Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2012 discussion

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Mount TBR Buddy-Reads > The Name of the Rose

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message 1: by Sera (new)

Sera Please feel free to join us.


message 2: by Marialyce (new)

Marialyce Sera, I read this awhile ago, and will admit I had a pretty rough time of it. I think it was the continual use of the latin which got to me after awhile. I will he anxious to see what you think of it.

There is a movie of it that stars Sean Connery and a very young Christian Slater if you are interested.


message 3: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) I read this eons ago and remember enjoying it, although I wish that someone other than the very leaden William Weaver had translated it.

I haven't got a copy, otherwise I would re-read it, but I will poke my nose in every now and then.

Hope you all enjoy it.


message 4: by Sera (new)

Sera Thanks, Marialyce and Hayes.

I've heard that it's challenging and that a historical knowledge of the church would be useful as context. I'll keep you posted. I'm reading this one with Michelle so at least I'll have someone off which to bounce my thoughts :)


message 5: by Julia (last edited Aug 01, 2012 09:56AM) (new)

Julia (mizzelle) | 23 comments There is a volume called "Key to the Name of the Rose" that includes all the Latin/etc translations. For some reason I thought they'd released a paperback edition with that included in the back, but I can't find it. I have the hardcover, but it's one that I've never gotten around to.


message 6: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) (FurryReaders) | 456 comments Sera, I too read this quite a while back and agree with what others say. I have to admit I would have loved having that companion book that Julia mentioned, I just had a couple of Latin dictionaries to help me through. What sticks with me all these years later, besides the insight into the cloistered life, is the descriptions of the library, he made it so I could see it.

I will try to check in too.


message 7: by Sera (last edited Aug 02, 2012 08:02PM) (new)

Sera Thanks, all. I'm about 50 pages in. The Latin isn't so bad - I can figure out small bits and then about half the time, Eco gives a translation, brief summary of or context to what was said. It makes a reading slightly more challenging but I am not finding it off-putting yet.

What's interesting is that book opens with William showing his skill at deductive reasoning. Having just come off my first Sherlock Holmes book, I found the similarities between the two to be both unexpected and entertaining.


message 8: by Sera (new)

Sera I like that the book is set in mediviel times. The story has such an eerie feel to it so far. Eco's use of the third party narrator is a great way to tell this story.

Of course, William is my favorite character so far. He's smart and fair. He is definitely the right person to be investigating what happened at the church.

I find it disappointing that no place is immune from the evil doings of men - I mean, come on, not even the church is sacred. Quite sad, really.


message 9: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) (FurryReaders) | 456 comments The more I learn of history the more I learn what was done in the name of the church or by members of the church. But each time I read something, I still get that feeling of sadness, so I certainly understand your feelings.


message 10: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Sera wrote: "Thanks, all. I'm about 50 pages in. The Latin isn't so bad - I can figure out small bits and then about half the time, Eco gives a translation, brief summary of or context to what was said. It ma..."
Hi Sera, I am about halfway where you are. I noticed the deductive reasoning with the horse as well, it also reminded me of Sherlock and his skill.

Not too much Latin yet.

I agree with your observation around the Church and all the violence associated with the passing and appointing of Popes. Today it all seems so tame.

Continuing on!


message 11: by Hayes (last edited Aug 04, 2012 03:14PM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) I love the names of the characters:

William of Baskerville - hat tip to Sherlock Holmes
Adso of Melk - Adso... Hudson

It works better in Italian where the pronunciation of Hudson comes out as "Adso" (the H isn't aspirated and they never pronounce the final n: 'Udso)


message 12: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) (FurryReaders) | 456 comments MichelleCH wrote: "I agree with your observation around the Church and all the violence associated with the passing and appointing of Popes. Today it all seems so tame."

Rather like royal succession today or the change of power in democratic nations. Too bad there are still nations that do things as in the days of old. For some reason it makes me think of the Jimi Hendrix quote "“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

Now if the church would practice a bit more about what it preaches and paid their fair share. Hmm, imagine the effects to the world wide recession or at least Italy's bottom line. (Yes, Hayes that still irks me)


message 13: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Hayes, I noticed the names too! Very clever and meshes well with his deductive reasoning skillz!

The novel is starting to grow on me and becoming much clearer. Sera, I have just finished the chapter where they have found the second dead monk. The writing is of the time but some of the language is modern feeling ie. stating that the killer has a twisted mind.

