Baudolino



[Download] ➸ Baudolino By Umberto Eco – E17streets4all.co.uk It is April , and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a hi It is April , and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to tell his own fantastical storyBorn a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind The commander who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friendsSpurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens With dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age, this is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.Baudolino

Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children s books A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sense of humor and irony, and his ideas on semiotics, interpretation, and aesthetics have established his reputation as one of academia s foremost thinkers.

Baudolino PDF ò Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 527 pages
  • Baudolino
  • Umberto Eco
  • English
  • 02 April 2017
  • 0156029065

10 thoughts on “Baudolino

  1. says:

    Baudolino, Umberto EcoBaudolino is a 2000 novel by Umberto Eco about the adventures of a man named Baudolino in the known and mythical Christian world of the 12th century In the year of 1204, Baudolino of Alessandria enters Constantinople, unaware of the Fourth Crusade that has thrown the city into chaos In the confusion, he meets Niketas Choniates and saves his life Niketas is amazed by his language genius, speaking many languages he has never heard, and on the question if he is not part of Baudolino, Umberto EcoBaudolino is a 2000 novel by Umberto Eco about the adventures of a man named Baudolino in the known and mythical Christian world of the 12th century In the year of 1204, Baudolino of Alessandria enters Constantinople, unaware of the Fourth Crusade that has thrown the city into chaos In the confusion, he meets Niketas Choniates and saves his life Niketas is amazed by his language genius, speaking many languages he has never heard, and on the question if he is not part of the crusade, who is he Baudolino begins to recount his life story to Niketas His story begins in 1155, when Baudolino a highly talented Italian peasant boy is sold to and adopted by the emperor Frederick I At court and on the battlefield, he is educated in reading and writing Latin and learns about the power struggles and battles of northern Italy at the time He is sent to Paris to become a scholar 2010 1386 672 9643342506 20 2016

  2. says:

    This is a novel that I love to return to.Baudolino, a self declared liar tells the story of his life to a Byzantine court official and historian who he has rescued from the sack of Constantinople during the fourth crusade 1204 AD.Baudolino s story takes in the life and career of his imperial majesty the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, study at the university of Paris, the third crusade up to the death of the emperor, the acquisition of the mummified bodies of the three kings for Cologne Cathedra This is a novel that I love to return to.Baudolino, a self declared liar tells the story of his life to a Byzantine court official and historian who he has rescued from the sack of Constantinople during the fourth crusade 1204 AD.Baudolino s story takes in the life and career of his imperial majesty the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, study at the university of Paris, the third crusade up to the death of the emperor, the acquisition of the mummified bodies of the three kings for Cologne Cathedral, the discovery of the Holy Grail, the writing of a letter from Prester John and a journey to the fringes of the Empire of Prester John himself and an escape from the fortress of the Old Man of the MountainsThat is unless it was all a hashish inspired dreamOr a lie from beginning to end.In a recent episode of In Our Time one of the speakers suggested that Bernard Hamilton first came up with the idea that the court of Barbarossa came up with the first letter from Prester John, the question for me now is did Hamilton publish before Eco or Eco before Hamilton Is this novel about a liar as close to the truth of the invention of a medieval myth as we can get

  3. says:

