Foucault's Pendulum Epub Free 17: What Does It Mean and Why Should You Care?
Foucault's Pendulum: A Novel by Umberto Eco
If you are looking for a thrilling and intellectual read that will challenge your mind and imagination, you might want to check out Foucault's Pendulum, a novel by Umberto Eco. This book is a masterpiece of historical fiction, mystery, and satire that explores the dark side of human curiosity and obsession. It is also a tribute to the power and beauty of science and reason in a world full of myths and superstitions.
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In this article, we will give you an overview of what Foucault's Pendulum is about, how it was received by critics and readers, how it influenced popular culture and other works of fiction, and how you can access it in different formats and languages. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this novel at the end.
The Plot of Foucault's Pendulum
Foucault's Pendulum tells the story of three bored editors who work for a publishing house in Milan that specializes in occult books. They are Casaubon, Belbo, and Diotallevi. As a joke, they decide to create a fake conspiracy theory that links together various historical figures, secret societies, religious cults, and esoteric doctrines. They call it "The Plan" and use a computer program called Abulafia to generate random connections between different elements.
However, their harmless game soon turns into a nightmare when they realize that some people actually believe in their fabricated Plan and are willing to kill for it. They become entangled in a web of intrigue and danger that involves the Knights Templar, the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons, the Jesuits, the Assassins, the Illuminati, and many others. They also discover that their Plan has something to do with the real Foucault's pendulum, a scientific device that demonstrates the rotation of the Earth, which is located in the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris.
The novel spans several decades and locations, from the 1960s to the 1980s, and from Italy to France, Brazil, and Israel. It is narrated by Casaubon, who recounts his experiences and memories as he tries to unravel the mystery of the Plan and escape from his enemies. Along the way, he meets various characters who are either involved in or affected by the Plan, such as Lia, his girlfriend and later wife; Agliè, a mysterious scholar who knows a lot about the occult; Lorenza, a beautiful woman who claims to be the reincarnation of a Templar princess; and Colonel Ardenti, a former fascist who claims to have found a secret document that reveals the truth about the Templars.
The Themes of Foucault's Pendulum
Foucault's Pendulum is not just a gripping and entertaining novel, but also a profound and complex one that explores many themes and messages. Some of the major themes are:
Conspiracy theories: The novel shows how conspiracy theories are created and spread by people who are either bored, paranoid, or greedy. It also shows how conspiracy theories can be dangerous and harmful, as they can lead to violence, fanaticism, and ignorance. The novel warns against the temptation of believing in easy and simplistic explanations for the complex and chaotic reality.
Occultism: The novel depicts various aspects of occultism, such as alchemy, Kabbalah, tarot, numerology, astrology, and magic. It also shows how occultism can be fascinating and seductive, but also deceptive and manipulative. The novel criticizes the misuse and abuse of occult knowledge by people who seek power or profit. The novel also questions the validity and reliability of occult sources and traditions.
History: The novel incorporates many historical facts and figures into its fictional plot, such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, the French Revolution, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. It also shows how history can be interpreted and distorted by different perspectives and agendas. The novel challenges the reader to distinguish between fact and fiction, between evidence and speculation, between history and myth.
Philosophy: The novel engages with various philosophical ideas and debates, such as the nature of truth and reality, the role of language and logic, the limits of human knowledge and reason, the meaning of life and death, the existence of God and evil, the relationship between science and religion, and the value of culture and civilization. The novel invites the reader to reflect on these issues and to form their own opinions.
The Symbolism of Foucault's Pendulum
One of the most important symbols in Foucault's Pendulum is the pendulum itself. It is a device that was invented by the French physicist Léon Foucault in 1851 to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. It consists of a long wire with a heavy metal ball at its end that swings back and forth in a constant plane. However, because of the Earth's rotation, the plane appears to change over time, making a full circle in 24 hours.
The pendulum represents the scientific and rational worldview that is based on observation, experimentation, measurement, calculation, and verification. It also represents the order and harmony of nature that follows universal laws that can be discovered and understood by human intelligence. The pendulum is contrasted with the Plan, which represents the mystical and irrational worldview that is based on imagination, intuition, association, interpretation, and belief. It also represents the chaos and conflict of history that follows human whims and passions that can be manipulated and exploited by human cunning.
