480 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.19 in
June 5, 2006
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0156030438
ISBN - 13: 9780156030434
Read from the Book
1. The Cruelest Month"And what's your name?" "Wait, it's on the tip of my tongue." That is how it all began. I felt as if I had awoke from a long sleep, and yet I was still suspended in a milky gray. Or else I was not awake, but dreaming. It was a strange dream, void of images, crowded with sounds. As if I could not see, but could hear voices that were telling me what I should have been seeing. And they were telling me that I could not see anything yet, only a haziness along the canals where the landscape dissolved. Bruges, I said to myself, I was in Bruges. Had I ever been to Bruges the Dead? Where fog hovers between the towers like incense dreaming? A gray city, sad as a tombstone with chrysanthemums, where mist hangs over the façades like tapestries... My soul was wiping the streetcar windows so it could drown in the moving fog of the headlamps. Fog, my uncontaminated sister...A thick, opaque fog, which enveloped the noises and called up shapeless phantoms...Finally I came to a vast chasm and could see a colossal figure, wrapped in a shroud, its face the immaculate whiteness of snow. My name is Arthur Gordon Pym. I was chewing fog. Phantoms were passing, brushing me, melting. Distant bulbs glimmered like will-o'-the-wisps in a graveyard... Someone is walking by my side, noiselessly, as if in bare feet, walking without heels, without shoes, without sandals. A patch of fog grazes my cheek, a band of drunks is shouting down there, down by the ferry. The ferry? It is not
Table of Contents
PART ONE: THE INCIDENT
1. The Cruelest Month 3
2. The Murmur of Mulberry Leaves 28
3. Someone May Pluck Your Flower 45
4. Alone through City Streets I Go 64
PART TWO: PAPER MEMORY
5. Clarabelle's Treasure 81
6. Il Nuovissimo Melzi 90
7. Eight Days in an Attic 117
8. When the Radio 159
9. But Pippo Doesn't Know 178
10. The Alchemist's Tower 212
11. Up There at Capocabana 227
12. Blue Skies Are on the Way 257
13. The Pallid Little Maiden 272
14. The Hotel of the Three Roses 295
PART THREE: OI NO?TOI
15. You're Back at Last, Friend Mist! 301
16. The Wind Is Whistling 325
17. The Provident Young Man 379
18. Lovely Thou Art as the Sun 406
sources of citations and Illustrations 451
From the Publisher
Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a loss of memory-he can remember the plot of every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn't recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin.There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and the life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the frames to capture one simple, innocent image: that of his first love.
A fascinating, abundant new novel-wide-ranging, nostalgic, funny, full of heart-from the incomparable Eco.
From the Jacket
"Brilliantly written and gorgeously illustrated . . . As we accompany Yambo on his trail of self-discovery, we see Umberto Eco, one of the great minds of our era, reveal a little of his heart." --Chicago Sun-Times "Eco . . . leaves the reader charmed . . . [His] latest feat of imagination burns with humane intelligence." --Philadelphia Inquirer What if you woke up tomorrow and remembered nothing of your life? The faces of your spouse and children are strange, and the outlines of your childhood are only a blur. This is the crisis that Yambo, an Italian bookseller, faces when he regains consciousness after suffering a stroke. He is shocked to find, however, that he can remember every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, and a wealth of literary quotations. Desperate to retrieve his past, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and life races before him in a series of images, as Yambo struggles to capture the most elusive onethat of his first love. "Eco continues to write some of the most timeless and consistently engaging fiction out there." --Miami Herald Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the bestselling author of numerous novels and essays. He lives in Milan. Translated from the Italian by Geoffrey Brock
About the Author
UMBERTO ECO is the author of five novels and numerous essay collections, including The Name of the Rose, The Prague Cemetery, and Inventing the Enemy. He received Italy's highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur by the French government, and is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
GEOFFREY BROCK is an award-winning American poet and translator. His first book of poems, Weighing Light, received the New Criterion Poetry Prize in 2005. His awards include a Wallace Stegner fellowship from Stanford University, a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Cullman Center fellowship from the New York Public Library. He is also a leading translator of Italian poetry and prose, having brought into English major works by Cesare Pavese, Umberto Eco, Roberto Calasso, and others.
"An insidiously witty and provocative story"