Monday, November 03, 2008

Books that I wish I hadn't (already) read... Part 1

... so that I could read them again and again and again. There are three such books, which I artificially prolonged my reading to enjoy them. I will share them one by one as time permits.

The Island of the Day Before
This is one of the not so well known works of Umberto Eco. On the outside the book is on the quest to find an efficient method to measure the longitude in the middle ages. Unlike latitude, which could easily be measured by the angle of the north star, the longitude requires a working time reference. If I have a clock on London time, and observe that there is a 4 hour difference between midday times, you can deduce you have a 4/24 or 60/360 degrees difference. But a reliable clock that would withstand the high seas was hard to get those days. The main character is intertwined in a conspiracy that involves the de facto ruler of France - Cardinal Richeleu- and ends up as the only survivor of a ship sent out to search the international day line. As he tries to recover what had happened, he becomes obsessed with an imaginary brother, who is responsible for all the mishaps of his life.

The book is a very successful literary experiment. The writer -Eco- tells the story of a modern observer who finds manuscripts of the main character Roberto who in turns the story of his brother Fereto. Layers of reader - writer relations makes more sense when one reads Eco's theoretical work on this issue "Six Walks in the Fictional Woods". This is also a good entrance to Eco's writing, which normally requires a lot of effort to enjoy, due to his beloved concept intertextuality.

3 comments:

zeynep said...

Önceki Günün Adası... Bayağı güzel kitaptı gerçekten ama bence Umberto Eco'nun en güzel kitabı Foucoult Sarkacı. Neden artık yeni kitaplar yazmıyor acaba?

Ahmet C. Toker said...

bence de en guzel kitabi o. ama en keyif alarak okudugum kitabi buydu, ozellikle anlati ormanlarinda gezintiyi okuduktan sonra. lloana cikti iste en son.

zeynep said...

o çıkalı da 3 seneyi geçti heralde...