    in a great history little truths can be altered so that the greater truth emerges. What would an Umberto Eco novel be without a pile of theological debate, historical references bordering on the obscure, and convoluted story telling that makes your head spin What would an Eco novel be without causing you to ask yourself what the heck was that after you finish reading it Or heaps of tongue in cheek phrases that make you wonder if he s being serious or mocking the answer is, not much of in a great history little truths can be altered so that the greater truth emerges. What would an Umberto Eco novel be without a pile of theological debate, historical references bordering on the obscure, and convoluted story telling that makes your head spin What would an Eco novel be without causing you to ask yourself what the heck was that after you finish reading it Or heaps of tongue in cheek phrases that make you wonder if he s being serious or mocking the answer is, not much of an Umberto Eco novel at all Well, after having finally finished Baudolino I can assure you, this is definitely an Eco novel.I could try and tell you what the novel is about, but it might be pointless, since the novel isn t really about what it s about Unless of course, you think it s about something else, in which case it might have actually been about that first thing, instead or, about something else entirely Perhapsthan other Eco novels I ve read, it might help to have an idea of the basic historical context in the novel, otherwise the significance of some of the things which happen in it might be missed So, in case you fell asleep in history class, or simply go eye glazey at the mention of history, allow me to give you the condensed, Kyle style history context, and plot rundown of the book feel free to skip this section if it bores you Forgive me historians, I m just pulling stuff from my own spotty memory so I might make some mistakes or miss something feel free to correct me but basically, this novel takes place in and around the context of the third and fourth crusade There was a significant period between the second and third crusade, where the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem was established and maintained largely with the help of the monastic, knightly orders like the Templars This foxy Muslim guy, named Saladin, eventually drives the Christians out of Jerusalem, thereby retaking it for Muslim control So the Pope, like Popes did at the time, calls for another crusade to retake Jerusalem This sparks the third crusade, also called the Kings crusade since it was lead by a bunch of kings Like Richard the Lionheart Now, enter our dear Baudolino, who has been adopted by the emperor Barbarossa, of the Holy Roman Empire which really is the biggest misnomer in the history of the world, since the HRE is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire but that s beside the point, even though it is actually significant in the story Eventually Barbarossa joins the third crusade, leading a big ass army over land toward the holy land Historically, neither he, nor his army makes it to the holy land since Barbarossa drowns in a river on the way there, and his army dissolves But is this really what happens Baudolino claims there isto this story than history tells usThis story, which is part of a larger story, is being told by Baudolino in Constantinople during the 4th crusade Yes, the 4th even with medieval superstars like The Lionheart, Jerusalem wasn t retaken So the 4th crusade is launched and misses slightly, since it decides to capture and sack Constantinople instead Most of Baudolino s story is being told to us with the burning city as the backdrop Umberto Eco also uses the medieval myth of Prestor John as a large part of the story which is basically a grail type myth also in the book telling of a wonderful land on the other side of the world ruled by the pious christian king, Prestor John So, amateur history lesson plot summary over there are plentytopics in the book, but I think I hit the main ones , there is still a major issue we have to deal with Baudolino is a lying sack of s t At least, most of the time Have no fear though, everything in this book is as true as the gospel itself One basis that people like St Anslem, and St Agustine built their arguments for God s existence upon, is that if we can conceive of something greater than anything, then surely that thing exists Well, why not the same with stories themselves If we can think of a story that is grander, andepic than anything, shouldn t that story be true too Even though there are a lot of great messages in this book, throughout the entire novel Umberto Eco, largely through Baudolino, is jerking us around Suffice to say, my legs are hanging on by a thread, and only a fewpulls will surely remove them for good This is not a perfect book, yet I found even its imperfections charming rather than juvenile I had a lot of fun with this bookthan I expected to, and I really can t justify lowering its star rating, even though my mind tells me I probably shouldn t be so gushy about it I can t help it though I thought it was great Ithan really liked it I really, really liked it Hopefully you will too.It can be a little trying at times I suppose, like any Eco book I know at one point the reader has to deal with a lucid, crazy dream hallucination happening within a story being told, within a story being told, within a story being told, within the book Yet, for all its challenges I still found it to be a page turner, and a fun romp My suggestion is to go for it, and if you find it s not your cup of tea, then at least you gave it a try.Also, I have to give major props to William Weaver for his translation work I can t imagine being a translator and having this thing plop on your desk Are you kidding You want me to translate somebody writing Latin, medieval Italian, and a blend of other languages in which he doesn t actually know how to write, so he is spelling this the way he thinks they are spelled based on how they sound If I were a translator, I would have told somebody where they can shove this manuscript, but then again I m not William Weaver, and am hence, writing a review about the book instead.This isn t Eco s best novel, but I would claim that this is Eco s most fun novel The key to success with this one, is to not take it too seriously How much havoc can a simple story cause anyway

  4. says:

    Eco s sophisticated mingling of historical facts with medieval philosophy and theology as well as with a fictional hero, who is in fact an anti hero, makes you really dive into the Middle Ages and this fascinating book I absolutely adored it and was drawn to it from page one until I was forced to close it you know, to sleep or study or when I actually finished it.The first thing we learn about Baudolino, the main character of this book, is that he is a liar He warns us that we must not bel Eco s sophisticated mingling of historical facts with medieval philosophy and theology as well as with a fictional hero, who is in fact an anti hero, makes you really dive into the Middle Ages and this fascinating book I absolutely adored it and was drawn to it from page one until I was forced to close it you know, to sleep or study or when I actually finished it.The first thing we learn about Baudolino, the main character of this book, is that he is a liar He warns us that we must not believe him at any time And yet, he narrates a story so charming, so exciting and so obviously untrue that leaves you with no other choice than believing anything he says, no alternative than surrendering completely to his every word There is not a single Umberto Eco novel that I haven t really enjoyed but I believe that Baudolino is his most relatable character He devotes his life to the search for something he knows can t be found, he feels cursed when he loses everything he has ever loved and desired but ultimately realises that he has to go on, he has to take responsibility for his actions and make peace with himself His only gift is his ability to lie, to use language and words in order to create stories and make things happen by making them up Niketas Hortiatis a very significant historical figure of the time whom allegedly Baudolino has met and advised in relation to Hortiatis writing of the historical facts around the fourth crusade decides not to include Baudolino s story and so History will forget him because, even if it s not true, in a great history little truths can be altered so that the greater truth emerges This is a great tale about stories and storytelling written by an expert of the kind

