Synopses & Reviews
andldquo;Underscores the writerandrsquo;s profound erudition, lively wit, and passion for ideas of all shapes and sizes . . . Ecoandrsquo;s pleasure in such explorations is obvious and contagious.andrdquo; andmdash; Booklist
Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Eco has written and lectured over the past ten years: from a disquisition on the theme that runs through his recent novel The Prague Cemetery andmdash; every country needs an enemy, and if it doesnandrsquo;t have one, must invent it andmdash; to a discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels (and in the process he takes us on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world); from indignant reviews of James Joyceandrsquo;s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, to an examination of Saint Thomas Aquinasandrsquo;s notions about the soul of an unborn child, to censorship and violence and WikiLeaks.
These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsession by one of the worldandrsquo;s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists.
andldquo;True wit and wisdom coexist with fierce scholarship inside Umberto Eco, a writer who actually knows a thing or two about being truly human.andrdquo; andmdash; Buffalo News
andquot;Thought provoking . . . nuanced . . . the collection amply shows off Eco's sophisticated, agile mind.andquot; andmdash; Publishers Weekly
A collection both intimate and generous of the eloquent, insightful, beautifully written prose works that John Updike was compiling when he died in January 2009.
This collection of miscellaneous prose opens with a self-portrait of the writer in winter, a Prospero who, though he fears his most dazzling performances are behind him, reveals himself in every sentence to be in deep conversation with the sources of his magic. It concludes with a moving meditation on a modern world robbed of imagination--a world without religion, without art--and on the difficulties of faith in a disbelieving age. In between are previously uncollected stories and poems, a pageant of scenes from seventeenth-century Massachusetts, five late "golf dreams," and several of Updike's commentaries on his own work. At the heart of the book are his matchless reviews--of John Cheever, Ann Patchett, Toni Morrison, William Maxwell, John le Carré, and essays on Aimee Semple McPherson, Max Factor, and Albert Einstein, among others. Also included are two decades of art criticism--on Chardin, El Greco, Blake, Turner, Van Gogh, Max Ernest, and more.
Updike's criticism is gossip of the highest order, delivered in an intimate and generous voice.
From the Hardcover edition.
Here is the collection of nonfiction pieces that John Updike was compiling when he died in January 2009. It opens with a self-portrait of the writer in winter, a Prospero who, though he fears his most dazzling performances are behind him, reveals himself in every sentence to be in deep conversation with the sources of his magic. It concludes with a moving meditation on a world without religion, without art, and on the difficulties of faith in a disbelieving age. In between are pieces on Peanuts, Mars, and the songs of Cole Porter, a pageant of scenes from early Massachusetts, and a good deal of Updikean table talk. At the heart of the volume are dozens of book reviews from The New Yorker and illustrated art writings from The New York Review of Books. Updike’s criticism is gossip of the highest sort. We will not hear the likes of it again.
Aand#160; collection of timely essaysand#160;writtenand#160;over the last ten years by Umberto Eco, internationally acclaimed and best-selling author.
About the Author
was born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, in 1932. He graduated from Harvard College in 1954 and spent a year in Oxford, England, at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. From 1955 to 1957 he was a member of the staff of The New Yorker
. His novels have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award, and the William Dean Howells Medal. In 2007 he received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John Updike died in January 2009.
Christopher Carduff, the editor of this volume, is a member of the staff of The Library of America.