Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos
Giambattista Bodoni has just woken up in the hospital. He seems to have forgotten almost everything after a stroke. Unable to go on with his life as a book dealer in Milan, he’s adviced to go back to his home town.
In a little villa, Yambo, as he’s also known, starts wandering around the rooms. It’s there when he finds books, all sort of books. It’s also there, when he starts to find the memories that he has lost.
This is the story that is told by Umberto Eco in his novel The mysterious flame of Queen Loana, a book that has a different taste from his previous works.
Anyways, Eco manages to keep the esscense that has marked most of his books, which are often related to the middle ages.
In this case, the characters are place in modern Italy, and yet the author mantains the link to the past ages leaving Yambo free to wander (throughout books) around those times and events that marked the history and culture of Italy, and his very own history.
This book also shows a much more relaxed Umberto Eco, who seams to have taken great pleasure while writing this singular novel that talks about the country were he was born.