  5. says:

    Umberto Eco, who previously gave us The Name of the Rose and Foucault s Pendulum, gives us a fantasy historical novel about the fictional right hand man to Frederick the First 1122 1190 , also known as Barbarossa, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Our hero, Baudolino, is a kind of Henry Kissinger sent off by the emperor to make peace, conduct negotiations and threaten war Baudolino is an inveterate liar and stretcher of the truth, so when he undertakes a multi year mission to find the mythical Umberto Eco, who previously gave us The Name of the Rose and Foucault s Pendulum, gives us a fantasy historical novel about the fictional right hand man to Frederick the First 1122 1190 , also known as Barbarossa, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Our hero, Baudolino, is a kind of Henry Kissinger sent off by the emperor to make peace, conduct negotiations and threaten war Baudolino is an inveterate liar and stretcher of the truth, so when he undertakes a multi year mission to find the mythical Prester John, the exaggeration and fantasy reach a peak The whole book is structured as a story told to a comrade near the end of Baudolino s life He indeed finds all the mythical creatures shown on maps of that era s, mermaids, various dragons, men with eyes in their stomachs A lot of the lands visited are from Jewish mythology and, in addition to searching for the Christian figure, Prester John, a compatriot who accompanies them is searching for the lost tribes of Israel This is the time of the Crusades and, tongue in cheek, Eco acquaints us with the origin of sacred relics At one time the expedition is carrying six heads of John the Baptist for barter It s a fascinating tale a bit long at 400 pages, but a good read none the less, particularly for those who like historical novels We also get an occasional taste of the scientific and philosophical debates of the Medieval Era as in discussions of the existence of the vacuum and the Holy Ghost

  6. says:

    Baudolino is a difficult book to summarise, because theyou read, theyou realise that the plot is merely incidental and the book is really about something else entirely In fact, if you were to read this book for the plot you would be very confused very quickly The story is a first person account by the eponymous Baudolino of his life, as told to Niketas whom he rescues from the sack of Constantinople It chronicles his adventures from 1155 when he was adopted in all but name by Empe Baudolino is a difficult book to summarise, because theyou read, theyou realise that the plot is merely incidental and the book is really about something else entirely In fact, if you were to read this book for the plot you would be very confused very quickly The story is a first person account by the eponymous Baudolino of his life, as told to Niketas whom he rescues from the sack of Constantinople It chronicles his adventures from 1155 when he was adopted in all but name by Emperor Frederick I up to the fourth Crusade which is the present day of the novel In between he falls in love, studies in Paris, negotiates peace agreements, saves cities, and searches for the legendary kingdom of Prester John However, what the book is really about I think it s a bit difficult to tell with Eco is what is true and what is not and how easily one can become the other.Baudolino himself is established as an unreliable narrator from the very beginning of the novel The book begins with him quite literally erasing history and writing his own story over the top of it when he scrapes clean some parchment containing historical records for his own personal use He goes on to fabricate love letters which he considerstrue than if they had really been sent to him by the object of his affection who is of course, like Dante s lady love, called Beatrice He creates religious relics from household junk He invents a letter from Prester John to Frederick which sends Baudolino and his friends off on an impossible journey to find the kingdom that they themselves have created, bearing a cup which they style as the grail These stories not only take in others, but they even fool their creators as Baudolino and his friends seem to come to believe in their own fictions, so the reader stands no chance of working out what is true and what is not Why should his first person narrative to Niketas be anyfactual than any of this And does it matter if it is true or a lie Eco seems to be asking whether there is a difference at all, and with the amount of blurring that goes on in this book it is impossible to say.By far my favourite part of this book was Baudolino s own manuscript which begins the novel, written in a strange, hybrid language which is a mixture of Latin and how he thinks his native tongue ought to sound if it were to be written and kudos to William Weaver for finding a way to translate this so that it works in English This is so very medieval in spirit, right down to his having scraped the parchment clean of another text and written his own story over the top of it although parts of the original manuscript still show through at points , that I couldn t help but enjoy it This was the first in a long series of in jokes for medievalists which I found enormously entertaining but I m not sure would have been appreciated as much by someone without this background even with my education in this area, at times I felt as though I needed to read armed with an encyclopedia of the medieval world to pick up on everything and I m sure I missed a great deal Eco may be writing fiction, but this book is very scholarly, employing and satirising a whole host of medieval tropes and conventions, from Provencal troubadour verse to debate on religious heresies, from courtly love to fantastic travelogues and from philosophy to the inexplicable lists, ubiquitous in medieval literature Baudolino is a gold mine of satire on the middle ages, but it is hard work to read

