European in all the best ways. Oddly — perhaps indulging some hipsterish impulse to not go too mainstream too soon — I left by far the most famous modern Italian novel, The Name of the Roseuntil quite late. When the news reached me — reached me via the hyper-textual rabbit hole which is social media, a phenomenon ripe for the sort of semiotic analysis to which Eco dedicated much of his life — I sighed. Why else depict it at such length, in such rich language? I was not so much struck by her form as by the thought that she, too, was a woman like the other, and yet this one was the vessel of every vice, whereas the other was the receptacle of every virtue. A true intellectual of the old school, Eco was multilingual, a lover of the avant-garde, and a committed gastronome. I remember only that the emotions of the first moment were bereft of any expression, because my tongue and my mind had not been instructed in how to name sensations of that sort… Was there truly a difference between the delights of which the saints had spoken and those that my agitated spirit was feeling at that moment?
He couches it in theological language, but the passage parallels sexual bliss and the disappearance of the self.
Valentina Vargas Sex Scene – The Name Of The Rose
In interviews, in photos, in his essays, he always struck me as something of a dream grandfather. Now alone in the kitchen is the unnamed girl. I have of course never experienced life as a devout medieval monk, labouring under a vision of womanhood as sinful and sworn to a vow of celibacy. Christmas in a Siberian labour camp, with Dostoevsky. Into the future, we will always continue to work in the fashion we do right now: About a third of the way through the writing of the book, AJ began to get twitchy about the compromises involved in traditional publishing: A sort of resigned melancholy.