By Wendy Murray
|Umberto Eco, born January 5, 1932|
At the end of the book, the author included personal advice about both the writing process as well as the reading:
". . . . after reading the manuscript, my friends and editors suggested I abbreviate the first hundred pages, which they found difficult and demanding. Without thinking twice, I refused, because, as I insisted, if somebody wanted to the enter the abbey and live there for seven days, he [or she] had to accept the abbey's own pace. If he could not, he would never manage to read the whole book. Therefore those first hundred pages are like a penance or an initiation, and if someone doesn't like them, so much the worse for them. He can stay at the foot of the hill.
Entering a novel is like going on a climb in the mountains: you have to learn the rhythm of respiration, acquire the pace; otherwise you stop right away."