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#777243 - Thu Mar 08 2012 05:16 PM FunTrivia Book Club - April
LeoDaVinci Offline
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We will be reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Feel free to jump in with any thoughts as you are reading, as well as to think about the guided questions if you wish.
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#782849 - Fri Mar 30 2012 06:06 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: LeoDaVinci]
Christinap Offline
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As LDV will not be around much for this discussion I would like to start off with a question.

Do you think that in creating William of Baskerville the author has drawn on Sherlock Holmes?

What are your early impressions of the monastic community. Is it settled, are there jealousies, cliques, is it overall a happy place?

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#782853 - Fri Mar 30 2012 06:46 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
Dagny1 Offline
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I haven't started reading yet--but I have the book right here on my desk.

When I read the blurb on the back, the name Baskerville jumped right out at me, so I'll be curious to see if there seems to be a Sherlock Holmes connection.

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#783473 - Mon Apr 02 2012 07:50 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Dagny1 Offline
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I started today and am only still in the very early portion of the book.

It looks like it's a story within a story within a story! I think I have this right, told thirdhand? I like the style though.

Plus it has all these "facts" quoted or referenced and is put forward as a true story. That reminds me of some other modern day writers. Usually by the time I finish the book, I almost believe. But they are set in modern times, so I can't entirely suspend my disbelief. But this one, a mystery set in ancient times, will probably be totally believable to me.

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#783491 - Mon Apr 02 2012 10:36 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Calpurnia09 Offline
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I have to read "Mr Finkler's Question" for my book club here, but then I will be happy to re-read and comment on "The Name of the Rose". Do I just join in or do I have to formally join the group?

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#783523 - Tue Apr 03 2012 01:49 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Calpurnia09]
Christinap Offline
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Just join in - the more the merrier

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#783525 - Tue Apr 03 2012 01:53 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
Christinap Offline
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I agree Dagny. You can see how this could well have influenced Dan Brown when writing the Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons, although in the early part of the book I was most struck by the similarities to "The Labryinth". I think the story within the story plot line strikes a chord in a lot of different ways. Of course we're all familiar with that concept from Shakespeare who often did a "play within a play"

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#783602 - Tue Apr 03 2012 02:22 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Calpurnia09]
Dagny1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Calpurnia09
I have to read "Mr Finkler's Question" for my book club here, but then I will be happy to re-read and comment on "The Name of the Rose". Do I just join in or do I have to formally join the group?



Just post whenever you're ready. Glad to have you!

(Edited to fix a typo)


Edited by Dagny1 (Wed Apr 04 2012 06:42 AM)

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#784177 - Thu Apr 05 2012 04:45 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
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As we progress, and the body count rises, I think the monastic community has it's own little petty jealousies, hierarchy that has little to do with monastic hierarchy, but overall is a settled community, or was until these events.
I know William is a senior person, otherwise he wouldn't have been invited to attend the theological convention, but I do wonder why the Abbot has asked him to investigate the murders. Surely, at that time in history, any monastery with this sort of problem would have called in the Inquisition. They were the Church police of the time, they didn't just pursue heretics. Makes me wonder what the Abbot's involvement in the murders actually is.

I am finding the story within the story quite fascinating and can detect even stronger influences on other writers and books the further into this I get.
William reminds me more and more of Sherlock Holmes in his use of logic. Would someone of that period be like this I wonder. I think the blend of historical fact with legend and theology possibly obscures the fact that most people of that period were not well educated, not even all monks could read and write.

Anyway, after all that rambling, at the moment my money is on the Abbot being involved somehow.I don't think he actually did the murders, but maybe they are on his orders. The ones who have died have perhaps come into some knowledge they were not meant to have so they had to be silenced. That's my best guess so far.

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#784318 - Fri Apr 06 2012 10:54 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
Mugaboo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Christinap

I know William is a senior person, otherwise he wouldn't have been invited to attend the theological convention, but I do wonder why the Abbot has asked him to investigate the murders. Surely, at that time in history, any monastery with this sort of problem would have called in the Inquisition. They were the Church police of the time, they didn't just pursue heretics. Makes me wonder what the Abbot's involvement in the murders actually is.


William had already had some experience as an inquisitor, so he would be a good choice, especially after the letter Abbot Abo got from the Abbot of Farfa, which recommended him. Abo didn't want the Inquisition involved, and after the events of the night of the fourth day, I'm not surprised.

Not finished yet, but my money is currently on the librarian. Like of good detective stories, who I think it is, changes all the time laugh

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#784337 - Fri Apr 06 2012 12:30 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Mugaboo]
Dagny1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mugaboo
Originally Posted By: Christinap

I know William is a senior person, otherwise he wouldn't have been invited to attend the theological convention, but I do wonder why the Abbot has asked him to investigate the murders. Surely, at that time in history, any monastery with this sort of problem would have called in the Inquisition. They were the Church police of the time, they didn't just pursue heretics. Makes me wonder what the Abbot's involvement in the murders actually is.


William had already had some experience as an inquisitor, so he would be a good choice, especially after the letter Abbot Abo got from the Abbot of Farfa, which recommended him. Abo didn't want the Inquisition involved, and after the events of the night of the fourth day, I'm not surprised.




How interesting! I didn't know that about the Inquisition so am learning new things. Thanks to both for the info.

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#784340 - Fri Apr 06 2012 12:52 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Dagny1 Offline
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I love Adso's description of Brother William in the Prologue and how at first, when shown his "wondrous machines," he thought they were witchcraft.

Then later, when they are nearing the Abbey where the story is set, Adso is further astounded by the incident of the Abbott's missing horse. Brother William's explanation is pure Sherlock Holmes.

