The plot of this novel by a well-known Italian writer, philologist and historian of literature falls on the beginning of the seventies of the 20th century, a time when youth riots were still raging in Italy. However, the “political choice” of the narrator, a student at the Milan University of Casobone, becomes, in his own words, philology: “I came to this as a man who boldly takes the texts of speeches about truth, ready to rule them.” He has a friendship with the scientific editor of the publishing house “Garamon” Belbo and his colleague Diotallevi, who does not interfere with the age difference; they are united by an interest in the riddles of the human mind and the Middle Ages. Cazobon wrote a thesis on the
Next, the novel enters the field of hypotheses – Kazobon and his friends are trying to trace the posthumous fate of the Order of the Knights of the Temple. The starting point for their efforts is the appearance in the publishing house of a retired colonel, confident that he discovered the coded Plan of the Knights of the Order, the plan for a secret conspiracy, the design of a revenge designed for centuries. A day later, the colonel disappears without a trace; it is assumed that he is killed; the very incident or an unpleasant residue left over from him, separates Kazobon from friends. Separation is delayed for several years: after graduating from the university and defending a diploma, he leaves for Brazil as an Italian teacher.
The immediate reason for his departure is his love for the local native Amparo, a beautiful half-breed, imbued with Marx’s ideas and the pathos of a rational explanation of the world. However, the very magical atmosphere of the country and unusual meetings, which with a hard-to-explain persistence podkidyvaet his fate, make Kazobon still almost imperceptibly for himself to do the reverse evolution: the advantages of rational interpretations seem less obvious to him. He again tries to study the history of ancient cults and hermetic teachings, introducing to his studies and skeptical Amparo; it attracts the land of sorcerers – Bahia, to the same extent as the lecture on the Rosicrucians, read by the Italian compatriot, by all indications – one of those charlatans whose numbers he has yet to guess. His efforts to penetrate into the mysterious nature bear fruit, but for him they are bitter: during the magical rite, which they were invited to participate in as a special arrangement, Amparo runs into a trance against his own will and, waking up, can not forgive it himself, or him. After spending another year in Brazil, Casobon returns.
In Milan, he again meets with Belbo and through him receives an invitation to cooperate in the publisher Garamon. At first we are talking about the compilation of a scientific encyclopedia of metals, but soon the field of his interests is expanding significantly, again capturing the sphere of the mysterious and esoteric; he admits to himself that it becomes increasingly difficult for him to separate the world of magic from the world of science: the people he was told about at school yet that they carried the light of mathematics and physics into the jungle of superstitions, as it turns out, they made their discoveries, “relying, on the one hand, to the laboratory, and on the other – to the Kabbalah. ” A lot of this is facilitated by the so-called “Hermes” project, the brainchild of Mr. Garamon, the head of the publishing house; to its implementation connected and he Kazobon, Belbo, and Diotallevi. The essence of it is, to declare a series of publications on occultism, magic, etc., attract both serious authors and fanatics, crazy, ready to pay money for the publication of their creations; These latter are supposed to be floated in the publishing house “Manuzio”, whose kinship with “Garamon” is kept in the strictest secrecy; it is intended for the publication of books at the expense of authors, in practice being reduced to merciless “extortion” of their purses. In the environment of the occultists, “Garamon” counts on a rich catch and therefore urges Belbo and his friends not to neglect anyone. is kept in the strictest secrecy; it is intended for the publication of books at the expense of authors, in practice being reduced to merciless “extortion” of their purses. In the environment of the occultists, “Garamon” counts on a rich catch and therefore urges Belbo and his friends not to neglect anyone. is kept in the strictest secrecy; it is intended for the publication of books at the expense of authors, in practice being reduced to merciless “extortion” of their purses. In the environment of the occultists, “Garamon” counts on a rich catch and therefore urges Belbo and his friends not to neglect anyone.
