Read-a-long post 4

Part Two – Hokhmah

Chapter Five – “And begin by combining this name”

Now we know who Abraham Abulafia is, and have the old practice of letter combinations updated with a snippet of code.

Words/terms looked up:

Ennoia – Greek Σοφíα, meaning “wisdom” – okay, so that explains Sophia, but not who Lorenza Pellegrini is. (First mentioned in Chapter 3.)

Chapter Six – “Judá León se dio a permutaciones

Judá León se dio a permutaciones
Juda León worked out (various) permutations

De letras y a complejas variaciones
of letters and complex variations

Y al fin pronunció el Nombre que es la Clave,
And finally pronounced the Name which is the Key,

La Puerta, el Eco, el Huésped y el Palacio…
The Door, the Echo, the Guest and the Palace…
message 14:

This chapter begins with a portion of a poem by Borges!

No?  No is the password?  That is the stupidest thing I’ve read so far in this book.  Now, maybe if No released a sanitized partition that was opened… but could a word processor from that era do that?

Found in the brain of Abulafia is file of 120 quotations.  This book has 120 chapters, each starting with a quotation.  Nice symmetry.

Words/terms looked up:

Macumba – religion is practiced by a large number of Brazilians, and involves the apparent possession of worshippers by their gods

atabaque – a tall, wooden, Afro-Brazilian hand drum, used in capoeria

Part Three – Binah

Chapter Seven – “Do not expect too much of the end of the world.”

Binah meaning understanding

Lia? of Chapter 3’s “Lia and the baby”?

The demonstrations and revolution Casaubon reports strikes a strange chord, with anti-Trump demonstrations happening weekly in today’s America.

So here we discover the beginning of the Templar obsession, and a marker of 1972.

Chapter Eight – “Having come from the light and from the gods, here I am in exile, separated from them.”

Location: Pilade’s bar.  I got the reference to Rick’s Cafe from Casablanca. Small victories, and another mention of Lorenza, a pinball wizard?

I think I don’t like Belbo.

Chapter Nine – “In his right hand he held a golden trumpet.”

Yep, definitely don’t like Belbo.

Chapter Ten – “And finally, nothing is cabalistically inferred from vinum”

Hah.  I got the Zhivago joke!

Four kinds of people in the world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics.  I can believe this world view.

Chapter Eleven – “His sterility”

Belbo’s imagination at taking on W. Shakespeare’s work as an editor was a nice bit.

I don’t catch the God incognito novel reference. Google lists one published in 1974, possibly the one Eco could have read before publishing Foucault’s Pendulum in 1988.

Also don’t catch the Seven Seas Jim reference.  Possibly this:  At least it was entertaining to read.

Chapter Twelve – “Sub umbra alarum tuarum, Jehova” Under the shadow of thy Lord.

Cas enters Garamond Press.  Immediately we meet a woman who was named by the men in the office, but not with her real name. Jerks.

I do like the School of Comparative Irrelevance and their impossible courses.

Interesting that the Marquis de Carabas in this chapter references the Puss in Boots origin, I must have known this reference first, but to me the Marquis de Carabas will evoke Gaiman’s Neverwhere instead.




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