I don't know what it is about The Name of the Rose, but it's not the same Eco from The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. His writing is fluid, precise and difficult, but it's making for a fairly tedious book. I don't read with a dictionary at hand and I seldom, if ever, refer to a dictionary when I'm done with a book. If I don't know what the word means, then I don't want to know or I like to think the author didn't want us to know, therefore it's not integral to the novel. Eco surely doesn't expect his readers to know all the Latin he uses in Name of the Rose and I couldn't imagine looking up the words. Instead, it's all a matter of the words flowing and speaking of the novel in the scientific, ancient way in which they're spoken by the monks. I like that. But Eco has taken it too far. It's a long novel and it's being dragged down with the Latin terms and sayings. And I know it's much more than a mystery, but there seems to be too much going on. I feel like young Adso following brilliant William, but not necessarily knowing what he's speaking about. Not a fun way to spend your spare time.
I'm halfway through and should finish it this week, but Eco is not making me want to finish it and that I have a problem with. Saramago, who I somehow keep comparing Eco to, never tries to make his readers feel inferior. Eco, is coming off as being smarter-than-thou. And if I was smarter now, I'd drop the book for a more enjoyable read, but a quitter I'm not. At least not yet.
Eco said it perfectly himself: Graecum est, non legitur
It is Greek to me