  7. says:

    Umberto Eco s novels are the Harvard doctorate to Dan Brown s middle school nonsense Whereas Brown fascinates the masses with half truth historical art and religion, Eco is a stunning scholar, simply overwhelming the sophisticated reader, pleasurably, with ancient languages Ave, evcharisto, salam 376 and sometimes arcane belief systems His characters may not be as deep or personable as less ambitious novels I decided that if this was my fate, it was useless for me to try to become li Umberto Eco s novels are the Harvard doctorate to Dan Brown s middle school nonsense Whereas Brown fascinates the masses with half truth historical art and religion, Eco is a stunning scholar, simply overwhelming the sophisticated reader, pleasurably, with ancient languages Ave, evcharisto, salam 376 and sometimes arcane belief systems His characters may not be as deep or personable as less ambitious novels I decided that if this was my fate, it was useless for me to try to become like other men 232 , and Eco plots can be circuitous but he captures the daily experience of the times, alongside subtle, grand points of semiotics There are no stories without a meaning 12 and theology Baudolino is not as pulsing as Name of the Rose or Foucault s Pendulum, less a mystery,an epic As an epic, it ebbs but when it flows, the story is clever, funny, a wonderful balance of sacred and profane At its best, Baudolino even skirts poetry, because It is the duty of poets to invent beautiful falsehoods 55

  8. says:

    Aside from a few parts that I got a little bored with, this novel was, by and large, a tour de force of humorous historical storytelling proportions I was delighted and totally amused by Baudolino, the inveterate trickster, storyteller, and liar.Putting aside actual history for a moment and the MC s way of explaining that he is, as always, a liar, but he only lies for good, the novel grows epic from the first passages We start with the fall of Constantinople, getting in tight with Barbarossa Aside from a few parts that I got a little bored with, this novel was, by and large, a tour de force of humorous historical storytelling proportions I was delighted and totally amused by Baudolino, the inveterate trickster, storyteller, and liar.Putting aside actual history for a moment and the MC s way of explaining that he is, as always, a liar, but he only lies for good, the novel grows epic from the first passages We start with the fall of Constantinople, getting in tight with Barbarossa the Holy Roman Emperor , and move into an amazing and amusing set of circumstances that include the founding of Alexandria, going on several quests for Prester John, meeting all manners of strange creatures and lands right out of the weirdest Medieval descriptions, and so much .This is Umberto Eco, after all If we re not knee or thigh deep in fascinating historical footnotes couched in an expansive idea rich adventure, then we must have wandered into someone else s novel.I laughed out loud many times I especially loved the whole con game about selling relics In this case, the seven severed heads of John the Baptist The kinds of lies that Baudolino and his cohorts told were fantastic, rich, and while they didn t always pan out the way they hoped, the effects were gorgeous to behold.Is this a farce A satire A wonderful sarcastic and worldly tribute to imagination and The Pilgrim s Progress And better, too Hell, you know this is crazy when you have our hero carry around the Holy Grail But what is real and what is pure fabrication Possibly everything, but even Baudolino warns us that he tells us lies to get to the very truth of things And that s the best part of the novel I got lost in the stories and didn t care a fig about anything but the telling.My only complaint was with the whole sequence around Hypatia I kinda didn t care for the philosophical ramblings so much I just wanted him to move on with the rest of the adventure But aside from this, I loved everything

  9. says:

    So many stories are themselves about stories and storytelling There is something about this basic act of creation and communication that captivates the human mind and spirit Storytelling necessarily blurs the line between truth and falsehood there is no way to relate any story, even history, with perfect truth, for we are all fallible and subjective beings And history that patchwork quilt of stories that make the grandest narrative of them all is probablylies than truth We are blessed So many stories are themselves about stories and storytelling There is something about this basic act of creation and communication that captivates the human mind and spirit Storytelling necessarily blurs the line between truth and falsehood there is no way to relate any story, even history, with perfect truth, for we are all fallible and subjective beings And history that patchwork quilt of stories that make the grandest narrative of them all is probablylies than truth We are blessed or cursed with a surfeit of information and records In the past, history was as much myth as anything else, a conflation of received wisdom passed down through oral histories and the texts that had been preserved in monasteries or libraries Moreover, the standards by which we judge what is true have changed as well.So it was with much pleasure that I found myself gradually warming to Baudolino, this year s annual year end Umberto Eco read The eponymous hero rescues Niketas, a court historian and official at Constantinople, during its sacking in 1204 This becomes the frame story for Baudolino s other adventures, from his childhood adoption by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to his discovery of the Holy Grail and his quest to deliver it to the mythical kingdom of Prester John Throughout the narrative, through the audience of Niketas, Eco reminds us to challenge and question Baudolino s story for he himself admits he is an accomplished liar, and plenty of episodes in this tale attest to that fact Baudolino revisits familiar themes from other Eco novels I have read, and once again Eco proves himself one of the most intelligent, insightful, and interesting authors I ve ever discovered.Eco s historical fiction captivates me because he puts his expertise as a medieval historian and semiotician to work to create authentic medieval individuals I m neither of those things, but I did take a course in Medieval Tudor Drama in my undergrad days and I ve also stayed at a Holiday Inn One of the most important things I learned from that class was the gulf in thought that exists between medieval people and twenty first century people It s not just a question of knowledge Medieval society had a completely different view of the world, one steeped in spiritualism, mysticism, and religiosity, that in turn resulted in almost alien ways of thinking In Baudolino, and similarly in The Name of the Rose and The Island of the Day Before , Eco manages to tap into this different way of thinking as much as is possible This makes the novels somewhat harder to read because of the way the characters speak and act but I love being able to slip, if only briefly and superficially, into the medieval mindset.For an example of this, consider the kingdom of Prester John, the hunt for which becomes the focus of the last third of Baudolino The novel includes several examples of contemporary mappa mundi, maps of the world as people saw it at the time, discussing the possible location of the kingdom among the three Indias Thanks to centuries of maritime and aerial exploration, not to mention satellite mapping, we have an exhaustive idea of what the Earth looks like and where everything is give or take a few nonexistent islands The wider world was a muchmysterious place to twelfth century Europeans Places such as the Antipodes, Ultima Thule, and the Kingdom of Prester John were taken to exist simply because others had written about them even if one was not quite sure where on a map these places might be located I just found it fascinating to put myself in the mindset of someone who had such uncertainty about the disposition of the rest of the world.Baudolino eventually persuades his adoptive father to mount an expedition to meet with Prester John Before that happens, however, he oversees the forging of a letter from Prester John to Frederick an episode inspired by an actual incident involving a letter purportedly from Prester John, which might be an early example of a viral message And he discovers the Holy Grail, which he proposes Frederick might present to the vaunted Prester as a token of mutual respect between two leaders of Christian kingdoms In both cases, Baudolino is perpetrating a bald faced deception in the name of what he perceives as a greater good This proves to be something Baudolino does time and again, as we see when he mediates between Frederick and the city Alessandria, which grew out of his own home village Through clever tricks and no small amount of dissembling, Baudolino averts war several times over, while managing to allow both sides to save face.Once on the hunt for the kingdom of Prester John, Baudolino, in a section reminiscent of Gulliver s Travels, encounters a strange land with creatures from classical mythology skiapods and blemmyes and unicorns and satyrs Once again, Eco reifies the mythical in order to demonstrate how close mythology and reality were to peoples of the 12th century It s easy to scoff at what we perceive as ignorance, but there is a fine epistemological point here Baudolino and his comrades are as convinced of the veracity of their knowledge as we are of ours Though full of fabrications himself, Baudolino sets off looking for the kingdom in earnest While scientific method has certainly yielded important facts about the universe, we have our share of apocryphal anecdotes and even untrue certainties about the way the world works Just look at how we teach the science of flight, which is in reality so very complex, to elementary school students Through the frame story and the stories Baudolino tells within his own narrative, we see how the careful use of fiction can affect the course of world events Falsehood can quickly become truth, and lies can outlive the liar Baudolino s original Letter to Prester John, initially shelved rather than given to Frederick, somehow inspires one in the court of the Byzantine emperor The Grail that he fabricates spawns a host of myths and quests all their own, with one of his companions commenting that it s the search for the Grail that truly matters, and that it would be awful if anyone ever actually found it Once a story has left the mouth or pen of the writer, it takes on an independence that can never be reclaimed, and despite the teller s original intentions, the story mutates and evolves of its own accord, perhaps becoming unrecognizable in the process.Baudolino is a blend of mystery and mysticism, mythology and medieval thought It s story and history intertwined to make something entirely unique and impressive I hesitate to rank it next to Umberto Eco s other efforts it seems to share aspects with all of them, attesting to Eco s ongoing fascination with the distinctions between truth and falsehood and how we verify history At times this book is hard to read no, strike that, this book in general can be difficult to grasp if one is not careful, because Eco tries his best to allow the reader to experience the medieval perspective on the world in all its temporal and spiritual layers But reading it is an effort and an experience that is well worth it, in my opinion As always, Eco makes me think and ponder upon what we know to be true and how we know it This is always a valuable and cherished result of reading any book, and in this respect Eco doesn t let me down.This is one of my annual Umberto Eco reviews