However, the publications intended for “Garamon”, still have to meet certain requirements; As a scientific consultant of the project, on the recommendation of Kazobon, a certain Mr. Aglia, familiar to him for Brazil, or an adventurer or a descendant of a noble family, perhaps a count, is invited, but in any case a rich man with a subtle taste and undoubtedly profound knowledge of magic and occult sciences; about the most ancient magical rituals, he talks as if he were present at them; as a matter of fact, sometimes he directly hints at it. At the same time, he is not at all a snob, he does not shy away from obvious charlatans and loonies, and he is sure that even in the most useless text one can find “a spark if not truth, then at least an unusual deception, and often these extremes touch.” Hoping to divert with it the stream of chaff, sending him to the enrichment of his master, and, perhaps, to find in him several grains of truth for himself, the heroes who are suppressed by the authority of the “Count” heroes are forced to flounder in this stream, not daring to reject anything: in any tares may be a grain invisible and not revealed by neither logic, nor intuition, nor common sense, nor experience. Here are the words of a poor alchemist who were overheard by Kazobon during another, this time shamanic, but not very close to their homes, rituals, where they come at the invitation of Aglie: “I tried everything: the blood, hair, soul of Saturn, marcassites, garlic, Martian saffron, chips and iron slag, lead glue, antimony – all in vain. I worked to remove oil and water from silver, I burned silver with specially prepared salt and without it, as well as with vodka, and extracted from it caustic oils, that’s all. I used milk, wine, syuzhuzhinu, sperm of stars that fell to the ground, celandine, placenta; I mixed mercury with metals, turning them into crystals; I directed my searches to ashes… Finally…
“Nothing in the world requires more caution than truth.” Discovering it is like giving blood directly from the heart… ”
Truth is capable of turning or destroying the world, for it has no protection from it, but the truth has not yet been discovered, which is why one should not neglect anything – it is better to try again everything that has ever been the object of the efforts and hopes of one of the initiates, let it be unjustified, and erroneously (and then what were they dedicated to?) – it does not matter. “Every mistake can be a mere bearer of the truth,” says Aglie. – True esotericism is not terrible contradictions. “
And this whirlpool of erroneous truths and truth-fraught mistakes again pushes friends in search of the Templar Order Plan; the mysterious document left by the disappeared colonel is studied by them again and again, and historical interpretations are being sought for each of his points: it was allegedly performed by the Rosicrucians, it is the Pavlikians, Jesuits, Bacon, the Assassins put their hand… If the Plan does exist, he must explain all; under this motto, the history of the world is rewritten, and gradually the thought “we found the Plan on which the world moves” is replaced by the thought “the world is moving according to our Plan”.
The summer passes by; Diotallevi returns from a vacation already seriously ill, Belbo – an even more enthusiastic Plan, success in work on which compensate him for a loss in real life, and Kazobon prepares to become a father: his new girlfriend Leah should soon give birth. In the meantime, their efforts are nearing completion: they understand that the Paris museum in the church of the Abbey of Saint-Martin de Chan, the Art and Craft Store, where the Foucault Pendulum is located, will be the site of the last meeting of the Plan participants. the point on the map is the entrance to the possession of the King of Peace, the center of telluric currents, the Pup of the Earth, Umbilicus Mundi. They gradually assure themselves that they know the day and the hour, it remains to find a map, but then Diotallevi is in hospital with the most disappointing diagnosis, Kazobon leaves with Leah and the baby to the mountains, and Belbo,
Leah meanwhile proves to Kazobon that those scrappy notes of the late nineteenth century that they took for the outline of the Plan are likely to be the calculations of the owner of the flower shop, Dio – thallevi at death; his cells refuse to obey him and build his body according to his own plan, whose name is cancer; Belbo is in the hands of Aglie and the packs of his associates who first found a way to blackmail him, and then lured them to Paris and forcing them to share the last secret card with them, under pain of death. Cazobon rushes to his search, but manages to catch only the finale: in the Storehouse of Arts and Crafts, a crazy crowd of alchemists, hermeticists, Satanists and other Gnostics led by Aglie, here already, by the way, called Count Saint-Germain, desperate to get Belbo to acknowledge the whereabouts of the card, executes it, strangling with a rope tied to the Foucault Pendulum; while his beloved dies. Cazobon flees; the next day there are no traces of yesterday’s incident in the museum, but Kazobon does not doubt that now it will be his turn, especially since when he leaves Paris he learns about Diotallevi’s death. One was killed by people who believed in their Plan, the other by cells that believed in the possibility of making their own and acting on it; Cazobon, unwilling to endanger the beloved and the child, locks herself in Belbo’s house, thumbs through other people’s papers and waits for who and how to kill him. especially since when he leaves Paris he learns about the death of Diotallevi. One was killed by people who believed in their Plan, the other by cells that believed in the possibility of making their own and acting on it; Cazobon, unwilling to endanger the beloved and the child, locks herself in Belbo’s house, thumbs through other people’s papers and waits for who and how to kill him. especially since when he leaves Paris he learns about the death of Diotallevi. One was killed by people who believed in their Plan, the other by cells that believed in the possibility of making their own and acting on it; Cazobon, unwilling to endanger the beloved and the child, locks herself in Belbo’s house, thumbs through other people’s papers and waits for who and how to kill him.