There are also so many references to the devil, what do you make of that?


message 14: by Sera (new)

Sera I've been working through my lunches so I am still stalled at page 73 until probably tomorrow. I, too, found the book to start moving once I became accustomed to the writing style. I think that all of the classics that we've been reading is very helpful here.

I was surprised at the many references to the devil, but then again, it is medieval times, and the sciences of the mind, such as psychology, hadn't been developed yet. There is a section where William comments on blaming the devil for the deeds of man and chalks it off as irrelevant to the fact that the man did the deed. I found the dialogue in this section to be very clever on the part of Eco as he uses logic to define evil instead of leaving it in the hands of the church as a religious symbol.

As a side note, I am a person of faith who tends not to discuss my beliefs because I view them as personal. I say that because I think that this book is going lead us to discussions that may question certain religious tenets in general. My focus is on Eco's focus and not whether he's right or not. I just want to ensure that anything that I post here isn't meant to offend anyone or to portray my personal feelings toward religion. I just want to discuss this book with my buddy, Michelle, and anyone who is interested :)


message 15: by Sera (new)

Sera I am about a third of the way through, and I am surprised as to how much I am enjoying it. The story is complex and very philosophical in nature, which surprised me.

What do you think of Jorge, the blind monk?

I have no idea whodunit, but I'm starting to get an idea as to why.

I'm sorry for the monks who spend their day transcribing text, but thought it was funny how they would make comments on occasion in the margins about how they were feeling. I can't imagine how painful it must have been for them.


message 16: by Sera (new)

Sera Do you know much about the church during these times? I find it fascinating how religion starts to compete with mercantilism during these times and how the church reacts to this change. How does this institution continue to evolve while maintaining its traditions? I find this to be an interesting theme of this book.


message 17: by MichelleCH (last edited Aug 09, 2012 07:21PM) (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Sera wrote: "I am about a third of the way through, and I am surprised as to how much I am enjoying it. The story is complex and very philosophical in nature, which surprised me.

What do you think of Jorge,..."

I am trying to move long, but this darn thing called work keeps intruding. Do you ever feel like no matter how much you read it is like you are making the tiniest bit of progress? This is me right now. Tonight I hope to get it going again.

I thought the transcribing process was so incredibly interesting. It is those details that I love in a book. I did not know that they used a piece of vellum over the page they were working on with a small window cut out to single out where they were on that page. Very clever.

Jorge is to me a bit scary and too strict. Wonder where he falls in all of this.

I really enjoyed the interaction when Venatious's body had been found and William asked Severinus if he had any poisons and he responded that it depended on what they meant by poison - a true scientist's answer.


message 18: by MichelleCH (last edited Aug 09, 2012 07:26PM) (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Sera wrote: "Do you know much about the church during these times? I find it fascinating how religion starts to compete with mercantilism during these times and how the church reacts to this change. How does ..."

I think that it was a time of incredible darkness for the church, religion and society as a whole.I have read some about the church around the medieval period and the one thing that stands out to me is how much superstition existed in combination with the church. Most people didn't live that long and religion promised eternal salvation, so the fact that life right now was miserable didn't matter. Perhaps this is where all of the discourse on the Devil falls.

Rules also seemed to be unevenly applied depending on the situation. Abstinence is the vow, but many in the church with power have wives or mistresses.

I am reading Green Darkness at the same time and England is in the midst of tremendous change oscillating between Protestant beliefs (during King Edward) and Catholism (Queen Mary's accent). How confusing and potentially dangerous for all people of faith!

The church also had a lot to lose if they relinquished even a smidge of their power. As Eco points out this potentially leads to corruption and murder.

A great film to watch related to all of this is The Mill and the Cross.


message 19: by Sera (new)

Sera MichelleCH wrote: "Sera wrote: "I am about a third of the way through, and I am surprised as to how much I am enjoying it. The story is complex and very philosophical in nature, which surprised me.

What do you th..."


Ugh, I completely understand about lack of the progress that you feel as a reader. Plus, I like to read with at least 30 minutes to do so because reading a few pages at a time negatively impacts my overall reading experience in regard to a book.

Jorge makes me nervous. He is very black and white about things. Have you read the discussion that he had with William about laughter?

The herbalism in this book is fascinating. I can't thinking about how they used 100% of what mother nature offered versus how we have shifted toward the opposite end of processing most everything that we eat today and take as medicine.

