Chapter 8 - When the Radio

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Page 160

Comic books
Eco is a great fan of comic books. He penned an essay on Peanuts at some point (although it's technically a comic strip, rather than a comic book)...

  • Umberto Eco -- professor of semiotics, historian of medieval theology, and author, most famously of The Name of the Rose -- swoops down upon a newsstand. "Here," he crows, showing off a fistful of comic books. "This is my current reading matter!" 1995
  • Knowing that Eco is a great fan of comic books, I asked him, as he signed my copy of Baudolino, what comics he's been reading these days. He mentioned an Argentine publisher called Dago as being particularly good. at the Folger, 2002
  • “The new comics are very sophisticated, avant garde. They are for intellectuals.” interview
  • One [1] of Queen Loana mistakenly referred to it as a graphic novel.

Page 161

A spray of roses and of violets
"Saturday Night in the village" by Leopardi. text (English)

all poets are liars
a quote of Plato, apparently

Page 163

went early to bed
yet another reference to the first line of Proust (sono andato a dormire con le galline - '...with the hens', originally, p. 164.)

Page 164

MP3, performed by Tino Rossi

Page 165

the frozen words of Pantagruel
books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel" by Francois Rabelais "Here, here!” said Pantagruel, “Here are some that are not yet thawed.” He then threw us on the deck whole handfuls of frozen words, which seemed to us like your rough sugar-plums, of many colours; some words gules (this means also jests and merry sayings), some vert, some azure, some black, some or (this means also fair words); and when we had somewhat warmed them between our hands, they melted like snow, and we really heard them, but could not understand them, for it was a barbarous gibberish.”

names of cities
there is a passage somewhere in Proust where the narrator muses on the wonderfully evocative power that the names of cities had upon him as a boy.

  • Stuttgart, Hilversum, Riga, Tallinn - cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, and Estonia, respectively

(Yambo thinks he might as a boy have associated them with cigaret brands, cf. ch. 7)

Page 165

"I get the urge to hear those Fascist anthems"
an opinion shared by Eco: "I can judge Fascism historically for what it was. But it was my childhood. So often with some friends, all left-oriented people, after a party, we would all sing some of the Fascist songs." interview, The Independent

Page 170

His Master's Voice... fascist anthems
a connection between the famous RCA logo and fascism was made in Alan Moore's graphic novel, V for Vendetta. (And this is, unduely, for it is not even hinted upon in Eco's text, also made by the above juxtaposition of HMV and fascist anthems. Maybe Moore has a point, but that should not lead one to abuse these lines of Eco's.)

Trio Lescano


Page 175

Up there at the Capocabana
A song identified with the musical theater star Wanda Osiris, mentioned by name on p. 413. Dizionario del spettacolo. The song itself gives its title to ch. 11 and is mentioned on 256. and again on 339, with an elaboration of the relationship between the song and Pipetto passing.

Page 177

The secret of Pipetto
Although Yambo doesn't figure out this secret until p. 339, the reader of Foucault's Pendulum might recall that, according to chapter 119, young Jacopo Belbo and the people of the Monferrato town of * witnessed "the passage, every evening at eleven for the past two years, of the mysterious Pippetto, a British reconnaissance plane. Nobody could figure out what it reconnoitered, since not a light was visible on the ground for kilometers." (Tr. Weaver)

Back to The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

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