Saturday, 5 January 2008

Heavy Metal

As a fan of heavy metal music, Trondheim is becoming a very good place to live nowadays. Last year Ozzy Osbourne graced us with his presence (which unfortunelately I missed since I was in Australia, and had to settle for Heaven and Hell, or Black Sabbath with Dio), and this year things are really taking off. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Def leppard are all playing, as well as Deep Purple, who has a concert outside the city, about half an hours drive from here. Can't wait for the summer. Already got my ticket for Iron Maiden, and as soon as my wallet has fattened up a bit I will get the other tickets. Wonder if this year can be topped by forthcoming years. I guess Led Zeppelin has to show up.

As for reading, I have had a lot of time for that today. No work today, and no plans either. Just a quiet and relaxing day, spent in the sofa with my books (The Name of The Rose). Should finish that one soon, and still not sure what to continue with. Maybe Paulo Coelho, my mum has most of his books, if not all, and as I have only read the Pilgrimage and the Alchymist, there are a lot of new books there to be discovered. And of course I still have the books I got for Christmas, and Century Rain by Alastair reynolds, which I bought a few days ago (my reward for putting in all those hours at work. Couldn't really afford it but... I really wanted it).

The Name of The Rose, by the way, is a really good book. A crime story injected with lots of historical observations, theological discussions and thoughts about books, literature, knowledge and signs. In the usual Eco fashion, reading this book will fill your head with new information, and enhance your love of books. Also, unlike the English translations of his other books I have read, the Norwegian translator translates all latin quotes as well (but doesn't omit the latin either, here you get both). This was great, since my fluency in Latin is rather limited (but I have actually studied it for a few months, but my vocabulary is rather limited). This way I can read both the Latin quote, try to figure it out and then look at the translation. In the other books where only the Latin quote was included in many circumstances, I could only pick out a word or two and had no idea of what it said really. Not only do I get the meaning this way, I can also pick up some on my Latin, which I plan to start learning again some time in the future. I actually started learning Latin with a friend, we both wanted to learn another language, and picked Latin for fun, since we figured that would be the most pointless and least useful language to learn. Or the most useful maybe, knowing Latin probably makes it easier to learn other European Languages, and helps in figuring out the meaning behind new and comlicated English words, many that derives from Latin counterparts. Anyways, back to the Name of the Rose. This is Eco's first book, and is both very similar and dissimilar to his other works, as all his books really are. The books are all set in different time periods, and is filled with information and knowledge from those time periods. The style of writing is the same in his books, maybe with the exeption of Focault's Pendulum, which is like Eco times 5 in many ways. Where the other books focuses on a story and injects discussions and information into that story, Focaul't Pendulum is more like an occult history book disguised as a story. The vast volume of historical information, many times greater than in his other books, is immense, and tends to confuse the reader. Sometimes it just seems to much, I actually finished this book only on my third try, the first two times I gave up, having lost track of all the names, secret societies, historical events etc.. A certain knowledge of the Templars, Masons, occultism, hermeticism and European history is recommended before reading this book. I recommend reading Holy Blood, Holy Grail before reading Focaults Pendulum, and maybe some books on the Kabbalah (especially the Tree of Life and the Sephiroth) and the Free Masons as well. This will prepare you, to a certain extent, to the flood of information you are about to receive.

Well, it's getting late here, and I plan to finish The Name of the Rose before falling asleep, so I guess I have to go now. Until next time


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