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Umberto Eco Invented Dan Brown

Posted by NT Wrong on August 29, 2008

“The author, Dan Brown, is a character from Foucault’s Pendulum! I invented him. He shares my characters’ fascinations—the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist.”
– Umberto Eco, ‘The Art of Fiction No. 197’, Paris Review 185 (Summer 2008)

I loved reading Foucault’s Pendulum. It’s a perfect novel.

2 Responses to “Umberto Eco Invented Dan Brown”

  1. Clovis said

    Certainly Foucault’s Pendulum is a work of genius when compared to Dan Brown’s work, but I’m curious to know why you think it’s a ‘perfect novel’.

    I have enjoyed the novel a lot, on various re-readings, but the first time I picked it up I struggled tremendously (and initially failed) to get past the first couple of chapters.

    Does a novel have to be (self-consciously) difficult to be perfect? I’ve a suspicion, from reading various interviews, that Eco believes so.

  2. ntwrong said

    My comment about it being the ‘perfect novel’ was made in a slightly provocative vein. I think I said that because the novel so perfectly creates a world, and world-creation is the basic task of a novel, whether it’s a world in which windmills are giants, or a world which is created in synchronisation with the unfolding of the plot of Foucault’s Pendulum. It’s that in particular which makes it ‘perfect’ in my mind (albeit, hyperbolically).

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