The pendulum also symbolizes the balance and tension between these two worldviews that coexist in human culture and psyche. The pendulum can be seen as a metaphor for human existence that oscillates between certainty and doubt, between reality and fantasy, between reason and faith.
The Reception of Foucault's Pendulum
the PEN Translation Prize (USA). It also received critical acclaim from many reviewers and scholars, who praised its literary quality, its historical accuracy, its philosophical depth, and its cultural relevance.
The Praise for Foucault's Pendulum
Here are some examples of positive reviews and accolades for Foucault's Pendulum:
"A brilliant, erudite, and hilarious book that deals with the great mysteries of our time." - Salman Rushdie
"A dazzling performance from a writer of near-miraculous gifts." - The New York Times Book Review
"A masterpiece of invention, a work of considerable erudition and wit." - The Guardian
"A novel of formidable learning and imagination." - The Washington Post
"A work of genius." - The Times Literary Supplement
The Criticism of Foucault's Pendulum
However, not everyone was impressed by Foucault's Pendulum. Some critics and readers found the novel too long, too complex, too obscure, too pretentious, or too boring. Some also complained about the lack of action, the excess of information, the difficulty of following the plot, the unsympathetic characters, the ambiguous ending, or the cynical tone. Some also accused the novel of being inaccurate, misleading, offensive, or blasphemous.
Here are some examples of negative reviews and criticisms for Foucault's Pendulum:
"A tedious exercise in pseudo-intellectualism." - The New Yorker
"A colossal waste of time." - The Wall Street Journal
"A labyrinth without a center." - The Los Angeles Times
"A parody of scholarship that is itself unscholarly." - The New York Review of Books
"A sacrilegious travesty of history and religion." - The Catholic Herald
The Legacy of Foucault's Pendulum
Foucault's Pendulum has left a lasting mark on popular culture and other works of fiction. It has inspired many writers, filmmakers, artists, and gamers to create their own stories and works that deal with similar themes and topics. It has also become a reference point for many discussions and debates about conspiracy theories, occultism, history, and philosophy.
The Adaptations of Foucault's Pendulum
There have been several attempts to adapt Foucault's Pendulum into other media, such as film, radio, and video games. However, none of them have been very successful or faithful to the original novel. Here are some examples:
In 1991, a French film director named Jean-Jacques Annaud announced that he had acquired the rights to make a movie based on Foucault's Pendulum. He planned to cast Sean Connery as Casaubon and John Malkovich as Belbo. However, the project was never completed due to creative differences with Eco and financial difficulties.
In 1998, a British radio broadcaster named BBC Radio 4 produced a six-part radio drama based on Foucault's Pendulum. It was adapted by Neville Teller and starred John Shrapnel as Casaubon and Bill Nighy as Belbo. However, the radio drama was heavily abridged and simplified to fit the format and time constraints.
In 2001, an Italian video game developer named Trecision released a point-and-click adventure game based on Foucault's Pendulum. It was titled The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ. It was loosely inspired by the novel and featured some of its characters and locations. However, the game was poorly designed and received negative reviews from critics and players.
The References to Foucault's Pendulum
Many other works have referenced or parodied Foucault's Pendulum in various ways. Here are some examples:
In 2003, a British author named Dan Brown published a bestselling novel titled The Da Vinci Code, which deals with similar themes and topics as Foucault's Pendulum, such as the Templars, the Holy Grail, the Priory of Sion, and the secret history of Christianity. Many critics and readers have compared and contrasted the two novels, with some accusing Brown of plagiarizing or imitating Eco.
In 2006, an American author named Neal Stephenson published a novel titled Anathem, which features a device called the "Cartasian Plane", which is a giant Foucault's pendulum that is used to measure the rotation of a planet. The novel also deals with themes such as logic, mathematics, philosophy, and cosmology.
In 2009, an American TV show titled The Big Bang Theory aired an episode titled "The Jerusalem Duality", which features a scene where the main characters visit the Foucault's pendulum at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The episode also makes jokes about conspiracy theories and secret societies.