As a side note, have you read The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh? It's a heartwarming story that has the meaning of flowers at its center. If you are interested in that sort of thing, you would probably enjoy that book.


message 20: by Sera (new)

Sera MichelleCH wrote: "Sera wrote: "Do you know much about the church during these times? I find it fascinating how religion starts to compete with mercantilism during these times and how the church reacts to this chang..."

It's interesting that superstition would play such a role when everything was put into a good or evil bucket. It's either one or the other. But superstition conveys that one can actually impact into which bucket something will land.

Loss of power does lead people to try and to preserve it all costs, and the church appears to be no different in this regard. What always bothers me is how people justify their actions in the name of religion, when within the religion itself those actions would remain in the hands of God.


message 21: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments First it was the Tour de France and now the Olympics! I also have to be completely focused on NOTR, if I don't pay attention really closely I get lost. Lots of parables and allegorical references.

Jorge is scary and the discussion on laughter was telling in terms of his stance on faith. If, he believes that Jesus never laughed how can he relay joy and forgiveness. A nasty twisted monk.

I am curious as to the herbs used to make William and Asdo ill while in the library. I loved this section and the many meanings around it all being a labyrinth.

Haven't read the Language of Flowers yet. I did read the The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World which was very good.

My only complaint is the long lists Eco likes to use in his writing. A bit much.


message 22: by MichelleCH (last edited Aug 12, 2012 02:22PM) (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments As to the good and evil buckets, this period feels so raw. We have Father Dolcino who wants to return to the church's original ideas of humility and poverty and is then brutalized through the Inquistion. I have so many issues with what you mentioned: the justification of horrible acts in the name of religion. This double standard, I believe drives Adso's restlessness.

Did you notice Dolcino's remark that he would rise on the third day?

I have some time today so a little over halfway done...and you? Don't want to give away anything!


message 23: by Sera (new)

Sera I'm at 30%, hoping to read more tomorrow. I recall having read the part about the Antichrist, that he was coming.

I started Gone Girl last night and it hooked me in until I gobbled it up. This book was fantastic! Have you read it yet?

So I've been horribly distracted but looking forward to picking this one up again tomorrow.


message 24: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Ok Miss, new rule. Stop reading awesome books and recommending them :)

I love books like that.

This is a bit painful, I like it for a bit and then it gets really, really dense. I have to look up all the monks and their affiliations, Spirituals, etc.

Next buddy read will be lighter!! Ok?


message 25: by Sera (new)

Sera You are looking up the monks? You rock!

Yes, we are due for a light buddy read.

I finished the part about William and Adso's late night trip through the library today. That maze was crazy! I really enjoyed reading about William's explanations for all of the mysterious going-ons.


message 26: by Jemidar (last edited Aug 13, 2012 07:04PM) (new)

Jemidar | 358 comments The schism within the Franciscan monks that is described in this book is real and there was a meeting but it didn't take place at this particular monastery. The monks and the monastery are fictional I believe, the rest is not. When I first read it I had just finished a course in Medieval history and Eco has things pretty right as you would expect, as he is an academic medievalist himself.

The mindset of the monks is wonderful because Eco captures beautifully the two conflicting philosophical thoughts running through the church at the time--traditional Augustinian (theological) thought verses neo-platonism or the revival of classical type thinking (or reasoning) which is what in essence led to the Renaissance.

Absolutely love the library!!!!


message 27: by Sera (new)

Sera Jemidar, thanks for the information! I hope that you'll continue to provide us with insight in regard to this read.


message 28: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Jemidar wrote: "The monks and the monastery are fictional I believe, the rest is not."

The castle is real, but it was a castle and not a monastery.

Castel del Monte literally, the Castle on the Hill.

I have never visited, but friends tell me it is absolutely fabulous.


message 29: by Sera (new)

Sera Hayes, that castle looks creepy. Eco definitely captures the feel of it in his book. I also like that there is a drawing of the octogonal lay out of the castle.

