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Synopses & Reviews
In this collection of essays and addresses delivered over the course of his illustrious career, Umberto Eco seeks "to understand the chemistry of [his] passion" for the word. From musings on Ptolemy and "the force of the false" to reflections on the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, Eco's luminous intelligence and encyclopedic knowledge are on dazzling display throughout. And when he reveals his own ambitions and superstitions, his authorial anxieties and fears, one feels like a secret sharer in the garden of literature to which he so often alludes.
Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that have made Eco one of the world's leading writers.
Book News Annotation:
Eco, freely admitting that he is responding to the themes of the symposium or conference in question, writes about symbolism, style, and function in literature, intertextual irony, three generations of anti-Americanism, paradox in Wilde, obsession in Joyce, and the political implications of the behavior of Ringo in 1939's Stagecoach. One comes to understand his mind is something like the library-maze in The Name of the Rose before blazes consumed it. He reveals his methods of stocking that library by meticulously researching and inventing the worlds about which he writes. His only deadline (and superstition about his writing) is that he must complete the manuscript by 5 January, his birthday. Any year will do.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this collection of essays and addresses delivered over the course of his illustrious career, Umberto Eco seeks "to understand the chemistry of [his] passion" for the word.
About the Author
UMBERTO ECO is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the best-selling author of numerous novels and essays. He lives in Italy.
Table of Contents
On Some Functions of Literature
A Reading of the Paradiso
On the Style of The Communist Manifesto
The Mists of the Valois
Wilde: Paradox and Aphorism
A Portrait of the Artist as Bachelor
Between La Mancha and Babel
Borges and My Anxiety of Influence
On Camporesi: Blood, Body, Life
Les Sémaphores sous la Pluie
The Flaws in the Form
Intertextual Irony and Levels of Reading
The Poetics and Us
The American Myth in Three Anti-American Generations
The Power of Falsehood
How I Write
What Our Readers Are Saying