Eco, Dickens, who else?

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Mon Feb 10 00:53:11 EST 2003

On Sun, 09 Feb 2003 18:46:33 -0700, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>>This happened to me with _Name of the Rose_, where I tried reading it at 15
>>and couldn't get it, and read it two years later and loved it.
>Have you tried Eco's newest novel, _Baudolino_? It is much more like the 
>Name of the Rose than any of his other novels. I loved it, mainly because 
>the topic of the novel and my PhD thesis have some massive areas of 
>overlap. I felt a bit like he was writing the book for me, particularly. 

Oh, I liked it a lot.  Unfortunately I was reading it last year during the
time that I couldn't seem to finish anything, so I had to put it aside
because I didn't want to stop enjoying it, if that makes sense.  The thing I
love about Eco's books is that they fill in these gaps in my historical
knowledge.  Plus I *adored* the parts where they were all making up letters
from Prester John, fully aware that it was fiction but behaving as though it
were fact.  And that Baudolino & Co. made up the names of the Magi...that
was so funny!

>Anyway, my husband liked it too - he liked Foucault's Pendulum as well, 
>which I did not.

I've still never read _Foucault's Pendulum_.  I own it now, so I can read it
any time, and I feel I should try it because I've heard conflicting opinions
from friends, so I'm not sure if I'll like it or not.

>>experience was great on another level, because it helped me get over my
>>feelings of inadequacy at not liking Dickens.  :)  Clearly I hadn't reached
>>that level of maturity yet.
>Not liking Dickens is a sign of a highly developed mature literary taste, 
>in my opinion. Just because a pot boiler is 150 years old doesn't make it 
>any less of a pot boiler.

I sure hope it's a sign of mature taste, because I don't think I'll ever
appreciate Dickens.  It feels too much like work to me.  I would rather read
Hardy...which is a reminder that I still haven't read _Jude the Obscure_ and
I've had it for two years now.  This is why I should never decorate with
books.  It's on a tiny bookshelf that can only hold about thirty books, and
all my pretty ones are there (since there's no point in trying to put part
of a section in the thing).  The Lymond books in that pretty trade edition,
the illustrated _Jane Eyre_, my Riverside of course they
never get read.

Melissa Proffitt

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