Very cool.


message 30: by Hayes (last edited Aug 14, 2012 05:37AM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) It's on the back of the Italian edition of the Euro 1 cent piece too :-)



message 31: by Sera (new)

Sera Wow - I love that. It brings an entirely new dimension to the book for me.


message 32: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Google it, Sera, using Google Images. There are some fabulous pictures.


message 33: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Thank you Jemidar and Hayes. Just finished the book this evening. I will admit that I struggled through the middle...however, the end wrapped it up well.


message 34: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) Those philosophical parts did get a little heavy. I remember skipping some of the "theory" chapters and just reading the "mystery" chapters.


message 35: by Sera (new)

Sera I'm almost half-way through, hoping to read more today. I just finished the part where William figures out the design of the library from the outside in and now he is trying to crack the code of how the books are catalogued.

I'm glad to hear that the book wraps up nicely. I am enjoying the "theory" parts very much. I don't get to read much philosophy so I am finding it a nice change of pace. Having the "mystery" thrown in between is a nice treat, too.

I am finding this book to be quite unique in its approach. It really captures the faith versus reason tension that was described early in this thread. It's a bit of a dense read at times, but I will read more Eco.


message 36: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Hayes wrote: "Those philosophical parts did get a little heavy. I remember skipping some of the "theory" chapters and just reading the "mystery" chapters."

I feel like you did Hayes.

Sera, the reasoning abilities of William are impressive. I really appreciated how Eco walks you through his process.


message 37: by Sera (new)

Sera It is very Sherlock Holmsian.

Looking forward to reading more at lunch tomorrow. My evenings this week are shot.


message 38: by Hayes (last edited Aug 16, 2012 01:46AM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) The whole heresy problem is really interesting, actually, and not a thing of the past. Some friends of mine know a parish priest who was asked to leave his parish, by the parishioners themselves, for heresy (in 2010!). His heresy was suggesting during his sermons that some stories in the Bible could be taken with multiple interpretations, not just literal ones. The parishioners went up in arms, and sent letters to the Vatican. The Vatican was forced to send him to another church as Assistant Priest, where he now "works" overseeing the archaeological sites in the church's crypt.

There are many people who take the word of the Bible literally, but Catholics do not, generally, so this move by the parishioners was very disturbing.


message 39: by Sera (new)

Sera I agree that the heresy issue is interesting, particularly since there seems to be a fine line between heresy and orthodoxy. It is also another example of how an institution categorizes beliefs based upon how it serves its best interests.

Unbelieveable that heresy is alive and well in 2010 and within the Catholic church no less!


message 40: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments That is so fascinating who would have thunk it possible!

Overall for me it was a three star read for enjoyment and a five star for quality of the material. I also have Foucault's Pendulum on my TBR, but the thought of reading it scares me.

Hope you are able to get some reading in this weekend, Sera!


message 41: by Sera (new)

Sera No, unfortunately not. My allergies have been terrible and I feel awful.

I hope to start reading of my library books tonight and tomorrow. I'll likely pick up NOTR when I return to work next week. I worked through lunch most of last week so I'm at around page 255 for now, hoping to finish it within the next week.

3 stars is good for this type of book.


message 42: by Sera (new)

Sera I finished this one last night. I thought that it was excellent. The complexity blew me away. I will definitely be reading more Eco.

In a nutshell, I found that his ability to give insight into this period of history through the telling of a mystery to be unique in its approach. It makes me want to go on a medieval binge, but unfortunately, I have to stay the course.


message 43: by Dawn (& Ron) (new)

Dawn (& Ron) (FurryReaders) | 456 comments Sera, congrats on getting this finished, those dense parts are what turn off a lot of people but Eco does set up his time and its conflicts well. I can only think of one other book that allowed me to see into the historical religious aspects like this one did The Illuminator, it's not the same kind of book but allows the reader to see what can be done in the name of religion.

Hayes, sadly I'm not surprised to hear about the 2010 case of heresy, just disappointed. He was saying if you let yourself think about it, you may find different interpretations or understandings but his flock still holds with being told how to interpret the Bible. After all that's what the Catechism is for, so I guess it was felt he was going against that, which would be a big no-no yesterday, today and tomorrow.


message 44: by Sera (new)

Sera Thanks D&R! Also, thanks everyone for jumping in. Your comments added to the reading experience. Off to Infinite Jest, before starting M&M.


message 45: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 149 comments Sera, I thought I had responded to this thread, but maybe I was dreaming!

Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for another buddy read!


message 46: by Sera (new)

Sera Thanks to you, too! It's always fun.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Language of Flowers (other topics)
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World (other topics)
Gone Girl (other topics)
Foucault's Pendulum (other topics)
The Illuminator (other topics)