  10. says:

    Now, one of our brothers, Eldad of the tribe of Dan,than a hundred years ago, arrived at Qayrawan, in Africa, where a community of the Chosen People exists, saying that he came from the kingdom of the ten lost tribes, a land blessed by heaven, where life is peaceful, never troubled by any crime, where truly the streams flow with milk and honey This land has remained separated from every other country because it is defended by the river Sambatyon, which is as wide as the shot of the might Now, one of our brothers, Eldad of the tribe of Dan,than a hundred years ago, arrived at Qayrawan, in Africa, where a community of the Chosen People exists, saying that he came from the kingdom of the ten lost tribes, a land blessed by heaven, where life is peaceful, never troubled by any crime, where truly the streams flow with milk and honey This land has remained separated from every other country because it is defended by the river Sambatyon, which is as wide as the shot of the mightiest bow, but it is without water, and only sand and stones flow there furiously, making a noise so horrible that it can be heard even at the distance of a day s march, and that inanimate matter flows there so rapidly that anyone wishing to cross the river would be swept away by it That stony course stops only at the beginning of the Sabbath, and only on the Sabbath can it be crossed, but no son of Israel could violate the Sabbath day of rest Baudolino is an accidental hero and an inadvertent adventurer His fate, personified by Umberto Eco, mercilessly set him on a series of escapades in the magical realism of the past and in the never never land of medieval history God is the Unique, and he is so perfect that he does not resemble any of the things that exist or any of the things that do not you cannot describe him using your human intelligence, as if he were someone who becomes angry if you are bad or who worries about you out of goodness, someone who has a mouth, ears, face, wings, or that is spirit, father or son, not even of himself Of the Unique you cannot say he is or is not, he embraces all but is nothing you can name him only through dissimilarity, because it is futile to call him Goodness, Beauty, Wisdom, Amiability, Power, Justice, it would be like calling him Bear, Panther, Serpent, Dragon, or Gryphon, because whatever you say of him you will never express him God is not body, is not figure, is not form he does not have quantity, quality, weight, or lightness he does not see, does not hear, does not know disorder and perturbation he is not soul, intelligence, imagination, opinion, thought, word, number, order, size he is not equality and is not inequality, is not time and is not eternity he is a will without purpose Try to understand, Baudolino God is a lamp without flame, a flame without fire, a fire without heat, a dark light, a silent rumble, a blind flash, a luminous soot, a ray of his own darkness, a circle that expands concentrating on its own center, a solitary multiplicity he is a space that is not, in which you and I are the same thing, as we are today in this time that doesn t flow Then the Unique, because of his perfection, through generosity of himself, tends to expand, to widen in ever broader spheres of his own fullness he is, like a candle, victim of the spreading light, the brighter it grows theit melts Yes, God liquefies in the shadows of himself, becomes a throng of divine messengers, Eons that have much of his power, but in a form already weaker There are many gods, demons, Archons, Tyrants, Forces, Sparks, Stars, and what the Christians call angels or archangels But they are not created by the Unique, they are an emanation of him Baudolino is an emanation of Umberto Eco who is an emanation of the Unique who is an emanation of the Gnostics We live in the Gnostic world

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