Architecture in Contemporary Literature

Conspiracy Theories at the Prague Cemetery

Author(s): Yasemin Erkan Yazıcı * .

Pp: 102-112 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815165166123010014

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The Prague Cemetery, a novel by the Italian writer, Umberto Eco, was published in Italy in 2010. The novel deals with the emergence of the Protocols of the Sages of Zion, which is claimed to constitute the justification for the Jewish genocide. The novel is based on proven historical facts. Only the main character is fictional; the rest of the characters in the book are historical figures. The events mentioned in the novel occurred between 1897 and 1898. The main character of the story, Simone Simonini, is a forger hiding under the guise of an antique dealer. Simonini's life and views on Jews were shaped by the words of his grandfather, who raised him. After graduating from law school, his grandfather died, and he started to work for the notary public, who carried out the inheritance process. He exposed the illegal activities of the notary public and had him imprisoned. Thus, he replaced the notary public and continued to carry out the same illicit activities as his predecessor, preparing forged documents, perjury, and even becoming a murderer in the future to destroy evidence. Simone Simonini lives in an apartment above his vintage shop in Impasse Maubert. One day, he discovered a dark corridor leading from his apartment to the apartment next door. The discovery of this apartment marked the beginning of a series of mysterious events. Simonini came across the name Reverend Dalla Piccola on his writing desk. The events that took place after that were conveyed to the reader through the writings of the two characters to each other. Later, Simonini discovered that Dalla Piccola was a split personality he had created. The house where the character lives and the Prague Cemetery have the characteristics of perceptual space in the novel and are shaped according to the character’s mood swings. At the end of the novel, Simonini fulfills his raison d’etre and completes the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, a forged record of the secret meeting of Jewish leaders in the Prague Cemetery. He even orchestrates a small explosion in the Paris underground system to increase its credibility. 

Keywords: Anti-semitism, Cramped tombstones, Conspiracy theory, Closednarrow space, Dissociative identity disorder, Impasse maubert, Labyrinthine space, Murder, Open-wide space, Prague, Prague cemetery, Prague old jewish cemetery, Protocols of the elders of zion, Paris, Perceptual space, Peripheral space, Spatial perception, Sensory perception, Split personality.

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