Only when I was half way through did I notice a sheet of white paper slipped into the last pages. It shows four hand-drawn circles, each of which contains the name of a city and a number. If the numbers represent years, they cover 21 years. If you add 2 and 1, you get the number 3. If you examine the gaps between the years, you get the numbers 11, 4 and 6.
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Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. He believes that members of a secret society have kidnapped his friend Jacopo Belbo and are now after him. Most of the novel is then told in flashback as Casaubon waits in the museum. In s Milan , Casaubon is studying the history of the Knights Templar when he meets Belbo and his colleague Diotallevi.
Belbo works as an editor in a publishing house and invites Casaubon to review the manuscript about the Templars. The manuscript, by a Colonel Ardenti, claims he discovered a secret plan of the Templars to take over the world. Ardenti mysteriously vanishes after meeting with Belbo and Casaubon.
Casaubon has a romance with a Brazilian woman named Amparo and moves to Brazil to be with her. Garamond  as a researcher. Casaubon learns that in addition to a respected publishing house, Garamond also owns Manuzio, a vanity publisher that charges incompetent authors large sums of money to print their work.
Belbo, Diotallevi and Casaubon become submerged in occult manuscripts that draw flimsy connections between historical events, and have the idea to develop their own as a game. The Plan becomes a theory about the Templars possessing knowledge of ancient energy flows called " telluric currents ", and their goal is to reshape the world to their will using the currents and the Foucault pendulum , the focal point of the currents.
In addition to numerous other historical organizations apparently involved in this, the three invent a fictional secret society, the Tres Templi Resurgentes Equites Synarchici, Latin for "the Risen again Synarchic Knights of the Temple". The three increasingly become involved in The Plan and begin to wonder if it could be true.
Diotallevi is diagnosed with cancer and attributes it to divine retribution for his role in The Plan. In the present as Casaubon hides in the museum, a group of people gather around the pendulum for an arcane ritual.
They are, or have convinced themselves they are, the Tres society in The Plan. Casaubon escapes the museum through the Paris sewers, eventually fleeing to the countryside villa where Belbo had grown up. Casaubon soon learns that Diotallevi succumbed to his cancer at midnight on St. It is unclear by this point how reliable a narrator Casaubon has been, and to what extent he has been inventing, or deceived by, conspiracy theories. While waiting in the villa, Casaubon finds an old manuscript by Belbo that relates a mystical experience he had when he was twelve, in which he perceived ultimate meaning beyond signs and semiotics.
Eco avoids this pitfall without holding back on the historical mystery surrounding the Knights Templar. In fact, the novel may be viewed as a critique, spoof, or deconstruction of the grand overarching conspiracies often found in postmodern literature.
Although the main plot does detail a conspiratorial "Plan", the book focuses on the development of the characters, and their slow transition from skeptical editors, mocking the Manutius manuscripts to credulous Diabolicals themselves. In this way the conspiracy theory provided is a plot device, rather than an earnest proposition. The entire book is narrated in first person by Casaubon, with brief interludes from the files on Abulafia. The interludes from his childhood serve as stark contrast to the mythical world of cults and conspiracies.
Belbo is extremely careful to not try to create literature , because he deems himself unworthy, although it becomes somewhat obvious that writing is his passion.
This attitude of constant subconscious self-abasement fits in with the overall irony focused on in the book, considering that Belbo is eventually consumed by re creation of the Plan; one excerpt meant for the unattainable Lorenza reads, "I could not possess you, but I can blow up history.
The uncertainty of scientific knowledge and human experience is explored in his character, as he participates in various extra-natural events. His narratives abandon his strict realism and become increasingly inclined towards the supernatural as the novel progresses. Garamond, whose primary business is selling dreams through his vanity press outlet , comes to believe the fantasy world his authors weave. It is possible though, that he had always been a "Diabolical", and founded his publishing business to fish for information.
Societies in the novel[ edit ] This article is in list format, but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this article , if appropriate.
Editing help is available. The words closed a ritual composed by Michael Aquino. Garamond included them in his list of "occult" organizations to contact about book ideas, explaining "I read about them in a detective story , too, but they may not exist anymore. Eco does so, however, from a much more critical perspective; Foucault is more a satire on the futility of conspiracy theories and those who believe them, rather than an attempt to proliferate such beliefs.
Eco was asked whether he had read the Brown novel; he replied: I was obliged to read it because everybody was asking me about it. So Dan Brown is one of my creatures. George Johnson wrote on the similarity of the two books that "both works were written tongue in cheek, with a high sense of irony.
The character of Belbo was brought up in the region of Piedmont in Northern Italy.
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