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Pentiment review - a sixteenth century mystery that blossoms with intrigue and human warmth

4 months ago 23

Pentiment sent me back to dig out my old copy of The Name of the Rose, and not merely because it's another murder-mystery - of a kind - set in and around a medieval monastery. It's mostly because there's a lovely passage on pens early on in Umberto Eco's book that I wanted to remind myself of.

Here it is, nestled in the fake introduction, which suggests that this careful clockwork novel you're about to read is in fact a true story, a haphazard manuscript that has fallen into the hands of an academic, who has merely provided a translation:

"[In] almost a single burst of energy, I completed a translation, using some of those large notebooks from the Papetiere Joseph Gilbert in which it is so pleasant to write if you use a felt-tip pen."

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