It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and high court official from certain ...
death at the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.
Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts--a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies. When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander--who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa--adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends.
Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East--a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens.
As always with Eco, this abundant novel includes dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. This is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.
Non ai livelli del Nome della Rosa o il Pendolo di Foucault, ma assolutamente divertente e ricco di citazioni, leggende e animali fantastici del Medioevo. La storia è una sorta di Viaggi di Gulliver al tempo di Marco Polo. Da leggere.
Ci ha abituato a ben altro Umberto Eco. Siamo molto distanti dal suo capolavoro "Il nome della Rosa". Molto involuto ed eccessivamente prolisso. Dal romanzo storico si passa ad un racconto di fiabe e allegorie tratte perlopiù dal mondo orientale:
..." alcuni passaggi sono senz'altro belli, ma certi capitoli sarebbero da saltare a piè pari. Continua...Nascondi
This is the easiest and most accessible of Umberto Eco's fictions (but still very difficult for me). It's a story about love, dream, the fictious yet consoling quality of religiosity, but above all, about life as deception and absurdity. The
..." narration is not very condensed but the content is compact. Less inspiring than the Name of the Rose, Focault's Pendulum and the Island of the Day Before. But still some of the insights are very moving. There are three beautiful ideas which I would not forget for the rest of my life: "It's always beautiful to languish for an impossible love", "What is life if not the shadow of a fleeting dream?" (reminiscent of Pindar's famous saying "Man is the dream of a shadow")and "life is a mistake of the Demiurge who always achieves only halfway"...Continua...Nascondi