Umberto Eco “The Prague Cemetery”
November 10th, 2011
Nineteenth century Europe was awash in conspiracy theories, mysteries, plots, spies, forgeries and massacres. It’s almost too fantastic to be real, so it’s easy to take novelist Umberto Eco‘s new book “The Prague Cemetery” as the product of a vivid overimagination.
But Eco insists that everyone in his novel — except for his main character — was a real person, who actually said the things they say in the book, and did the things they do in the book.Simone Simonini is a master forger, and a plagiarist, who Eco imagines as the creator of a real book, later known as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an outrageous screed that warned of a Jewish cabal plotting world domination. Hitler cited it as a justification for his “final solution.”
In Eco’s hands, the book’s creation becomes an absurd and ironic comedy.
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