. Unlike its predecessor, Foucault's Pendulum does not restrict its range of interests to monastic, medieval arcana. This time Eco's framework is vast -- capacious enough to embrace reams of ancient, abstruse writings and a host of contemporary references or allusions...
True believers, skeptics, those waffling in between: all are in for a scarifying shock of recognition.
added by Shortride | editTime, Paul Gray (Nov 6, 1989)
You may call the book an intellectual triumph, if not a fictional one. No man should know so much. It is the work not of a literary man but of one who accepts the democracy of signs. .... To see what Mr. Eco is really getting at, the reader of his fiction or pseudofiction should consult his scholarly works, where observation and interpretation are not disguised as entertainment. I don't think ''Foucault's Pendulum'' is entertainment any more than was ''The Name of the Rose.'' It will appeal to readers who have a puritanical tinge - those who think they are vaguely sinning if they are having a good time with a book. To be informed, however, is holy.
I doubt if we will see a more exhilarating novel published this year, and you don't have to take a reviewer's word for it: can 600,000 Italians be wrong?
added by qball56k | editThe Guardian, Jonathan Coe (Oct 12, 1989)
U ovom delu Eko se lucidno podsmehnuo svim teorijama zavere od srednjeg veka do danas. Posle čitanja ovog romana sigurno je da će mnogi čitaoci pohrliti da obogate svoja saznanja o alhemiji, kabali i srednjovekovnim tajnim društvima. U ovom romanu Eko se lucidno podsmehnuo svim teorijama zavere od srednjeg veka do danas.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com

» Add other authors (64 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eco, Umbertoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexanderson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boeke, YondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kroeber, BurkhartÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krone, PattyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarikoski, TuulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Костюкович… ЕленаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Only for you, children of doctrine and learning, have we written this work. Examine this book, ponder the meaning we have dispersed in various places and gathered again; what we have concealed in one place we have disclosed in another, that it may be understood by your wisdom.

  --Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, De occulta philosophia, 3, 65
Superstition brings bad luck.

  --Raymond Smullyan, 5000 B.C. 1.3.8
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That was when I saw the Pendulum.
I am not for one moment denying the presence in your house of alien entities; it's the most natural thing in the world, but with a little common sense it could all be explained as a poltergeist.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 015603297X, Paperback)

Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth.

Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.


(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:01 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Three Milan editors, who have spent much time rewriting crackpot manuscripts on the occult, decide to have a little fun. Their plan encompasses the secrets of the solar system, Satanic initiation rites, and Brazilian voodoo. A terrific joke--until people begin to disappear.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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