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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

 
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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
Eco's latest novel concerns Yambo, a 60-something amnesiac book dealer in Milan who retreats to his childhood home to pour over memorabilia in an attempt to find his lost memories.
When aging Italian book-dealer Yambo, hero of this engaging if somewhat bloodless novel of ideas, regains consciousness after a mysterious coma, he suffers a peculiar form of amnesia. His "public" memory of languages, everyday routines, history and literature remains intact, but his autobiographical memory of personal experiences Ц of his family, lovers, childhood, even his name Ц is gone. He can spout literary and cultural allusions on any topic, citing everything from Moby-Dick to Star Trek, but complains, "I don't have feelings, I only have memorable sayings".
To recover his past, he repairs to his boyhood home to peruse a cache of memorabilia amassed in his youth during Mussolini's power and WWII, consisting of comic books, schoolbooks, Fascist propaganda, popular music, romantic novels and his own poetry about an unattainable high school beauty.
The setup allows semiotician and novelist Eco (The Name of the Rose, etc.) to indulge his passion for pulp materials by reproducing such objects as movie posters, song lyrics and a graphic novella rendering



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Tags: Yambo, Mysterious, childhood, memory, novel