Simon Rees

Pressure of a Cork

Foucault’s Pendulum


Seeker & Warburg 629pp £14.95 order from our bookshop

Now if it had been Michel Foucault’s pendulum…but the Foucault in this case is Jean Bernard Léon (1819–68), and it is beside his pendulum, a copper sphere on a long thin wire suspended and swinging from the vault of the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris, that the narrator Casaubon waits patiently through six hundred pages of post–modernist prose for the climax of Eco’s second novel. So any speculation about the other Foucault’s pendulum would seem irrelevant, even irreverent, except that, having been conjured up accidentally, the shade of the great historian of sexuality hovers inexorcisably over the whole work.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Although he travels through time and space to find the best produce, his choices, delightfully, are not obvious.'… ,
    • RT : I regularly make purchases based on - it’s excellent.,
    • RT : I wrote about Yoko Ogawa's dreamlike, allegorical novel The Memory Police, newly published in English in a translat… ,
    • 'At this frankly apocalyptic moment for indigenous rights in Brazil, John Hemming’s "People of the Rainforest" is a… ,
    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,
    • 'He has long been eclipsed by Vermeer, though his interiors are arguably more ambitious.' David Gelber on the Dutc… ,