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#784437 - Fri Apr 06 2012 06:02 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
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It is isn't it - you almost expect him to say "elementary my dear Adso".

Can't agree with you on the librarian Mugaboo, well, not unless he is hiding some very rare and possibly heretical manuscript somewhere. I still think the Abbot has more to hide than we realise as yet.

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#784499 - Sat Apr 07 2012 07:00 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
Dagny1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Christinap
It is isn't it - you almost expect him to say "elementary my dear Adso".



LOL, Chris, I know. Except since Adso is so much younger and more or less his acolyte, William doesn't have to be so gracious. He gives Adso a lecture on paying attention. I laughed when William said he was almost embarrassed blush to tell him what he should have figured out for himself.

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#784686 - Sun Apr 08 2012 06:13 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
bloodandsand Offline
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I don't know if I'm doing this correctly as I've just signed in to the forums so don't really know what to do! Thanks to Christinap for inviting me to join the discussion on The Name of the Rose. I finished it, for I think the fifth time, on Saturday morning. I agree with you regarding the Holmes/Watson relationship and I love how Adso's confidence develops throughout. I discover something new each time I read this novel, either a deeper understanding of the monastic divisions and philosophies, and also *clues* that I had previously not spotted. Even though I knew *how and why* through previous reading, I was still desperate to finish it to find out *how and why*! The power of good writing I suppose.

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#784690 - Sun Apr 08 2012 06:35 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: bloodandsand]
TabbyTom Offline
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Welcome to the forums and the Book Club, bloodandsand!
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#784692 - Sun Apr 08 2012 06:49 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: TabbyTom]
bloodandsand Offline
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Thank you

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#784697 - Sun Apr 08 2012 07:28 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: bloodandsand]
Dagny1 Offline
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Hi, bloodandsand. Welcome! We're so glad you decided to join us. You're doing it just right too.

Wow, you've read The Name of the Rose five times! That's a testimonial for sure. I'm still on my first reading although I've had the book for about twenty years. So many books and all the book groups, it seems I hardly ever get a chance to read anything that isn't voted in somewhere. Sad, lol.

I know what you mean about spotting clues on a reread. There are only a few books that I love enough to reread, but spotting clues and other things that I missed is one thing that makes it more fun and adds to the enjoyment.

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#784707 - Sun Apr 08 2012 07:55 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
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Hi bloodandsand, glad you decided to come and join the dicussion.

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#784715 - Sun Apr 08 2012 08:35 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
bloodandsand Offline
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Again, thank you.It's nice to be welcomed!

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#785135 - Mon Apr 09 2012 03:40 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: bloodandsand]
Dagny1 Offline
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Censorship in the Abbey library! Who knew and I wonder if it was really this way at the monasteries back then. I can see that it might have been, at least in some, but now I do wonder what the monks had available to read--or if they were ever allowed to read for pleasure.

I forgot until just now that the mystery is set prior to the invention of the printing press. It's just so unimaginable to me that books had to be copied by hand. But still, in a place where there were books available--in a place where some monks had the actual job of copying books, it's cruel to think of the abbot's attitude:
that they're there "to carry out a precise task" . . . "and not to pursue every foolish curiosity that seizes them" . . .

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#785161 - Mon Apr 09 2012 04:40 PM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Dagny1]
Christinap Offline
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I do think that is the way it was then. Books were rare and valuable things, most would have been on religious subjects and no-one would have wanted to risk being seen with a book that could be considered heretical or otherwise bring them to the attention of the Inquisition. Even though not stated (or at least not so far) in the book I believe that many of the best manuscript illustrators and copiers were in fact illiterate - they copied with no understanding of what they were copying. Even though one of the best ways for a poor family to get a son or two educated was to have them become a monk not all of them got taught to read and write. Copying exactly what you saw could be taught by rote.

I doubt if the monks were ever able to read for pleasure. Their days were too full. They had prayers several times a day, then the copiers copied until there was no more light, others worked on the monastery farm, or in the kitchens, no-one was idle. They went to bed with only a stub of a candle when it got dark, not enough light to read by even if they could or even had the energy to. Unless you were an Abbot or very senior it was quite a hard life.

The books in the Abbey library had been built up over a period of time and would have been too precious for just anyone to be allowed to get hold of them. The position of Librarian was very important, a very trusted member of the community, with great responsibility. The books would have been mainly available for senior churchmen or scholars to study, not the Abbey community itself.

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#785279 - Tue Apr 10 2012 08:19 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
bloodandsand Offline
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With regard to this abbey, I don't think the monks would be encouraged to read for pleasure even if they had the time or the requisite understanding. From the various discourses it would seem that the purpose of reading/studying was for the greater good and praise of god rather than personal pleasure or enjoyment.

I was surprised at the number of monks who came to the abbey to simply copy a book to take back to their own abbey, nothing like today where we can simply borrow the text and then return it to our local library. I think it's only when you read something like this that you appreciate what an incredible invention the printing press actually was!

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#785280 - Tue Apr 10 2012 08:20 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: Christinap]
Dagny1 Offline
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Thanks for all the info, Chris.

shocked I've definitely been reading too much Brother Cadfael.

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#785281 - Tue Apr 10 2012 08:24 AM Re: FunTrivia Book Club - April [Re: bloodandsand]
Dagny1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: bloodandsand
I was surprised at the number of monks who came to the abbey to simply copy a book to take back to their own abbey, nothing like today where we can simply borrow the text and then return it to our local library. I think it's only when you read something like this that you appreciate what an incredible invention the printing press actually was!



I know. Can you imagine! We're very spoiled today. We know we live better than people in the past; I heard that we live better now than even the kings did a hundred years ago.

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