Nineteenth-century Europe, from Turin to Prague to Paris, abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian priests are strangled with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate black masses by night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to the notorious forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay just one man? What if that evil genius created the most infamous document of all?
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Dear Amazon Readers:
The nineteenth century teemed with mysterious and horrible events: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious forgery that later inspired Hitler; the Dreyfus Case; and numerous intrigues involving the secret services of various nations, Masonic sects, Jesuit conspiracies, as well as other episodes that—were they not documented truths—would be difficult to believe.
The Prague Cemetery is a story in which all the characters except one—the main character—really existed. Even the hero’s grandfather, the author of a mysterious actual letter that triggered modern anti- Semitism, is historical.
And the hero himself, though fictional, is a personage who resembles many people we have all known, past and present. In the book, he serves as the author of diverse fabrications and plots against a backdrop of extraordinary coups de théâtre: sewers filled with corpses, ships that explode in the region of an erupting volcano, abbots stabbed to death, notaries with fake beards, hysterical female Satanists, the celebrants of black Masses, and so on.
I am expecting two kinds of readers. The first has no idea that all these things really happened, knows nothing about nineteenth-century literature, and might even have taken Dan Brown seriously. He or she should gain a certain sadistic satisfaction from what will seem a perverse invention—including the main character, whom I have tried to make the most cynical and disagreeable in all the history of literature.
The second, however, knows or senses that I am recounting things that really happened. The fact that history can be quite so devious may cause this reader’s brow to become lightly beaded with sweat. He will look anxiously behind him, switch on all the lights, and suspect that these things could happen again today. In fact, they may be happening in that very moment. And he will think, as I do: "They are among us..."--Umberto Eco From the Back Cover:
THE INSTANT INTERNATIONAL #1 BESTSELLER, UMBERTO ECO’S MOST CONTROVERSIAL AND BEST-SELLING NOVEL SINCE THE NAME OF THE ROSE
"Erudite and pop, sinister and passionate . . . A work destined to become a classic." — La Repubblica (Italy)
“A novel that restores the irreverent and provocative spirit of great literature.” — El Cultural (Spain)
“The Prague Cemetery takes the power of fakery in history to new heights. At the center of the narrative is the most notorious fake document in modern history, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion . . . As depicted with appalling gusto, the bubbling away of such stories drives on the terrors of history, feeding and lending credibility to the loud ravings of the depraved.” — Times Literary Supplement (UK)
“A J'accuse is always timely, but there has rarely been anyone to write it — until the advent of the falsely demonic Umberto Eco, a Zola posing as the devil. His is a satanically dangerous novel, as are all ironic tales, especially if they should fall into the hands of a naive reader. So: naive readers, country bumpkins, gullible gapers, keep away! This magnificently sly, scarifying, circuitous, history-besotted jape is meant solely for the wise, the intrepid, and (if one may nowadays dare this biblical note) the righteous.” — Cynthia Ozick
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Buchbeschreibung Boston & New York, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt., 2011. First Edition. 16 cm x 24 cm. VIII, 444 pages. Original Hardcover with original dustjacket in protective Mylar. Excellent condition with only very minor signs of external wear. Includes for example the following essays: A Passerby on that Gray Morning, Simonino the Carbonaro, The Ercole, Dalla Piccola Perplexed, A Night in Prague, The Days of the Commune, and Osman Bey. Artikel-Nr. 75630AB