I read this book a long time ago, and I really didn’t get it then. It seemed unnecessarily academic, and I had a hard time with it. I saw the movie and liked it, but the book digresses into medieval church history and has a lot of information about manuscripts, which didn’t appeal to me at the time. I just wanted the story.
Things are different now. I’m really enjoying its historical pretenses, and am aware of the postmodern quality (unreliable narrator who admits he doesn’t remember well telling the story through a corrupt manuscript discovered centuries later by a scholarly metanarrator, whose linguistic qualifications make you believe him). Now that I’m versed in postmodernism, I’m enjoying the descriptions of corrupt texts and monks.
I took a course in postmodern philosophy as part of my Master’s degree at CSUDH HUX, and it was the single most important class I’ve ever been in. It led me to a method of expressing fact and fiction, reality and fantasy, history and belief all in the same text without distinguishing between them, and this freed up my inner world.
If you just scramble the synapses in your brain, you’d be amazed at what can happen!
I often refer to my novel Extreme Music as postmodern (unreliable narrator mixing music history and fact with impossible events that he says he actually witnessed, the sacred and profane coexisting on the same level and indistinguishable from each other).
Umberto Eco now claims that Il nome della rosa is his worst novel. Wish I could talk to him. I could suggest others!