Unikāli - recenzija par manu vienu no visu laiku mīļākajām grāmatām tā arī nav tapusi. Kas to gan būtu varējis gaidīt.
As a fan of Eco it was my duty to read the only one of his novels (except for the latest one) that is not translated into my mother language. First I prepared to take on it in Russian since I already had read "Baudolino" in that language. But when I found out that the English version cost about the same as the Russian I decided to push myself to the limit and read this book in a language that I`m not particulary comfortable with. Only when the book was already in my hands a vague anxiety creeped into my mind whether I would be able to read Eco in English. Mr Eco`s books aren`t usually characterised by an extremely simple language and the intellectual baggage provided in each of his novels couldn`t fit in a nutshell. Therefore one really needs to be quite brave (and stupid as a matter of fact) to try to get through one of his works in a foreign language. Yet I am not a chicken, I`m a donkey and that means that I`m stubborn. So I took a grip of myself and started reading. And you know what? You wouldn`t believe me but it wasn`t that difficult at all. Ok, there are passages in Latin in this book but they still would be in Latin head I read them in Latvian. There is a character who speaks in a mixture of different languages which seems to be something between English and German in this translation but it probably would have been much weirder in Latvian-German.
The master`s latest. Baudolino is an old man who has lived a life full of wonders. Born in a swamp, he became the stepson to the emperor Friedrich Barbarossa (you can guess that it happened in the 12th century). He was a very good liar and invented quite many christian myths. But his main quest in life was to find the king John who lived somewhere in the farest East and ruled over the three Indias and the mysterious people inhabiting them. Together with his friends Baudolino went on this voyage and almost got there. That`s strange about this book is that Eco unlike in his other stories about Medieval times gives us unbelievable things - like people who have only one leg or genitalia on their neck, etc. But you can`t be really sure what`s true and what isn`t since what we hear is the story Baudolino tells to a chronist named Nikita. The ending is a bit of surprise although not as much as it could have been. To be honest, I don`t really know why I rate this book that much lower than "Focaults Pendulum" but I still do it. Probably, it`s because there`s too much repetition in here, probably not. It`s still a very good book, and I honestly doubt that Eco would be able to write something not very good.
If Umberto Eco is to be trusted, this will be the last of him I`ll be reading. On one hand I can understand his position - he`s 73 now and you rarely write your best work when you`re beyond such age. Since 1983 when "The name of the rose" came out Eco has been loved and respected in the world of the reading public. He has also enjoyed quite a lot of success as a historian of the Middle Ages, so he has nothing to regret about. Yet his decision can do nothing but make me sad. When one of the greatest voices of a generation decides to write no more, it is always sad. And if it`s one of your favourite writers of all time, you can only regret it.
Kad 2004.gadā iznāca "Karalienes Loanas noslēpumainā liesma" un Umberto Eko paziņoja, ka šis ir viņa pēdējais romāns, tas daudzus lasītājus, tai skaitā mani, nopietni apbēdināja (par spīti tam, ka "Noslēpumainā liesma" nekādi nebūtu saucama par viņa veiksmīgāko darbu). Tagad, pēc "Prāgas kapu" izlasīšanas, zinot, ka Eko atkal ir paziņojis, ka šis jau nu gan noteikti ir viņa pēdējais veikums daiļliteratūras laukā, es būtu daudz vieglāk gatavs samierināties ar to, ka "Rozes vārda" un "Fuko svārsta" autors varētu vairs nerakstīt.
Divas reizes Umberto Eko ir paziņojis, ka viņš izbeidz savu darbību daiļliteratūras lauciņā. Divas reizes viņš pēc šādiem paziņojumiem tomēr ir nācis klajā ar kādu jaunu romānu. Diemžēl jāatzīst, ka katrā nākamā atgriešanās viņa gadījumā ir mazāk spoža, un tas Eko, kas atgriezās ar "Pilotnumuru" galīgi vairs nav tāds autors, kura jauns darbs ir Notikums ar lielo burtu. Ja šī grāmata būtu paša Eko pilotnumurs literatūrā, neesmu drošs, ka viņam būtu sevišķas cerības turpinājumu.